Comments (16)

Oct 5, 2009

Hard working. If you are willing to put in the time/effort, you can learn anything and become smart.

Oct 5, 2009

Hard working. Some of the most brilliant guys I know from school are languishing in some dead end job because they didn't apply themselves. I also know a ton of extremely successful people who may not be the brightest crayon the box, but just wanted it the most.

  • Capt K
Oct 6, 2009

You can always motivate yourself and become hard working - changing natural intelligence is harder.

Edit: didn't see it was for interview question. I would NOT say that. But that is what I believe.

Oct 6, 2009

smart will help you get the job...hardworking will help you keep the job.

Oct 6, 2009

Wanting it more gets you further in life, plain and simple. For what it's worth and if you agree with my theory, this is how I would structure your answer (not verbatim, figure out your own way): "If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he will eat for the rest of his life."

The reason I would use this example is simple; it lets your interviewer know that you are willing to learn and then work hard in your career.

Cheer up, Bateman. What's the matter? No shiatsu this morning?

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Oct 6, 2009

Hard working but more importantly "smart working"

Oct 15, 2009

There is no substitute for hard work. Yes, i know thats a gd cliche. People notice. Smart people are usually more efficient. There is a reason that physicists and mathematicians aren't the richest people on the planet.

Additionally, for kicks, ask a woman if she wants a "smart" lover or a "hard working" lover. See what you get.

PE is the new black.

Oct 15, 2009

I would treat this question the same way as the "Better follower or better leader" question and take the middle of the road approach. I would lead off by saying that while hard work is absolutely essential, without developing your intellect and putting your "smarts" to work, you will be working incredibly hard without accomplishing anything. I don't see them as independent options, but rather, as a necessary combination to succeed in this business and life - hard working, but still thinking and analyzing. Something like that.

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Oct 15, 2009

As a previous comment said, It's MUCH harder to replicate smarts than a work-ethic. Just like with being an athlete, the natural genes matter more (75% of NFL is black, when only less than 6% of the population is adult males...).

At a base level, everyone can be motivated by something, whether its internal or external...some people can get up in the morning in be an overachiver in anything based on self-motivation, others have to have an external stimulus..(i.e. working hard for a bigger bonus).

Both are important, but you cannot substitute natural intelligence and reasoning abilities.

Oct 15, 2009

I always like the sports analogies when it comes to business. Although very gifted athletically, Jordan certainly wasn't the most gifted athlete to ever play the game. Jordan's legendary work ethic combined with his athletic ability (and probably his assassin's mentality) produced the greatest player to ever play the game.

You then compare Randy Moss to Jerry Rice. Moss is (or was) a freakish athlete but we all know about his work ethic. If Moss had Rice's determination, he would be unstoppable. Hell, he's still better than most of the receivers in the NFL based on natural talent alone.

I think I'd rather have a higher level of natural intelligence and develop the strong work ethic.

Oct 15, 2009
android411:

I always like the sports analogies when it comes to business. Although very gifted athletically, Jordan certainly wasn't the most gifted athlete to ever play the game. Jordan's legendary work ethic combined with his athletic ability (and probably his assassin's mentality) produced the greatest player to ever play the game.

You then compare Randy Moss to Jerry Rice. Moss is (or was) a freakish athlete but we all know about his work ethic. If Moss had Rice's determination, he would be unstoppable. Hell, he's still better than most of the receivers in the NFL based on natural talent alone.

I think I'd rather have a higher level of natural intelligence and develop the strong work ethic.

I would check out Moss' summer workouts before making a comment about his work ethic

Oct 15, 2009

Making the NFL alone takes such incredible work ethic! When we call athletes lazy, it is usually relative to their teammates.

Oct 15, 2009

Smart, generally. Reason being is that, from my experience, the smarter one is, the more efficient one is. That's VERY important. It can be a double-edged sword, of course - even if you're more efficient (i.e. faster at completing work), you just get more work assigned on top of that. But if you work for just one guy and you're efficient, it can make nights much, much, much shorter. Trust me.

Being a hard worker is great, but it's even better if you can do the same amount of work (and do it as well, if not better) in less time and get the eff out of the office, and that generally tends to happen with the more efficient (and more intelligent) analysts.

Oct 16, 2009

This is a trick question to be honest. One of those questions that you can only answer wrong by not having a great explanation. Personally, I would rather have been born mega intelligent than driven because, like some of the previous posters touched on, you can not learn raw intelligence, but can learn to be determined by using outside motivators.

On a side note, I got asked a similar question in a phone interview I had. The question was "On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 begin hard working and 10 being purely intelligent, where do you place yourself?" I coped out and just said "in the middle" and that while I am certainly above average in intelligence (tested when I was younger) that seeing my father come from virtually nothing to being able to provide for our family, mostly by himself (divorced) that I have learned the value of hard work and determination.

Both have their places and I think it depends mostly on your occupation. If you are applying to be a 'rocket scientist' then you want the scale to be heavily weighted towards 10 as there seems to be an intellectual threshold for being able to perform certain functions. If you are applying for IB positions, well you probably want the range between 4 and 6 because both are valued in that industry. Typically intelligence is valued to gain access to interviews and hard work/determination is valued while performing in the position...so you need to possess both. Good luck.

Regards

Oct 16, 2009

You can be an extremely hard working Janitor. However, to contribute greater value to a firm you have to continuously innovate better ways of working at something - which requires some level of smarts and experience. A Janitor creates more value to a firm by being proactive and reorganizing cleaning operations so they are more effective than just grinding away at the same role his whole life. Same for every level in an organization and society.

Oct 16, 2009
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