When I Conduct an Interview...

I bet you prayed for a snow day when you were young. Yeah, me, too. So, when I conduct an interview, I always ask this question:

“When you were about 10-years-old, and there was a snow day, what did you do?”

The usual responses are, “Watched movies,” “Slept in,” and “Played in the snow.” Of course, these weren’t the responses I was looking for.

Maybe you’re thinking that this would be a weird question to be asking a potential employee, but follow me on this—the things you do at a very early age form habits that you can carry for the rest of your life. I believe that people learn how to get themselves ahead, be productive and make a quick buck at a very early age.

When I was young, if I knew there was a snow day, I’d be the first person out the door ready to shovel my neighbors’ sidewalks. That’s what I look for in the people I interview. I want to know if they have that drive; that hunger; that tenacity necessary to work in an “always-on” type of environment.

I ask about a snow day and the best thing I can hear is, “I was out the door with my shovel before they even cancelled school.”

But how does shoveling snow as a 10-year-old really translate to being in a work environment today? It’s all about whether that person has the ability to recognize opportunities to be productive. As an adult, snow days should be your most productive days. Meetings usually get cancelled, so there are fewer distractions around you. You have more time to catch-up on unanswered e-mails, prepare for a major new business pitch, and do something like write a blog post.

Still think you can’t work when the weather is bad? Or, you don’t want to? Think again.

I’m 54-years-old and I still love snow days. Do you?


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