Developing a broad range of interests outside the narrow confines of your chosen career is beneficial because it creates balance. It also allows you to use those positive traits and abilities to propel you forward.

Transform interests into advantage

Everybody will have evidenced, to some extent, the ability to apply themselves to something. It could be a sport, a hobby, your academic studies, learning a new language – all manner of weird and wonderful things. The passion, dedication, focus and determination you bring to that new skill or sport are valuable traits that can be applied to your job.

When we are connecting with people, we are always searching for that spark that goes beyond qualifications and experience to manage the technical aspects of the role being offered – something that sets you aside from the competition. We want to know what inspires and motivates you.

Call it an entrepreneurial mindset, resilience, or cultural fit; it’s intangible but essential.

Creating a balanced life

Whether you enjoy biking, boxing, or even building model railways, developing a broad range of interests outside the narrow confines of your chosen career is beneficial ­because it creates balance. It offers new perspectives and gives us some distance to reset, making us better able to deal with the everyday challenges we face. It also allows you to use those positive traits and abilities to propel you forward.

Overcoming adversity

“Difficulties are just things to overcome, after all,” said polar explorer Earnest Shackleton. The fearless explorer knows that during every expedition or adventure, you’ll face challenges. What happens next is defined by your character and your commitment. It can be captured in the term resilience and is a defining characteristic of high achievers.

Few of us would have chosen to join Shackleton on any one of his hazardous journeys, but we can learn from him. Overcoming challenges, and learning from them, is a core part of an entrepreneurial mindset. 

Whether it’s a Steve Jobs character bouncing back from being forced out of his own company, or a small-scale start-up, the ability to deal with adversity is character building – and can become part of your personal brand.

Developing a personal brand is an investment in your “internal and external marketability”, say academics.

Think of your CV as the brochure to present our personal brand. While you must follow the conventions, including being clear about qualifications and experience, adding some personality can act as a differentiator.

It doesn’t end there. Competency-based interviews are a standard part of the recruitment process. We can all draw on examples from our careers where we conquered adversity, but our experience is much broader than that.

Introducing personal interests into the interview process demonstrates there’s more to you than a CV. You’re bringing your authentic self to the process, and that’s powerful.

Cultural fit

From the top of the C-suite to the ground floor, organisations are searching for more than qualifications – they’re searching for cultural fit. They want individuals with the right skills, experiences, attitude and approach to fit into their culture.

We understand this and have developed our 16-point appraisal process to assess suitability. This helps us look beyond the qualifications to the quality of the individual. Of course, the appraisal process is only the start of the journey for most candidates and clients, but it can help identify whether someone will or won’t be a cultural fit.

We understand that the most effective and creative teams are diverse, with a multiplicity of experiences, attitudes and approaches. As a business, we can’t dictate terms to the market but must respond to changing expectations and demands. Having a team of individuals with broad interests and experiences helps us respond.

As a result, we’re delivering better candidates to our clients and developing an innovative, truthful internal culture.