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In what is one of the most overstated articles I’ve read in quite a while, Jeffrey Kudisch, an assistant dean in the University of Maryland’s School of Business, takes us on a thousand word scenic route to describe to anyone who might be unaware that what employers are really looking for in today’s workplace is adults. Outlining the most desirable traits in a potential employee through six Qs, or, Quotients, Kudisch covers some really groundbreaking stuff, such as making sure you have a handle on your emotions during an interview.
Now I am by no means the sort of employer that Kudisch is probably writing about. There are zero aspirations to take this company abroad, I don’t set up a booth at a career fair, and the last half dozen people I hired I did so without them putting a resume in my hands. But I have hired and fired a few people in my day, so allow me to break down Mr. Kudisch’s “Mastering the six qs,” from my modest managerial employer’s perspective.
1. IQ: Smarts/Critical Thinking Skills
It’s a good thing Jeff spent the entire first paragraph laying out his credentials for writing this article, because if I were job hunting and somebody’s advice column lead off with smarts, I’d back click and be on the next google search result real quick. Obviously, employers are looking for intelligence, why the hell else would so many of us willingly sign away a third of our next decade’s worth of paychecks to pay off debts garnered in the hopes that a five to six figure intelligence certificate will give us an edge over everyone else? The job I help hire people for is labor intensive, it’s cart staff. Honestly, if we spent the overhead money we could probably automate the entire process, or at the very least train animals to do a majority of the responsibilities. Despite this, I still look for people that display above average intelligence, because I understand that as impossible as it may seem, there could still be a situation with the range picker that would require the use of a little problem solving. God knows that the really desirable jobs are probably going to want some brain usage from time to time. Thanks for the heads up Jeff.
2. EQ: Emotional Intelligence Quotient
The fact that the second of Kudisch’s six Qs covers remaining emotionally stable around your employer probably speaks to my generation’s seemingly inherent inability to do so. The second topic reads like a softly delivered, “This is the adult world, despite what your college campus let you get away with, you’re in charge of your own emotions now, use them wisely.” He also recommends flipping the script on your interviewer and doing a little interviewing of your own. Pass.
3. PQ: Passion Quotient
Kiss ass. Kiss lots of ass. You’re not hired yet, kiss ass early and show your potential boss that those lips can really create a good vacuum seal around any superior’s cheeks. Jeff words this nicely by calling it “fire in the belly,” but that’s probably because the Washington Post wouldn’t let him blatantly say, “you’re at the bottom of the totem pole, kiss everyone’s ass.”
4. CQ: Cultural Quotient
While he may have hidden his most relevant point 2/3 through the article, it is nonetheless a good idea to be aware of where you are and who you’re interacting with whenever you’re sent somewhere to represent the company. But that extends beyond more than just a geographic realm and it’s pretty easily defined and summed up as common sense. If you need to be reminded not to make any cultural or racial gaffes by an internet advice column, you’ve probably got bigger personality obstacles standing in your way of getting hired besides mispronouncing the menu items at a foreign restaurant. Unfortunately for Mr. Kudisch, his most relevant point is immediately followed up by his most worthless point. In his attempt to avoid stereotyping racially or culturally or nationally, he stereotypes regionally and suggests you “assert yourself with a New Yorker and make small talk with a Southerner.” I’ve lived in Texas my entire life and I loathe idle small talk when I’m trying to conduct business, so, swing and a miss Jeffrey. How about instead of reading up on local colloquialisms, you just be a normal adult and conduct yourself the way normal adults behave.
5. Courage Quotient
I thought Kudisch’s tips and tricks couldn’t miss any harder, until he threw out this little gem. His courage quotient encourages you to do things like challenge your boss. Yeah go ahead and roll those dice and if your boss fires you even though you were 100% in the right, at least you’ll have stacks of courage to send to the creditors. Jeff also recommends you blow the awkward door wide open in the interview by “having the vulnerability to share an authentic response when given the tell me about your greatest weakness example.”
Employer: “So what would you say is your greatest weakness?”
Potential Employee: “Tough call, I’d probably have to say either my drinking problem or my inability to stay out of the DMs of any female I come into contact with”
Yeah, I’m sure your interviewer will be so impressed with your willingness to go full TMI on the first conversation the two of you ever have that you’ll be signing on with them by the end of the day.
6. IMQ: Improvisation Quotient
Just so you wouldn’t get your Qs crossed, Kudisch made sure to three letter this one so he can properly explain how to show your potential employers that, no matter how low they pay you (sorry, “do more with less,”), you’ll still get the job done. I suspect Jeff moonlights as an acting coach in his spare time because to get better at this he suggests enrolling in an Improv class, because everyone knows Steve and Bill had quite the comedy duo going before they split. I don’t even know how to respond to that advice, so I guess I need improv too.
There you have it. Thanks to Mr. Kudisch’s sound advice you can enter any interview fully prepared to properly grovel, boot lick, and creep out your potential employer so completely you’ll be guaranteed to never hear from them again. No worries, though. Jeff finishes the article reminding everyone to snoop and discern which of the quotients is the most important to the company you apply with, so if they do hire you you’ll be able to prioritize which one you’re going to be masquerading as for the entirety of your employment..
[via Washington Post]
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