Cap Watkins:

That’s when I decided to add a new question to the list of questions I ask both when interviewing and when being interviewed:

“Have you heard of [new app/service]?”

To be clear, it doesn’t matter if the answer is yes or no. If it’s yes, I’ll ask what they think of it and dive from there. If the answer is no, I’ll look for the follow-up: “what is it?” And, once explained, will look to see if they push further, to find out why I brought it up in the first place. While everyone else out there is looking for Photoshop skills and interaction solutions. I’ll be looking, primarily, for curiosity. The thing is, I can look at a portfolio and figure out your Photoshop ability. And sure, we could (and probably will) whiteboard a design problem just to make sure you think critically. But if you’re not intellectually curious, none of that stuff matters.

Great question around interviewing. We get so hung up on the “feature checklist” of skills and experience that we often forget to interview for personality and culture. They’re hard to quantify, but curiosity means you’re willing to learn. Willingness to learn can often trump decades of experience.

I’ll be asking a version of this from here on out.