The best and worst Ravenclaw House traits in ‘Harry Potter’
In the Harry Potter universe, students from Ravenclaw House are the model employees of the bunch ⏤ but no one is truly perfect. Since there is no wizard college, after seven years of study at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, it becomes time to enter the real world. After graduating, some take a gap year and travel the world to find themselves, like the great Albus Dumbledore. Some jump right into work, like Percy Weasley, who takes this path and starts working for the Department of International Magical Cooperation right after he graduates.
One can only imagine the newly-graduated Hogwarts witch or wizard at a job interview. How could they impress their future employer? By their N.E.W.T. scores? Their extracurricular activities? Or maybe it’s more important to answer the inevitable question about their greatest strengths and weaknesses. If a student from Ravenclaw were to answer honestly, here are the best and worst traits they’d share.
Positive trait: Intelligence
One of the four Hogwarts founders, Rowena Ravenclaw, chose her students by their intelligence and wisdom. This set the precedent for Ravenclaw House. Ravenclaws are best known for their intelligence. They love learning about anything and everything just for the sake of the knowledge itself. As the Sorting Hat sings: “Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw, if you’ve a ready mind, Where those of wit and learning, Will always find their kind.” This would be a great trait for a job seeker to have. After all, who doesn’t want a smart employee?
Negative trait: Arrogance
With all of the intelligent students in Ravenclaw, there is also a bit of arrogance. When you’re super smart, it can be difficult to tolerate the common man. This might not be the best quality for a future employee. Ravenclaw Gilderoy Lockhart, a former Professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts, was so good at memory charms that he conned the Wizarding World into believing that he was a hero. In reality, Lockhart interviewed the real heroes and then used a memory charm to make them forget what they had done so he could take all the credit. Lockhart was so full of himself that he believed he deserved all the glory. In the end, his undoing would be the very memory charm he was so good at performing. Talk about poetic justice.
Positive trait: Lifelong learning
Ravenclaws value learning and never fall short in the pursuit of it. They would relish the chance to complete any new training programs or attend any conferences that a job would require. Filius Flitwick, Professor of Charms and Head of Ravenclaw House during Harry’s time at Hogwarts, was a master at charms and dueling. He did not achieve this by simply reading one book or taking one class. He viewed learning as a lifelong pursuit and got into education to help the next generation cultivate a similar passion.
Negative trait: Aloofness
When you’re super smart and laser-focused on your goal, outsiders might not fully understand you. In fact, they might judge what they cannot themselves understand. To an outsider, a Ravenclaw might appear aloof or in their own world. This might make it hard for a Ravenclaw to connect to a team in a new job setting. Ravenclaw Luna Lovegood was teased and given a mean nickname ⏤ Loony Lovegood ⏤ by her fellow students during her years at Hogwarts. Her story has a happy ending, though, as she would go on to fight in the Battle of Hogwarts and become a renowned naturalist. Ravenclaws follow their own unique paths.
Following your own path can be a lonely pursuit and does not always have a happy ending like Luna’s does. Helena Ravenclaw lived in the shadow of her famous mother, Rowena Ravenclaw. In a childish attempt to surpass her mother, Helena stole her mother’s diadem, which had magical powers that made the person who was wearing it wiser, and ran away to Albania. When her mother fell fatally ill, she sent a young man who loved Helena to bring her home. Instead, he ended up murdering Helena and killing himself. They would go on to become the ghosts of Ravenclaw and Slytherin: The Grey Lady and The Bloody Baron.
Positive trait: Original thinking
Ravenclaws value originality. They’re smart and see the world in a different way than any other employee would. If you’re looking for outside-the-box thinking, look for a Ravenclaw employee. Luna Lovegood is the perfect example of this. She’s completely unafraid of being herself and speaking her unique truth. No one sees the world the way she does ⏤ wearing her Spectrespecs glasses to see wrackspurts with pride.
Negative trait: Judgment
That’s right, Ravenclaws can be judgmental. It’s hard not to be when you’re smart, original, and witty. If someone is not on the same level as a Ravenclaw, eyebrows will be raised. Proving that sometimes your greatest weakness can become a strength, Ravenclaw Garrick Ollivander turned this worst trait into a whole career. He became a world-renowned wand maker and owned Ollivander’s in Diagon Alley. He judged young wizards and witches and used that knowledge to help them pick out their very first wands. Is there a cooler job?
Positive trait: Creativity
Creativity can solve a number of problems in the workplace. Ravenclaws are not afraid to look at a problem in many different ways to come up with a creative solution. Many inventors came out of Ravenclaw. Some, such as Ignatia Wildsmith, invented new things to enhance the Wizarding World at large. Wildsmith was a 13th century witch who invented Floo powder. Floo powder enabled travel between fireplaces in the Floo Network and also allowed communication between fireplaces, as seen between Harry and Sirius Black in Goblet of Fire.
Negative trait: Perfectionism
Ravenclaws can get carried away in the pursuit of knowledge, originality, and excellence. They’re just as hard on themselves as they are on others. They know they have the capacity for greatness, so when they miss the mark, they take it hard. In a word, they’re perfectionists.
When the Sorting Hat debated on which House to place Hermione Granger in, it almost resulted in a rare event called a hatstall. A hatstall is when the Sorting Hat takes more than five minutes to make a sorting decision. Hermione Granger came close to four minutes in a Gryffindor-Ravenclaw standoff. While Gryffindor ultimately won out, it’s true that Granger has many Ravenclaw qualities including intelligence and perfectionism. When battling a bogart, it turns into her worst fear: Professor McGonagall telling her that she failed her exams.
Job interviews are a necessary but tedious step to gaining employment when one graduates from a wizarding school like Hogwarts. Extroverted Gryffindors will use their bravery and charm to ace them. Ravenclaws will rely on their impressive resumes and intellect instead. Every House has traits both good and bad, and much like the Sorting Hat, it’s up to the potential employer to decide where each prospective employee will fit accordingly.