One of those really brilliant people – so interesting and so interested.

The other day I came out of an interview raving about the candidate I’d just had the pleasure of spending some time with. When Harry asked what it was about this candidate that stood out, that was my headline conclusion. They were both so interesting and so interested.

Of course, the two tags “they’re interesting” and “they’re interested” are themselves unlikely to provide enough justification to make a candidate a job offer, but what they represent does provide a very good start towards making me want to do just that. 

At Arch we’re looking only for outstanding graduates. Grads who are super bright, curious, hungry to learn and quick to do so, passionate, motivated for digital, ambitious, creative and innovative, tenacious and resilient, open-minded, thrive on change and the unknown, genuine, humble, socially and emotionally intelligent, great communicators and strong relationship-builders.

So what is it about an interesting-interested candidate that makes me believe they have a lot of the foundations to be one of those that makes the cut?

An interesting candidate has done things outside the norm, and chooses to draw on examples we’re not likely to have heard about from every other grad we’ve ever interviewed. They’ve achieved things that took time, effort and determination. They have a positive attitude, are engaging and can talk about things with a passion that makes us want to learn as much about the topic as they clearly do. They’re not afraid to share a view that might be different to ours, try and persuade us politely into a new way of thinking. They're open, are comfortable with revealing their weaknesses or disclosing their harder times. So, an interesting candidate is probably innovative, intelligent, ambitious, passionate, tenacious and resilient, genuine, a good communicator and a strong relationship builder.

An interested candidate is equally keen to hear others’ ideas, opinions and experiences as they are happy to talk about their own. Because they want to grow, learn and develop themselves constantly, they listen attentively to any advice the interviewer might have for them. They don’t roll their eyes at something they think they’ve heard before, because they know there could always be something new to learn from it this time around. So, an interested candidate is probably curious, bright, hungry to learn, open-minded, socially and emotionally intelligent and a strong relationship builder.

When you see it broken down like that, and recognise how many of our desired competencies an interesting-interested candidate demonstrates, I suppose it’s hardly surprising that I might label an interesting-interested candidate as an inevitable Arch Graduate.

Not just one of the two, but a combination of them both is what impresses. Interesting and Interested.  – I think that might be the foundation to any really brilliant person.