"Passion" may seem like an overused word in the world of startups and small businesses. While it's true that this personality trait has become something of a cliché when describing the ideal entrepreneur or job candidate, there's a good reason for it. Being fully committed to and caring about what you do — whether it's running the whole company or just selling its product — always produces the highest-quality results.
Building a culture of employees who truly love their work begins during the hiring process. William Powley, founder and chief creative officer of design agency Mad*Pow, shared six ways to identify passionate candidates who you'll want to add to your team.
- Pay attention to hobbies and interests. During the interview process, it is important to discover the candidate's hobbies outside of work. Passionate people show great enthusiasm when sharing what they do, both in work and play. People whose hobbies or interests are only career-oriented are probably not the passionate employees you are seeking, because they may not be able to bring diverse thinking to their roles. [5 Common Hiring Mistakes and How to Avoid Them]
- Assess the ability to maintain a work-life balance. Ask the candidate how much he or she values a balanced work-life schedule. The people who know how to work hard and play hard often make the best team members. People who come to the interview process unprepared to provide an answer to this question should raise a red flag.
- Evaluate professional-growth goals. A great question to ask during an interview is, "If we were to hire you, what do you see yourself doing here in three years?" If the answer doesn't provide clues to something that is greater than what the candidate has to offer now, it is a sign that he or she is not growth-oriented. Passionate people always look to become better, smarter and, most importantly, happier.
- Measure their capacity for generosity. Passionate people like to watch others succeed, or contribute to others' success. Ask your candidates how they have helped others outside of work. Do they do volunteer work? Have they devoted time to a nonpersonal goal?
- Test their mettle. People with passion are also often courageous. Ask the candidate for an example of something that he or she focused on that took great courage and hard work to overcome.
- Gauge what thrills them. Passionate people are excitable people. They show great emotion when referring to the things in life that make them happy. Throughout the interview process, note the areas of the conversation where the candidate gets excited or enthusiastic about a certain topic. If these topics align with the role, he or she just might be the right person for the job.
Originally published on Business News Daily.