Well, do ya, punk?
Fair enough, it takes a rare constitution indeed to answer ‘yes’ when staring down the barrel of a .44 Magnum, but back in reality: how lucky do you consider yourself to be?
Say, on a scale of 1-10? 1 placing you as the star of Alanis Morissette’s ‘Ironic‘ [no, not ironic actually, just considerably unfortunate] and 10 being lottery-winning-Charlie-and-the Chocolate-Factory-golden-ticket-finding awesome good fortune?
It’s a question worth considering. Not least because the other day, a little bird revealed to me that a leading British fashion brand asks this very question of all its interview candidates during the recruitment process. And get this – anyone answering below 6 is automatically shown the door. No questions. Even a 6 puts you on the edge. You could have the most outstanding CV and glowing references in the world, but if your mind-set is just slightly less than glass-half-full, they don’t want to know.
I’ve thought about this considerably over the last couple of weeks and have come around to thinking it is quite genius. To the point where I have actually started asking friends and family how lucky they think they are. It turns out I am mostly surrounded by ridiculous optimists (I am yet to get an answer below 8) but it is undoubtedly a question we should all ask of ourselves.
What does it say about you? Especially in a recruitment setting where, let’s face it, once your CV has got you through the door, you have usually a maximum of 20 minutes to sell your self across a board room table. Equally (if not more) difficult however is being on the other side. Because they have only 20 minutes to really figure you out. Most probably every candidate they have seen that day also got straight A’s in school, has a 2.1 or above from a leading higher educational institution in a liberal arts or humanities subject and has interned for three summers minimum at some top-named fashion houses in London.
What they really need to know is: can they count on you in a crisis? Do you have the grit and determination to persevere through the challenges and find solutions? Say the new season sale is set to launch tomorrow, on a newly-designed web platform and it’s midnight, the tech team has given up for the night and the Creative Director suddenly decides he wants to see a whole new merchandising strategy: will you be there until 3am trying to fix it, making the coffee, cheering the team through the tears and the tantrums? Or will you be the one running for the door crying, ‘It just can’t be done! Y’all are crazy!’?
In that 20 minutes, this one little question will tell you a lot. Optimism and problem-solving are worth their weight in gold. Think about it. How lucky do you think you are?
*I didn’t realise quite how pants this video was until I just Googled it. Seriously, Alanis.