Question of the Week #3 (this is showing some potential)

Spencer MacCuish —  November 30, 2011 — 9 Comments
This entry is part 3 of 7 in the seriesQuestion of the Week

In today’s economy finding a job is a blessing, finding a job that is rewarding & fulfilling would be amazing. Let’s imagine for a moment that you actually have such a job available, it is your responsibility to fill this job opening. So you do your due diligence and you have narrowed your search down to the final two candidates which one of these two candidates would you hire?

Candidate A
This person has an amazing knowledge of the material required to do the job, they also have an incredible amount of experience in the field. They come with very impressive recommendations from previous employers. While in the interview they never establish eye contact, to the best of your knowledge they only look at the floor the entire time. The answers they give are insightful and very impressive.


Candidate B
This person has an amazing knowledge of the material required to do the job, they also have an incredible amount of experience in the field. They come with very impressive recommendations from previous employers. While in the interview they establish and maintain eye contact for the duration of the interview. The answers they give are insightful and very impressive.

So which of these two do you hire? Have at it…

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Spencer MacCuish


Spencer spent most of the 90’s as summer staff at Hume Lake Christian Camps. He also spent several years as a youth pastor in the Santa Clarita Valley, coaching volleyball, and teaching English and History in the public school system. Spencer has been involved with Eternity Bible College since its inception and is currently serving as the Dean of Students. He and his wife, Tina, have three beautiful daughters.
  • yvonne wilber

    Seeing how their knowledge, experience, and recommendations are all appears, I would do the biblical thing and cast lots.

    • yvonne wilber

      whoops, I meant to say “are all equal”…it’s too early for me

  • Since it is an entirely subjective issue, I’m going to go with the eye contact person. We are dealing with an issue of chemistry rather than competence. I think Bill Hybels was big on the 3 C’s: chemistry, competence and character. Both people that you described seem incredibly competent and have excellent character, so it is simply a choice of who I would rather be with. I choose the eye contact person. They are easier to be around in a workplace setting and we have a better chance of working well with each other than the person who may not be able to engage in conversation without the ever-essential eye contact in personal relationship.

    I love them both, but all things being equal, I hire the eye contact.

    And this is assuming an American, suburban, Thousand Oaksian culture.

  • Spencer MacCuish

    Recognizing the significance of cultural differences is a great thing to consider. Keep going.

  • Lance Hancock

    Oh, Everest is on to Spencer! Love it.

  • I agree with Everest. It all depends on where the job is and which culture(s) it deals with. If it’s an American company doing business with Americans, then eye contact is a good thing. A sign of purpose, strength, and it gives honor to the one to whom you’re speaking. But in other cultures (I think) it communicates none of these things and may actual dishonor the person you’re staring at.

  • Everest

    Depends if I’m in a culture where it would be extremely disrespectful to look me in the eye, an insult.

  • Lance Hancock

    As a Christian employer, I’m not only thinking about who is going to work best under my jurisdiction, but how my management over and relationship with my subordinates can be good for the kingdom of God. I want to create a culture at the work place that looks different than the typical work environment. A place that has a hint of holiness, or “otherness” to it. Ultimately, I want to usher my unbelieving employees into a relationship with the living God so that they will one day be able to say that they count everything else as rubbish compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ.

    As I understand it, both candidates are equally qualified for handling the demands of the job. That’s quite a blessing, because now the only thing I have to ask as a Kingdom worker is, “Who, Lord, would you have me hire and share the love of Christ with? Which of these two candidates is more needy for the gospel? And by needy, I don’t mean who needs salvation (presumably, both do and so they need it equally). Rather, I mean which candidate recognizes his or her need for salvation? Which one is familiar with his or her sin and emptiness? Which one is longing for assurance, approval, acceptance, comfort, security, and identity? Which one doesn’t have life figured out?

    I want that one. I want the person who seems to have low self-esteem, who has identity issues. I want someone who I can work next to who will notice my joy and hope and graciousness and long for what I have, potentially leading to good conversations about life and the gospel. Among those who are qualified for the job, I want the “least of these” so that they may share in the blessing of salvation. Give me Candidate A, please.

    I feel like I need to be clear, though, that I am well aware of God’s sovereignty and the fact that either candidate could end up coming to the Lord through my interaction with them. I’m simply saying that it is more likely for healing to be given and received among those who know they are sick. I’m also aware that just because Candidate B made eye contact doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t struggle with the same things Candidate A does. They could each be equally aware of their emptiness. Which is why the question is directed to the Lord. “Lord, who would YOU have me hire? Who do I get to share the love of Christ with?

  • The one who gives eye contact. It shows confidence and an interest in the job. I would wonder if the one who only looks at the ground had low self-confidence and whether he believed in himself enough to be able to handle the challenges the job produced. If he couldn’t believe that he would be able to do a good job, then either he will be very stressed out (not someone I want to work with), or he will just not try.