Former Google Vice-President Claire Hughes Johnson listed the one skill she looked out for in candidates during job interviews, and how one can cultivate it.
During her 10 years as Vice-President at Google, Claire Hughes Johnson would often have spend up to 40 hours a week conducting job interviews. To make the process easier for herself, the one main skill she looked for in the candidates was self-awareness.
"Sure, your experience and skills matter, but they can be learned. And when someone is highly self-aware, they're more motivated to learn because they're honest about what they need to work on. They also relate better to their colleagues and managers," Johnson wrote in a column for Cnbc.com
Self-awareness is also a "rare trait". She said according to research, even though 95 percent people think they are in fact self-aware, it is only the 10 to 15 percent who actually are.
Johnson said she always watches out for two words — I and we.
"Too much "I" is a red flag that they may not be humble or collaborative; too much "we" may obscure what role they played in the situation. There needs to a balance," she wrote in her column.
Johnson said she usually learns something revealing when she asks the candidates about their specific role. According to her, a positive answer would be "It was my idea, but the credit goes to the whole team," she wrote in the column.
She also asks the candidates to describe their colleagues. If they only have good things to say, she tries to look for what constructive feedback they have received.
And then she will ask them what they have done to improve to check their orientation towards self-improvement and learning and see whether they took that feedback to heart.
Johnson in her column listed some signs to know if one is self-aware:
Johnson said becoming more self-aware is about understanding why one works they way they do and what can they do to contribute to their team. She listed a few points to build self-awareness:
1) Understand your values
One should know what gives them energy, what is important to them and what weakens it, she said, adding that these insights will enable one to express their values and understand when they are at odds with one another and with someone else's values.
2) Identify your work style
Johnson said said one should spend a few weeks writing down moments when they feel like they are reaching new heights or lows at their job and they will begin to see patterns. "If you have trouble trusting your own instincts, ask someone whose judgment you respect: “When have you seen me do my best and worst work?”," she wrote in her column.
3) Analyse your skills and capabilities
Johnson said one should be able to speak confidently about their weaknesses and strengths.
In order to have a more tactical sense of self-awareness, one should ask themselves two questions — What they can do really well and what are their capabilities.
First Published: Mar 8, 2023 6:33 PM IST
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