Skip to main content

The 3 Traits That Warren Buffett Looks For

May 12, 2024.

The 3 traits Warren Buffett Looks For in an Employee

Written by Emmie Martin, CFP®.  Note: this article was originally published here: Character traits Warren Buffett looks for when hiring (


Warren Buffett’s workdays no longer include dealing with much of the minutiae of running Berkshire Hathaway. In place of conducting interviews and managing teams, he makes big picture decisions and spends 80 percent of his time reading. But what the legendary investor looks for in quality employees still speaks volumes.

“You look for three things: You look for intelligence, you look for energy and you look for integrity,” he told Nebraska Business magazine, an alumni publication for Buffett’s alma mater, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln’s College of Business Administration, in a 2001 interview.

Out of these three traits, Buffett says it’s most important to cultivate integrity.

“Every business student you have has the requisite intelligence and requisite energy,” he says. “Integrity is not hard-wired into your DNA.”

Integrity — honesty, virtue and morality — can make or break you in the professional world. And, if you choose not to make it a priority, you risk getting stuck with a reputation for deceit.

“A student [of college age] can pretty much decide what kind a person they are going to be at 60,” Buffett says. “If they don’t have integrity [now], they never will. The chains of habit are sometimes too heavy to be broken. Students can forge their own chains.”

Buffett’s formula for finding a strong role model is simple: “Just pick a person to admire and ask why you admire them. Usually, it is because they are generous, decent, kind people, and those are the kind of people to emulate.”

Workplace experts back up Buffett’s claim. Finding a mentor can help you gain momentum in both your career and your professional life. Mentors also help you build resilience, increase productivity and learn to think critically.


Have Questions?  Contact Us!



Martin, Emmie.  “The 3 traits Warren Buffett looks for in an employee”.   Character traits Warren Buffett looks for when hiring (  October 5, 2017.


The information in this article is general in nature and for informational purposes only.  None of this information is intended to be personalized (and tailored to an individual’s unique circumstances) and should never be construed as specific tax, legal or financial recommendations.  Before making any financial decisions, you are strongly encouraged to first consult with a qualified financial professional.

This article may provide external links for the convenience of its users.  While believed to be reliable, no representations are made with respect to the accuracy or completeness of information from external sources.

The reader should never assume that the information in this article is complete and covers all relevant information related to a particular topic.

The information in this article was produced on a prior date and therefore may not be current, especially in relation to recent changes in laws, regulations or financial conditions.

All comments made by readers represent their own opinions and views and not necessarily the opinions of Zeniki Wealth or any of its affiliates.