Flexibility and fearlessness matter as much as smarts, says Bobbi Brown: 'I look for people who aren't afraid to try'

Here are the soft skills Bobbi Brown looks for when hiring.

Bobbi Brown, who left her namesake cosmetics company in 2016, is now founder and CEO of Beauty Evolution.
Source: Ben Ritter

Entrepreneur Bobbi Brown worked her way from a freelance makeup artist to multimillionaire business woman now in the driving seat.

Brown shares some of her business philosophies, along with entrepreneurial and beauty tips, in lessons on MasterClass. When she reflects on how she approaches building a team, she lists characteristics she searches for in applicants. She wants workers who are "smart, hardworking, and good at what they do," she says in a MasterClass lesson. However, she also looks for some less traditional attributes often known as soft skills.

Soft skills can be just as important as experience or technical skills and are worth adding to your resume or mentioning a job interview if you're job hunting right now, as so many Americans are. In October, the unemployment rate in the United States was 7.9%, meaning 12.6 million Americans did not have jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Here are two tips for getting hired, especially at a start-up, according to Brown.

'Roll with the punches'

At a start-up, success is not always linear. Therefore, employees have to be resilient and "roll with the punches," she says. Don't get discouraged by setbacks.

"Sometimes there are stressful times where the entrepreneur might lose their cool," she says. "You gotta be there and see how you can support them and not take things too personally."

How to write a resume hiring managers will notice

Video by Mariam Abdallah

One way to demonstrate your ability to stay cool under pressure is to prepare an SBI model (Situation, Behavior, and Impact) anecdote so you can tell the story of a time when things did not work out the way you anticipated but you still achieved the results you needed.

This shows interviewers you can problem solve even if things don't go as planned.

Don't just 'stay in your lane'

"When you work for a corporation, you are hired to stay in your lane. When you work for a start-up, you're going to have a lot of lanes," Brown says.

While you don't want to lie about your skills, projecting that you can learn on the job can help you get hired for a position that calls for qualifications you might not have.

Sometimes there are stressful times where the entrepreneur might lose their cool. You gotta be there and see how you can support them.
Bobbi Brown

"Queer Eye" star Bobby Berk told Grow he has gotten every job he's ever interviewed for, including ones he was "absolutely not qualified for," by communicating his ability to learn. When a prospective employer asks you about certain tasks you can't yet do, he said, tell them you can "figure out how to do that." 

Likewise, to Brown, lack of experience doesn't necessarily signal that an employee is ill-equipped for a job. "I look for people who aren't afraid to try things they have never done before," she says.

When building a team, she says, experience is good but being adaptable is better: "I hope I hire people around me who are trying things they have never done before."

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