Hiring Right the FIRST Time

Determine if your candidate is a team player

Hiring takes a lot of time and effort, so it’s critical to pick a candidate that’s not only qualified, but also fits in well with the rest of your team. I recently re-read a book I really like, The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni, and it got me thinking about hiring for team building. To lay the groundwork, this  amazing book describes 3 key qualities of “Ideal Team Players” – Humble, Hungry, Smart.

Humble:  serves others rather than themselves

Hungry:  passionate, driven, gets results

Smart:  emotionally intelligent, understands people, meets others where they are, knows how to have critical conversations.


I created some interview questions to test candidates on these essential qualities. The next time you hire, look at the questions below and try them out. Find ways to make your interview interactive and engaging with interesting questions that really allow you to get to know the candidate on a deep level. Many job-seekers plan and prepare for standard interview questions. Ask new questions that really make them think! Most importantly, take time to prepare for the interview, and create some mental orientation time before the scheduled interview to review their resume and double-check your questions.

Hiring is a crucial management function

Treat the hiring process as one of the most important strategic planning tasks for your company. After all, this is a person you could be potentially spending A LOT of time with on a daily basis and who will be serving the customers you hold near and dear to your heart. Spend time planning before you ever interview. Know exactly what you are looking for. Review the job description. What characteristics does that position need? How does their role change that list of characteristics? What traits should they bring to their position: their heart, passion, sense of calling? Think about the traits of your current work team. They have their own team dynamics. Therefore, you need to determine what kind of personality would be a good fit. Do you need a hard-charger, an energizer, an organizer, a peacemaker, a creative to best help your team succeed?


To consistently hire great people, you need multiple perspectives. Create an interview process for key positions with several interviews with different people in the organization. Be sure to get together and discuss your findings once you finish he interviews. Review/discuss the resume and responses to questions. Push all the paper work away and discuss what your gut says about this person. Share openly with the other interviewers. These processes can help prevent hiring the wrong person and save you time and headaches in the future!

The questions you need

“Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for the love of it.”

– Henry David Thoreau, “Life without Principle“

“I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day you bet on people, not on strategies.”

– Lawrence Bossidy, author and former COO of General Electric

Hire smarter:


Here are the questions for you to download and keep. Please let me know if you try these and how they work for you. I’m always thrilled to get feedback!

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