5 Things I Look for During an Interview

Over the years, I’ve worked on perfecting my interview game. In the beginning, I was so much more concerned (unknowingly) with selling the company from my angle and convincing the person in front of me that they were being interviewed for the #bestjobever. That was easy for me to do, of course, because I love talking about what we do at my company and why we are such an excellent place to work. Over time, however, I learned that while that’s all well and good and an essential part of the process, I needed to do less talking and more listening.

My ultimate goal when I sit down for an interview is really to get to know the person and not just their professional self. I want to know their self, as well. I always try my best to make sure that we have created an environment where they can feel comfortable and relaxed enough for it to be a conversation, not just a question and answer game. If it’s too stiff and formal, I feel like I won’t be able to see who they are, and how they’ll show up to work every day.

Here are a handful of things that I want to see in the short interview window:

  1. I want to look at the interviewee ask good questions. To me, it means they’re curious and not just looking for a job, but a place to make a meaningful difference.  
  2. I want to see if they are self-aware and know who they are as a person. For this reason, we ask a lot of questions about what mistakes they’ve made in the workplace, and how they learned from them. I have learned that someone without a strong sense of self can be easily swayed by a negative attitude when things get the least bit challenging.
  3. I want to see if they have a desire to commit to something bigger than themselves because someone with that sense of purpose will always do whatever it takes.
  4. I want to see if they can see the big picture. I find that my most successful employees are ones who are looking out for the greater good – the ones who look beyond their day to day to the future of my company as a whole, and how they’re contributing to the success of that.
  5. Most importantly, I want to see that they have the heart for what we do and what we will do in the future because I want every single one of my employees to be working towards that.