Secret To Choosing Best Job Candidate – Every Time!

Choosing best job candidate.  One of the toughest jobs there is:

Choosing best job candidate?  Whew!  There are few things more frustrating than sorting through a bunch of job applications trying to find the best job candidate.

Someone who will work hard, stay focused, and grow with the company.  That special someone who will be a valuable asset to the company and invest themselves and their talents when things are going well and especially when things aren’t going so well.

Interviewing steals hours of your time and the ridiculous questions “experts” tell you to ask have nothing to do with how someone will perform when things get tough.  Can you imagine being able to choose best job candidate with a short questionnaire and be thrilled with the results?  What a relief that would be!

Who picked the most successful officer candidates at West Point?

You would think that if anyone would know how to ferret out a perfect candidate for success, it would be the US Army Officer Candidate School at West Point.  They’ve been studying, analyzing, and trying to predict who will be the most successful officer candidates for decades (excuse me, centuries).

And yet, a researcher who approached them with a test she’d developed to do just that, beat the military analysts every year she competed against them in predicting the most successful candidates for completing officer training.

How did she beat a whole “army” of military analysts and psychologists?

With a simple twelve-question test!

Each candidate was asked to fill out her questionnaire to establish their level of grit.  And the ones who answered every question with a positive turned out to be the most successful officer candidates at West Point. (And that is not a school for wimps or weasels.)

How to choose the best job candidate

In her book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, professor and researcher Angela Duckworth speaks to the value of talent, which can place certain job candidates above those who don’t have the necessary talents.

However, to truly predict which candidates will have the perseverance and passion to see projects through successfully, you must choose the applicants with the most grit.

Definition of grit from Wikipedia:

In psychology, grit is a positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual’s perseverance of effort combined with the passion for a particular long-term goal or end state (a powerful motivation to achieve an objective).

If that doesn’t sound like the kind of people you want backing you up at work or in your business, I don’t know what is.

Surprise: Grit is a skill anyone can learn…

This is one of the things that really surprised me in the book.  In addition to choosing the best job candidate, Angela also tells you how to increase grit in yourself and others, kids and adults.  so there’s no reason, if you have employees that seem a bit lacking in that area, you can’t put together a training program to help them “kick their grit into high gear.”

I’d love to tell you the twelve questions, but I think that would get me sued as that is the centerpiece of her book and the pinnacle of her research.  And it just feels wrong.  I know how I’d feel if I wrote a book based on years of research only to have some schlep like me give away the core premise.

As I said, though, there is much more value than just the questionnaire because I intend to keep using the advice in the book to develop my own higher level of grit!  and if this blog grows and I need help to keep it going, I know how I’ll pick my 1099s.

Other interesting books if you’re a business owner or thinking about it…

By the way, have you ever read The Million-Dollar One-Person Business by Elaine Pofeldt?  It’s all case studies of people who built one-person businesses that make at least one million dollars per year.  I bought it partially because it intrigued me, but also because I was convinced it had to be BS.

I’ll be writing a review of it soon and when I do, I’ll link to it so you can check it out.  It shocked the heck out of me.  Hunh. I just looked her up when I was getting the affiliate link for The Million-Dollar One-Person Business on Amazon and it said she’s a contributing writer for


PS: I noticed on Amazon, they paired the Grit with two other books that both happen to be on my bookshelf:


If you’ve had any interest in grit and/or success, can you recommend some books in the comments that have helped you?  Love to add them to my collection! (I need all the help I can get.)


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