Leadership Learning Interview
Learning, Like Falling in Love
I used to ask an interview question about what analogy someone would use to describe their relationship to learning new things. I had a couple of examples (drinking a glass of water, winning the lottery) and then I would turn them loose.
I always considered this an interesting question because I was trying to understand what their relationship was to learning new things and I was trying to set expectations in the interview process about what was expected. In this case it was, "I hope you like learning new things, because that is a big part of the job here."
Anyway, I got a lot of "it's like travel to a foreign country" or "it's like climbing a mountain." All of which had some element of both process and destination, and I always considered these to be pretty good answers.
Until one day when I got the title of this blog:
"Learning something new is like falling in love."
How remarkable that was - it was ALL process and no destination, and yet who can argue with the process of falling in love? You're compelled by the very nature of the thing to want more of it, wherever it may take you.
This was a fine answer. It was, in fact, the best and only answer. I stopped asking the question because I couldn't help comparing every other answer to it.
Interviewing can be stressful, much more so for the candidate than the interviewer of course, but to do a good job you have to prepare on both sides.
Here is what makes it all worth while though - whether you get the job or not - in the interaction the opportunity to answer a question and offer insight. It's worth thinking about in any interaction of course, but in a job interview something to definitely seek out.
What if there was no opportunity to offer insight? Would you still want the job?
What if you offered the insight and still didn't get the position? What does that tell you?
I work for Techtonic as the leader of the software delivery group. I am a Certified Scrum Product Owner.