Otto von Bismarck is attributed with saying, “Fools say that they learn by experience. I prefer to profit by others experience.”  Therefore, I hereby give you the opportunity to profit from my foolishness.

So, here are the criteria you ought to use when hiring... (do as I say, not as I do)

1. Are They Willing to Admit to Mistakes?  Nothing is more irritating and disruptive to an organization than people who cannot & will not admit to their own shortcomings. We all make them and if we cannot own up to them, then there are additional underlying insecurities at work. Don't brush them off as interviewing foibles. Such inability/unwillingness to admit your mistakes and make them right spreads a cancerous trend to hide and deny bad news, which left unfettered becomes devious and even fraudulent.

2. Do They Care Most About the Greater Good?  Of course, interviewees our expected to tout themselves. I get that. But when pressed to tell a story, must it all revolve around them, or do they describe themselves as a cog in a more important machine? A healthy view of ones self as part of a department, company, or entire industry indicates someone eager to contribute to the greater good rather than only looking out for number 137. (Most would have said #1...but anyone looking out for himself is NOT #1 in my book...)

3. Are They Bold in their Opinions  The last thing I need in my organization is for another person to genuflect to my oversized ideas.  I need someone sufficiently bold to tell me my idea is stupid and their idea is superior...whether it is or not.  Sometimes my idea WILL be better, but if this interviewee is not bringing strong ideas along with the conviction to present them and defend them, then he/she will not be an effective contributor. 

4. Are They Fervid About ANYTHING?  You really don't have to be passionate about the same things that I am passionate about, nor even about the job, business or market that you are trying to become a part of (though that's not a BAD idea).  I just want to see that you have a passion for something. If I can't inspire you to spread that into our business model, then shame on ME.

5. Are They Interesting?  Let's face it...we are going to have to spend a lot of time together if we are going to change the world. Your experience, skills, knowledge and good looks are going to be meaningless after about the first two weeks. From there, if we are going to succeed, its going to be because we rally our intellect and passion and roll up our sleeves and do it. If I dread being in the same room with you after those two weeks, it will not be much fun. Ditto that for my customers, suppliers, or other constituents. If you do not bring a compelling story to an interview, you certainly won't bring a compelling ANYTHING to our affiliates.