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Tempting as it may be to ask job candidates for their fourth-grade report cards, a better method is to look for subtle clues potential slackers give during the hiring process. Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University, says people with fixed mind-sets—they believe you’re born into greatness—have a propensity for slacker behavior, whereas people with growth mind-sets—they believe you can grow into greatness—put in extra effort.
Dweck worked with a Major League Baseball team to ascertain potential recruits’ mind-sets by asking for their views on performance. Her discussion topics can be adapted for the business environment:
"You want the person who knows they have a lot to learn and is willing to learn rather than thinking their natural talent will carry them to the top," Dweck says. "People who ride on their natural abilities don’t know what to do when they have setbacks."
The author is a contributing editor and former managing editor of HR Magazine.
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