Common Sense

Cavuto: It helps to be smart, but doesn't hurt to smile

'Gusto' more important at job interviews?


It helps to be smart.

But it doesn't hurt to smile.

I'm with some CEOs recently and as often happens, the subject of hiring comes up.

In this economy, let's just say these guys have fielders' choice.

And guess who they're choosing?

People who are smart, obviously.

But more often, people who have a good attitude, even if they're not as smart.

That's right. Grades take a back seat to gusto.

And here's how these bosses explained it to me.

All the candidates they interview for positions are smart.

That's a given.

So they're all coming into that job interview kind of the same.

It's how they pop in that interview that determines whether they get the job.

And more often than not -- apparently a lot more often than not -- the go-getter gets it. The reticent Einstein does not.

One CEO, who doesn't do the direct hiring himself, sends this message at his company to those who do.

"Find me the candidate who lights up the room, and I'll find you the candidate who's going to light up our sales."

When I asked what defines someone who lights up a room, he didn't even pause.

"Someone who's alert and engaged, curious, even funny."

Apparently funny counts for a lot.

But they stressed they weren't looking for the next Jimmy Fallon, just someone who was fun, and whose fun-loving attitude was and is contagious.

What's the upshot? How about just being up?

Be the kind of person you would want to be around.

After all, you spend a lot of time on the job.

The key to getting that job and keeping that job is acting like it isn't a job at all.

So smile. There's apparently money in it.