A couple of months ago, Forbes published an article of the 5 most sought-after personality traits in new-hires. They were: professionalism, high-energy, confidence, self-monitoring, and intellectual curiosity.
Interestingly enough, these are areas that we tend to have opinions on. We don’t typically require that a new hire have a college degree in order to work for us as a developer, or in another role. What we do require is a base amount of knowledge, coupled with a burning, passionate desire to gain more of it.
We also place a bit of a different cultural value on each of these traits. Professionalism is always expected in terms of interactions with colleagues, clients, and anybody else, but we don’t require you to wear a suit and tie.
High-energy? It’s something that everybody here has. Part of working in a startup environment is an “all hands on deck” mentality that permeates the culture. You will find yourself constantly challenged, so attacking new tasks with enthusiasm is required.
Confidence is also a must-have. As a developer, project manager, or anybody in a client-facing role, you will find yourself having daily interactions with clients from around the world. You must be prepared to explain your progress on your tasks so far, what you expect to complete next, and also an understanding of what obstacles might get in your way.
Self-monitoring is another way to describe someone with strong self-knowledge and self-motivation. You should be able to describe your accomplishments to date, as well as what you see yourself doing in the next 5 years. Career-mindedness is a highly valued trait here.
Intellectual curiosity is probably one of the most important and underrated qualities that we look for. We don’t expect you to know how to fix a problem right away, but we do expect that you will put in the time to figure it out. Time-tested methods to fix problems are always appreciated, but sometimes, finding a new way to do things can be even better.