When you agree to mentor someone, you’re trading away hours that you could use to pursue your own career goals and spending them on someone else’s. You don’t want to waste your time, so choose a mentee who you’ll be eager to invest in. Assess potential mentees for curiosity, organization, efficiency, and engagement. Ask candidates to prepare a presentation in their area of expertise, or to join you on a sales call or strategy offsite and then write up their observations. This will give you a good sense of their thinking process, communication skills, and level of interest. If they don’t complete the assignment, don’t be annoyed. Instead, breathe a sigh of relief that you avoided taking on an uncommitted protégé.


Credit: HBR