How Much Do You Want It To Be?
Sunny • onInterview 11 years ago • 2 min read

How Much Do You Want It to Be?

A company founder needed to choose his successor. He studied resumes and talked to references, but he asked only one question during the final interview: "How much is 2 + 2 ?"

Ann, the first candidate, worried that there was a trick but answered straightforwardly. "There’s only one correct answer: four.

" Terry, who had an engineering background, was more creative. "Depending on whether you’re dealing with positive or negative numbers," he said, "the answer could be plus four, zero, or minus four.

" Chuck, the last candidate, looked the questioner in the eye and whispered, "How much do you want it to be?" While Ann and Terry took different approaches, they both provided an honest answer.

Chuck, on the other hand, wanted the questioner to know he was willing to say or do whatever it took to succeed. Some employers may find this combination of creativity and moral flexibility highly attractive. I’d show him the door. You see, Chuck is a manipulator and rationalizer, and they don’t make good employees.

They search for excuses rather than solutions and are more concerned with looking good than doing things right. People like Chuck who are adept at inventing justifications that sound good but aren’t true are simply clever liars. Eventually they will be found out.

Remember, an employee who will lie for you will lie to you. Without conscience, there is no credibility. Without credibility, there is no trust. And without trust, there is no future. This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.


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