Thursday, June 25, 2015

What Erno Rubik can teach you about hiring

I recently came across this video of an interview of Erno Rubik, the inventor of Rubik's cube which possibly is the most popular puzzle/toy ever. The interview has fascinating insights on what led to the creation of the cube.

Apart from everything else he has to say, there are 2 things which really struck me. One, he says he's a "very ordinary man". Considering that he built something that has captured the imagination and has had such a positive influence on millions of people, it's truly inspiring to see how humble he is. Second, he says if there's any special thing about him, it's that he loves what he does.

Thinking about it, those are the 2 most important qualities we look for when interviewing people for our team. One, that they are humble. No matter what your accomplishments or skills, if you go around beating your chest about them, you're not going to be able to work cohesively in a team. We will not hire so called rockstars who can deliver 10 times more than a normal engineer, but have trouble having a conversation without berating or criticizing someone.

The 2nd quality - to love what you do - is just as important. It is what drives people to pursue mastery of a skill regardless of the end result. It is what makes you continuously improve yourself whether you're successful in the short term or not. And it is what makes good team players and helps deliver successful products.

In essence, there is a special talent of celebrating your skills and accomplishments in a humble way, which Erno Rubik portrays. And someone with that skill, and the skill of loving your work is always a pleasure to know and work with.