There is no functional reason to put a postage stamp on straight.

The post office will deliver a letter with an upside-down and crooked stamp.

A straight postage stamp is simply a sign of pride. I think it says a lot about someone.

A while ago, I became obsessed with hiring people with pride. As a result, our interviewing process requires seven virtual and in-person meetings. This might not sound like much if you work in consulting or finance, but seven interviews are considered a bit much for a job at a house painting company.

And even though we tell prospects in the first interview that our process is long, most are worn out by the end.

And the end is when they start to act like their true selves.

I’m not very skeptical, so prospects could really say anything to me, and I’d likely believe them. To overcome this weakness, I need time to get to know someone. I need to see how they behave.

As the hiring process continues, we’re able to notice the pride in their actions (or not):

  1. their car interior is tidy (we often walk them back to the car to have a peek inside)
  2. they quickly respond to an email.
  3. their water bottle gets tossed in the recycling bin instead of left behind.
  4. they’ve researched our company more than just “you paint houses.”

It turns out that how people behave is so much more important than what they say.

Related: I pretended to love skiing for the first year I dated my husband – thankfully for him, he uncovered the real me in month thirteen. And thankfully for me, he didn’t care that I never wanted to ski again.