When you interview someone for a job, what do you typically look for? There are plenty of really important aspects, such as a relevant background, success in school or past jobs, ambition, strong people and communication skills, personality, fit into the company culture, among others.
What I've found to be the most compelling trait is intellectual curiosity. I'm not the most seasoned recruiter, but I've been part of the interview process for full-time and intern positions here at the Caps, at my former consulting firms, and even back in high school when I worked at Champs Sports and the local supermarket. I've discovered that to me, the most influential characteristic of a candidate is the ability to ask insightful questions to garner a deeper understanding of how things are done and how s/he can impact and improve the company, even if the job is selling sneakers or scanning groceries. I think that intellectual curiosity can overcome certain shortcomings, such as a lack of direct experience for the position at hand, as it shows the ability to learn, assess, understand, and adapt.
What do you think? Have you found that intellectual curiosity is something that's important to you?