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A question to all job applicants. What is more important:

Who are you? or What you can do?


I’ve just had a very intense week of job interviews, and I always notice the same things.

If you ask applicants, will you tell me something about yourself? Who are you? What made you who you are today? Which best describes you? Then it takes exactly two sentences and the applicant talks about his education and his abilities. It is incredibly difficult to learn something about the candidate himself, which has nothing to do with his education, experience and abilities.
I know, there are different HR approaches and some argue that skills, experiences and education is the most important to know. But I’m more interested in who the person is sitting opposite to me. What do you think?

I like to use the “tree of life”-tool from the coaching tools.

A tree consists of its roots, these symbolize the question: Where are you from? What made you what you are today? Which people have influenced you the most? What are you always proud of?
The trunk of the tree represents the questions: Who are you today? Who is sitting opposite me? What are your strengths and of course your development areas? Which part of you will improve the company and how will you contribute?
The crown and the fruits of the tree represent the future. What else do you want to harvest in your life? What are the goals? What are you still striving for?

All I hear most is: I’m on time and can organize well. Please dear applicants, here is your chance to set you apart from the others.
You have so much in you, you are someone and you have a character and attributes that you can and must bring to the race.
So, for me the question is not so important: what you can do, but rather, which of your properties can solve my problems in the company.
Skills can be learned and made up for training, but the character and characteristics that is your track record, your brand, what you can bring into the company.
As I said, there are other schools and practices in interviews. And some people just want the training and the skills knowledge, but I’m more interested in who the person is, who is with me and with whom I can and must work together for the next few years.

If you have a different opinion, let us discuss it. I would like to know what you think about it.

Best regards,