August 9, 2021

What I am looking for when I hire...

Hiring, it's a whole business on it's own, again this post is my vision, idea, process and is not related to any affiliation nor a standard in any company I work/worked for. This is entirely personal.

When hiring people I have a follow key-points I'm looking for (not in particular order):

1) Be more knowledgeable than I am

Senior position: The candidate must be better in at least 1 thing than I am. If that is not the case I'm not hiring correctly. Why would I hire people that are less knowledgeable than I am?

Junior position: have 1 example where he/she can show that his/her skills trump my skills at that level. He/she must be challenging himself/herself in a way that I challenged myself at the time when I was a junior level.

2) Learning skills

I try to find out how fast they can learn something and what their learning process is. The learning process will tell you much about the person.

It's also important to figure out when and why they learn. Is it because the manager sent them on a certification? Is it because a friend said that it would be a good CV skillset to have? Or is it because of self inflicted challenges?

3) Eagerness

How eager is the person to grow/learn? If the candidate has been in the same position for 5 years, find out why? I don't think I would like to be stuck on the same level/position for 5 years, while this might be good for a lot of people in my team I need resources that strive for excellence, I want them to be eager to replace me, try as hard as possible to take over my job. As that will be an employee that will learn from mistakes and have the mentality to endure.

4) Self knowledge

One of the biggest turndowns for me are candidates that never did a swot analysis, or don't know what skills/faults they have and can order them on level and importance.

Knowing your own faults is extremely important, daring to explain them and have a path for yourself to grow is something I look for when hiring people.

5) Being right.

This one I stole from Jeff Bezos. Try to find out their history of being right. The main reason for this is that you can be as smart as you want but in my business knowing the coolest way to implement something isn't always the best. Being right a lot in your decisions (during troubleshooting, automating, architecture design) is more important than anything else.

If you have a track record of being right 80% of the time that means you have a good insight in the processes/business and that makes you an extreme valuable person.

It's also a good indicator of your candidate. Candidates that are wrong a lot are mostly immature in their job and in my humbly opinion not good candidates.

6) Honesty

This one I cannot stress more. When you interview with me my first thing I say will be: "If you don't know the answer or are not certain you are right, please say you don't know. If you bullshit the interview is over".

If I cannot trust you to be honest about your knowledge during an interview how can I ever trust an estimate or plan you build out while working for me. Honesty (even if you made mistakes) is _the_ most important part.

Also if I ask you a question and you start repeating it multiple times and suddenly come up with the perfect answer, I'll google my question and you better not read it of a screen!


If you have an interview with me soon, good luck and if you read this then you know how to prepare prior and behave during.