Thoughtful Profound Questions Will Tell When You Are About To Make A Good Hire – Their’s, Not Yours!

Gary Vaynerchuk tells a story about when his ego got in the way of firing a bad hire. It was so bad that he fired the person on their first day. At least in Vaynerchuk’s mind, he fired the person on the first day, but it took Gary 4-months to do it.

Why? Because his ego got in the way, and he didn’t want to admit he made a mistake.

I did that, too. I made a terrible hire but was so committed to a course of action that I couldn’t get out of my way to do the right thing.

Read the story here.

A few years back, I hired a person on my team against other people’s wishes. I was sure he had the right skills and experience, and hiring the usual suspects hadn’t gotten the results I needed & wanted, so maybe it was time to be disruptive. I wasn’t sure I liked him either. He wasn’t kind or diplomatic in his comments. He wasn’t likable., He was a bully, and my not dealing with it caused harm to many people.

Big Mistake.

I used to have a propensity to hire only for talent. Until I realized that wasn’t helpful.

Another mistake.

Or I would hire people I liked. And I thought that was going well until I realized I had filled the room with many Me’s.

And that wasn’t helpful in the least.

But I have learned from my mistakes.

Three steps to making better hires?

Here is what you need to do.

Check your ego, and take time and space to consider the following questions:

  1. Make a list of your best hires. Consider why these people were great hires. What did they have in common? What parts of the process were most valuable?


  1. Consider what your organizational culture is, and then hire for fit.


  1. And lastly, don’t be blinded by talent. Talent is shiny and exciting, but it is not enough. My worst hire was super talented, but he was an SOB.

Then, set up a conversation when you land on a preferred candidate or a short list of a couple of people.

Try to do it over lunch or breakfast.

Watch how that person interacts with the waitstaff, whether off-site or over a meal. As this will speak volumes about that person’s character.

Get your copy of the Hunger Humble & Smart Hiring guide here.

Then, when the time is right, say this:

“Hey. Let’s not waste your time here by telling me what is in your CV and your work history or regurgitating any of the answers you gave during the interview process.

But please tell me what questions I can answer for you about this job?”

Usually, this completely disarms the candidate because they were likely expecting another round of canned interview questions. And:

  • It will demonstrate if they need to prepare to take on this role. If they had thought about it, they would have lots of questions.


  • It will show if they have connected with you deeper than responding to a question.


  • If they stumble around, it will show that they may not even know themselves as well as you need,


  • And finally, it will show if they are curious. Curious about the role, about you and the risks of coming to work for you. And there are always risks in changing jobs.

And if they ask good, thoughtful and, hopefully, profound questions, these will tell you they will be a good hire.