The CEO of a billion-dollar brand says he doesn't hire people with a red-flag quality that's 'the enemy of everything'

Neil blumenthalNeil BlumenthalIt’s all about your pronouns. Neil Blumenthal pictured.

If you’re heading into a job interview planning to self-deprecate and talk about all your past screw-ups, you’re probably not going to get hired.

On the flip side, if you’re heading there thinking that you really deserve the interviewer’s job, you’re probably not going to get hired, either.

That’s especially true if you’re interviewing at billion-dollar glasses company Warby Parker.

The company’s co-CEO, Neil Blumenthal, recently spoke with Jessica Alba, actress and founder of household products company Honest, at the Success Makers Summit in April, hosted by American Express OPEN.

Here’s what Blumenthal said:

“We’re actually always trying to screen out for entitlement. Because we find that that is the enemy of everything.

“It creates unrealistic expectations; it hurts collaboration, which … is like the core to the modern workplace. It impacts learning in general. If you’re entitled, you likely think you know more than you do.”

In fact, in a 2015 LinkedIn post, Blumenthal went so far as to call entitlement the “root of all evil in a company.”

Alba asked Blumenthal exactly how he screens for entitlement and he admitted: “We’re still learning.”

But he added:

“Sometimes we’ll try to see what pronouns people are using: ‘I’ versus ‘we.’ Because every piece of work these days, no one does anything in isolation.

“So during an interview, you’re supposed to be selling yourself, but do they at least give some credit to other people that they may have worked with?”

Interestingly, Ra’el Cohen, vice president of design and product development at online bra company ThirdLove, previously told Business Insider something similar.

Specifically, her team will ask candidates, “What was the last mistake that you and your last team made, and what did you learn from it?”

ThirdLove is looking for candidates to use the word “I” instead of “we,” meaning they’re taking responsibility for the mess-up instead of blaming it on others.

Earlier in the conversation between Alba and Blumenthal, Alba explained why she dislikes entitled employees (though she didn’t use that word specifically): “You have to learn and you have to make mistakes, because that’s when you actually grow as a person.”

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