Walt Bettinger, CEO of banking and brokerage firm Charles Schwaab is not one to be impressed with just a good certificate. He says he seeks to know what’s in the heart of his prospective employees not just what they have in their heads. Why? Because other people matter.
Before taking job candidates on a breakfast interview, Bettinger shows up early and asks the restaurant to purposely mess up the order, with the promise of a good tip in exchange.
Bettinger says that he’s most concerned about a prospective employee’s character, and this is a test to see how they deal with adversity, he said.
‘Are they upset, are they frustrated, or are they understanding? Life is like that, and business is like that,’ he explained.
‘It’s just another way to look inside their heart rather than their head.’
And the heart is what Bettinger is trying to understand, asking candidates about their greatest successes in life before he offers them a job at his company.
‘What I’m looking for is whether their view of the world really revolves around others, or whether it revolves around them,’ he said.
‘And I’ll ask then about their greatest failures in their life and see whether they own them or whether they were somebody else’s fault.’
Bettinger says one of his last exams in college which ruined his perfect 4.0 score made him realise it is important to acknowledge those ‘who do the real work’. He had spent hours memorising formulas for calculations, he turned up to the exam to meet a blank paper, all his hard graft useless.
According to him, ‘The professor said, “I’ve taught you everything I can teach you about business in the last 10 weeks.’
‘But the most important message, the most important question, is this: What’s the name of the lady who cleans this building?’
Bettinger didn’t know. He failed and got a B in the class.
‘That had a powerful impact,’ he said. ‘Her name was Dottie, and I didn’t know Dottie. I’d seen her, but I’d never taken the time to ask her name.’
‘I’ve tried to know every Dottie I’ve worked with ever since. It was a great reminder of what really matters in life.’
Source: UK Daily Mail