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The “BEST” Attributes to Look for in Any Potential Staff Member, Client or Supplier

At the 10 Minute mark of any interview these are the “BEST” attributes I look for.

Over the course of a professional career, people become more discerning around the attributes to look for in current and future employees. How someone presents on first impression is all-important as it sets the base platform of a relationship.
So what are some key attributes to look for to assess a person’s character?

What follows are what I look for in any person I interview and are identifiable within the first 10-minutes of meeting.

These are the BEST Qualities:

B:

Body Language: How a person walks, the posture they assume, and the energy they give off are all visual clues on how a person views the world.

  • Are they confident, shy, unassuming, flamboyant, reserved, distracted, nervous, engaged, or energised?

Balance: How a person navigates their Front Yards (careers) with their Back Yards (Personal Life) is a good way to learn their values.

  • Do they have interests outside work?
  • How aware are they of the world around them?
  • Do they share anything about themselves or their family?
  • Is everything just about them and their career?
  • What is their small talk?

E:

Eye Contact: Making eye contact is an important part of actively listening and showing respect, so it is important to notice where their eyes look

  • Where do their eyes focus?
  • How do their eyes react to the questions asked and subsequent conversation?

Energy: Your energy always precedes you. You only have one opportunity for a first impression, and the first thing anyone notices is a person’s energy.

Enthusiasm: Do they have a positive outlook on life?

  • Are they enthused about opportunities?
  • Are they keen to value-add and make a difference?
  • Have they taken the time to learn a bit about you and why you are talking to them?
  • Are they happy?

S:

Smile: Are they warm, empathetic and interested with a natural smile?

  • Do they have a polite, natural approach when they meet and greet you?
  • Do they laugh?

Style: Their dress sense, grooming, language used, and image they portray reflects their character and Personal Brand.

  • What is their personal style?

Self-Aware: How self-aware are they of their presence and the people they are talking to?

  • Is it all about them, or are they inclusive?
  • Is their language “I” or “We”?
  • Do they pick up the verbal and non-verbal cues of their audience?

Story Tell: What is their ability to tell their authentic story?

  • Do they hide behind all the brands and titles they have worked for?
  • Do they describe achievements, milestones, learnings and life moments?

T:

Talk: Can they talk naturally, freely and consistently in keeping with the audience they are in?

  • How do they adapt the conversation to appropriately engage with their audience?
  • Can they hold a conversation, or do you need to extract information from them?

Team: Are they team or individual orientated?

  • Can they demonstrate how they fit into teams and what value they bring?
  • What teams (formal and informal) are they currently a member of?
  • What is their approach to team dynamics?

“BEST” is a simple framework to assess someone’s character through a face-to-face conversation. At the 10-minute mark you should be able to assess if someone has a good showing of these qualities. If they have, continue with the interview, if they haven’t then politely and constructively end the interview.

NOTE: No personal CV can reveal a person’s character.

A person’s character is everything. If a person has the right attitude, then it is highly likely they will be a great addition to your team. A poor character brings a poor attitude, and this is what kills the culture of a team.

“A Bad Attitude Cancels Out All Other Positive Skills”


  • David guided the cultural transformations of companies I lead from 1999-2012. His methodologies are based upon behaviours and active engagement between people, teams and leaders. The sustainable effect of his framework remains evident at my last role (2007-2012 - prior to my retirement) and has long been positively discussed at all levels within that company even today (2020). I highly recommend David for a "no nonsense, understandable and behaviours driven" cultural change programme.

    - Mike McCarthy
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  • “The first CI in Warrnambool was about Alcohol Fuelled Violence and after doing the program, we saw an immediate 10% drop in alcohol fuelled violence and that was sustained in the years to follow”

    - Tracey Linford – Assistant Commissioner, Victoria Police