Hiring a Growth Mindset

Been doing a lot of thinking around hiring these days as we gear up to grow our small team of 3 founders at Pinpoint and I’ve been reviewing my own personal notes from the past and updating them for my own use.

One of the things that I come back to time and time again is the power and importance of having a growth mindset when it comes to early-stage organizations.

The question, of course, is how do you know if someone does, in fact, have that type of mindset?

The short answer is that you don’t know until you work with them but you can ask penetrating questions when you chat with them to see if you can diagnose that intrinsic perspective in the person and candidate.

For a quick reminder, a growth mindset is best captured and understood as someone who believes that their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) as opposed to those who have a fixed mindset (talents are innate gifts). This is a philosophy that we’ve been trying to model for our kids as well, by the way…

Here are a few new questions that I’ve captured recently from an HR group that I’m part of that I’ve added to my own notes that you might find to be useful, broken down into Growth and Learning:

  1. How would this job fit in with your career aspirations?
  2. What are your career, project, or personal goals for the next 6 months? How do you set goals for yourself?
  3. What job do you hope to achieve in the organization in the next 3-5 years? What are you doing to prepare for it?
  4. How have your responsibilities evolved from when you first started your current/recent role?
  5. What accomplishment are you most proud of from the past year?
  6. Describe a time when you’ve incorporated someone’s feedback into your work. What was the outcome?

Here are a few for Learning:

  1. What is an area that you’re looking to improve upon in the next 6 months and what are you doing to improve it?
  2. When was the last time you asked for help at your job? Describe the situation, how did you feel about asking for help?
  3. How do you keep abreast of current trends and new information in your part of the business? How have you used this information to remain ahead of the competition?
  4. Describe a time when your work required you to learn a new system, task, or body of knowledge. What was it like for you?

Many of these may provide some fruitful conversations and many of them may not, but, you can use them at your own discretion.

Finally, one of the things that I’m always on the look out for is whether or not the person is coachable; meaning, how open are they to receive coaching from others? And, how interested are they in coaching and mentoring (and there’s a difference in my book, by the way…) other folks?

Finding someone with this latent skillset is magical and means that we already have a pipeline of folks that can not only do an amazing job but who can grow with us as well.