"Don't Hire Jerks, No Matter How Talented," said Michael Lebowitz in an interview for The New York Times awhile back.
Lebowitz is the CEO of Big Spaceship, a marketing and communications agency. He claims, and I agree, that no matter how talented the person may be, if he/she can't fit into the company culture and work effectively with co-workers, it doesn't matter how talented he/she is.
The other advice Lebowitz gives is:
- If you are the CEO, be the FIRST person to interview a candidate. Don't be last, as is typically the case.
"I completely step back from trying to assess their skills. I leave that to the people they're going to be working with really closely," said Lebowitz. "And, so I spend as much time as an hour, sometimes 90 minutes, just trying to figure out who they are and if they're going to be a good fit for the culture."
In his interviews, Lebowitz asks these open-ended questions:
- So, what do you do?
- What do you like to do?
- What should you do on your first day, first week, and first month?
"If one of the answers isn't "listen," then it's not going to work out at all.