How to Get a Job at Google

The Google Workplace

Google’s Senior Vice President of People has some stuff to say about what they value in the people they recruit:

“test scores are worthless. … we found that they don’t predict anything.”

Google hires about 5,000 new staff and receives over 1-million CVs each year, and, for them, it’s all about learning ability, leadership, ownership and humility. 

It’s not about what you know. It’s about your approach to what you don’t.

Find out more about how Franklin Scholars are helping students develop valuable skills here.

Growth Mindset and the X Factor

Growth Mindset and the X Factor

X Factor is one of the most dramatic things on the telly. It might not be as sparkly (or as popular anymore) as Strictly, but the collection of flashing lights, pyrotechnics and booming Phil Dickenson announcements make for classic Saturday night entertainment. 

With such a big and influential reach, it is interesting to see how X Factor encourages, or discourages, some of the attitudes and perspectives which are important for the young and impressionable part of the audience. So, the other week, Franklin Scholars found themselves watching X Factor with a particular focus on growth mindset.

Growth mindset is the understanding that intelligence and skills are malleable. You can change how clever you are, you can improve your ability in maths, and you can become better at sports. The counter to this is a fixed mindset where you believe that your intelligence and skills are innate; things that you were born with.

People with growth mindsets tend to persevere more at tasks, see mistakes as learning opportunities and look for more challenges in order to keep getting better. As a result, people with stronger growth mindsets usually achieve more and are happier with their lives.

Onto Saturday night: The X Factor sends out some mixed messages when it comes to encouraging a growth mindset.

First, the bad: 

Singing is a big offender when it comes to ‘innate’ ability.  There is a prevailing attitude that belting out a tuneful song is something that you can either do or you can’t. And the X Factor is full of clips and phrases demonstrating that view:

“You’re a natural.”

“You have a real gift that not many people have.”

“I was born to be a singer”

Not helpful, ITV. Yes, genetics plays a role in the state of your vocal chords, but no one was born humming a melody. A voice can be trained and worked like any other part of the body.

But, there is a lot of good on the show! 

Lots of the contestants demonstrate a whole lot of growth mindset.

“Please, Simon. Tell me how I can do better.”

“I’ve been trying and trying for years. Just getting knocked back.”

Members of the public show real passion for a dream. They are working towards a glorious goal and won’t let anything set them back. 

Admittedly, that goal – of becoming a popstar - is quite an unlikely one. Not many people become multimillion-selling recording artists. It’s something that doesn’t happen that often. But these guys are all in it to win it. 

Why? Why are they putting so much energy and hyper-emotion into something that is statistically unattainable? How has X Factor warped the odds and got the nation so invested?

Because X Factor shows a clear progression towards the dream. No matter your age or background, the first step is simple; you queue for the first auditions, you make it to the judges, then to bootcamp, then to judges’ houses, then you fight for survival every week in the live shows, simply singing a song every time. The journey to becoming a popstar is completely explicit. Contestants can easily visualize themselves at each stage. 

That’s incredibly useful. It’s something that helps us achieve the targets that we set ourselves; breaking them down into smaller, reachable chunks. It’s something we should be supporting young people with too. Yes, this maths problem / an A* / your dream job might seem a long way off – so how can we break those down and progress forwards, rather than being stunted by the enormity of what we’re facing.

If X Factor teaches us anything, it should be that.

Ignore the IQ Test: Your Level of Intelligence is Not Fixed for Life | IFLScience

Did you know the the creator of the IQ test didn’t believe in fixed intelligence either?

What can we learn from the Southampton FC Youth Academy?

Southampton FC Youth Academy

Here at Franklin Scholars HQ we are very interested in the idea that emotional intelligence (EQ) is as crucial to students’ success as academic intelligence; that a good level of emotional intelligence may in fact be a prerequisite for academic success as well as emotional wellbeing, and that both EQ and IQ are very much malleable, and can, as such, be developed.

When we read Carol Dweck’s ‘Mindset’, we were reminded of the fact that early IQ tests were actually developed not to be a fixed measure of a person’s intelligence, but instead an indicator of those students who were being failed by the existing education systems, and for whom other methods of teaching and learning might work better.

On reading this article about the Southampton FC Youth Academy over the weekend, we were intrigued by the approach of the club’s psychologist, Malcolm Frame, in developing an emotional intelligence programme for players.

“Emotions drive thoughts, thoughts drive behaviour, behaviour drives performance,” says Frame.

This makes sense to us… and any football fans will attest to the fact that the Saints’ youth academy is producing some of the best home-grown talent this country has seen in years – so they must be doing something right.