1. Ask them this question
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
When I interview you, the main thing I want to know is where you want your career to go. I want to get into the psychology of what their ambition is. And I spend most of the interview trying to get that person comfortable enough to tell me the truth to that question.
Because I don’t care if you want to be the CEO of VaynerMedia, or if you just want to move a couple levels up and have great work life balance. Whatever your agenda is, I’m fine with it. I just want to know what it is, so I can help us get there. It also helps me get a very good sense of who this person is, what they like, what they respect, what they cherish. And those things play a tremendous role in how they will thrive in the workplace.
2. Gauge how patient they are
You know how I talk about giving back? Well, I mean all of it. But the other side of the coin that I don’t often talk about is the patience that has to come with that. Nothing is going to happen all of a sudden. There is no instant gratification when it comes to business. And that’s a really tough pill for some people to swallow. When you give back or do a favor for someone, you’re going to have to chill out and relax for a moment. You can be go go go, working and hustling twenty four seven, but things still take time. Lack of patience keeps people from achieving their greatest aspirations. I’ve known so many people who never got the upside they deserved because they couldn’t be patient. It’s a tremendous loss.
3. Jack of all trades or specialist?
When deciding who to hire, it often comes down to the decision of jack of all trades or specialist. I believe there is one that will help your business far more, and that’s jack of all trades.
Of course it’s important to balance all the different types of people who work there. You need to have specialists but you also need the jack of all trades. When you strike a balance within the company, it’s beneficial for the task at hand. Both personality types work. I’m not denying that.
But I never think that you should focus on one particular skill. Never limit yourself to that.
So really, what I’m saying is: If that person is a specialist, do they possess the ability to see beyond their one skill? Are they curious to learn? Can they take their strengths, and turn them into more and more skills?
Speaking of strengths…
4. Don’t focus on their weaknesses
I’m a big believer in betting on strengths, and not focusing on weaknesses. I put my energy and time in my own strengths, and my biggest efforts in utilizing other people’s strengths to their fullest extent.
Betting on strengths might be the most underrated strategy in modern business. I’m serious. We have an obsession with improvement. We spend time trying to correct weaknesses, when we could be just paying attention to the strengths. Why? Again, I’m talking about a strictly business scenario, because weaknesses in personal and family life should be given attention and care. But in the office, at work, on your team: focus on the strengths.
5. When it’s decision time, make a goddamn call
Nothing worse than hesitating with the sale. If you like someone and want them on your team, say it. If you’re having trouble deciding between two people, just make a decision. You’ll have to eventually. Or hire both! Whatever. The point is, don’t sleep on a candidate you think could be amazing. Get them on the team as fast as you can.