Interviewing The Perfectly Positive Candidate

She was my first interview today, but in the preceding 30 days I’ve probably conducted close to 75.  When you’re managing the operations of a growing, award-winning BPO, these types of tasks are simply a part of the daily equation.  Not all customer service agents are created equal, and at times my responsibility is to help identify those who mesh best with our 5 Core Values – a driving catalyst for every decision we make.

As I led her back to my office to start the interview, I was impressed with her friendly and outgoing personality.  She answered my questions, but then asked me some questions of her own right off the bat.  It took me by surprise, but in a constructive way.

Once in my office, I summarized the history and success of ClearSource.  I mentioned that we have been an Inc. 500 company for the past two years, and that we are in growth mode yet again.  I explained how we trust our customer service agents to always provide exceptional experiences for the customer, and briefly highlighted what typical daily responsibilities for the position would entail.  Along the way she was engaged and seemed eager to learn more.

Negativity simply costs too much

I shifted gears by asking some cliché interview questions.  I inquired about her strengths, to which she replied the first characteristic that came to mind was her positivity.  She mentioned how a bad attitude is a negative element for any team, as it grows and impacts everything that surrounds it – and not for the better.  She stated “I can always walk away from somebody with a bad attitude, but if I’m the one with the bad attitude… It’s harder for me to walk away from that.”  Her mindset was to always be positive, because “negativity simply costs too much.”

And she’s right.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that companies in the U.S. lose $3 billion per year due to effects of negativity.  Negativity can derail the productivity train, allowing employees to shift the focus to petty issues that have nothing to do with their jobs, causing unnecessary stress and frustrations.

Conversely, The Mayo Clinic has stated that positive thinking can result in longer life, elevated moods, lowered stress, a boosted immune system, a stronger sense of well-being and better coping skills during stressful events. It’s also proven to make a massive difference within the workplace as employee performance skyrockets in positive environments.  Because of the connection between the body and mind, the psychological benefits of positive thinking tend to reinforce its physical benefits, and vice versa.

I may not recall everything that was said within my interview with the candidate, but I do remember her smile, her interest to learn, and her eagerness to get started.  To me, she absolutely embodied our third Core Value of Enthusiasm and Fun.  Along the way, her positive mindset helped me to refocus on improving my own.  It was infectious.

She starts Monday.

ClearSource is determined to add positive interactions at every step of the customer experience.  Learn more about our methods, and what makes us an anomaly within the contact center industry.

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