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The Candidate

I was interviewing this week in the UK to build my team out in Birmingham, Bristol and Brighton.

Over 40 candidates were interviewed over three days, with presentations, role play, group exercises and competency interviews. I was totally blown away by the standard – There were hard choices to make. But, one thing struck me as the week went on…

Entrepreneurial Spark will live or die by the strength of its people.

Any entrepreneur who is or has scaled will know exactly what I mean.  This week I met some very clever, smart people from barristers to accountants to marketing champions to bankers.  But, I don’t look at one CV prior to interview.  Don’t get me wrong, my team do and know exactly who is sitting in front of us.  But for me, it’s all about the person and will they live or die by the WHY!

Hiring people who are smarter than you is a fiat that rings around Silicon Valley and beyond. I hear Google have stopped hiring MBS’s?! But, for me, what makes that person tick and whether Entrepreneurial Spark will make them tick faster is what intrigues me.

I ask questions like:

James Bond or Batman – who would you be and why?

What makes you angry?

Can you become a disciple?

How do you cope with uncertainty?

Are you willing to completely change your life for the next 3-5 years?

The questions are what they are, but it is the reaction and look in the candidate’s eye that grabs me the most.  Shock at being asked these types of questions or a sense of fun and openness in the answer.  Why?

Because if you are not totally open minded to ‘stuff’, then enabling entrepreneurs will not be for you.  It is an emotional roller coaster like no other with real highs and tough lows.  Welcome to the world of the entrepreneur!

I only want the best people in Entrepreneurial Spark as we become the world’s biggest equity-free, non-sectorial business accelerator.

And, by fully embracing the WHY, they become more impactful to the entrepreneurs we serve.