Tough Interview Questions: What Do You Look For When You Hire Someone? |

EP 1129  I offer a way to answer this tough interview question targeted toward people at a manager level and above

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The question for today is, "What do you look for when you hire someone?" It's an easy question and I think it there is a way to give it some texture. Here's how I would answer that question.

"It starts off of me having a clear idea of what I'm looking for because I know HR is going to take a previous job description and want to work from that. I'm going to want to edit it a little bit to really call attention to the qualities I'm looking for. The 1st is going to be that I would need to get clear about what I'm looking for and how I'm going to evaluate for it and how I want my team to evaluate for."

"You see, one thing I've learned over the course of time is that unless I have clarity, my hires are destroying as they could be. I need to get clear about what I'm looking for. Thus, when I'm evaluating someone, #1 is can they do the job? Can they do what I need them to do? #2 is, what are the internals to this person? Are they inspired or are they just doing your job? Does it matter to them? I want to know how that is going to show up for them and how I can support them and not frustrate them."

"Lastly, and this is a funny one, I want to get a sense of how they are going to interact with team. This is not so far as being a team player or fitting in. If anything, I like people who are 'squeaky wheels.' I like to have a certain amount of divergent ideas and backgrounds in order to really make sure that I'm covering all my bases. If I hire homogeneous team, and that such a simply from a diversity of skin color, race, sexual identity or any other orientation, I'm missing something. I also think of it in terms of the diversity of ideas and experiences that I look for in someone."

"So I'm not looking for cookie-cutter beyond simply the skills. What I'm looking for people who can think creatively and they test that a few different ways."

You see how I'm approaching this? I'm not just simply looking for square peg for square hole. I want to skills are obviously needed but all the personality stuff that involved with evaluating for them trying to get this hiring manager who is answering this question to talk about. Otherwise, they are just feeding me pablum and I don't want that. I want to get people who have unique qualifications.

That's the way I would approach the question.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1100 episodes,“ Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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