Don't Hire Jerks, No Matter How Talented

"Don't Hire Jerks, No Matter How Talented," said Michael Lebowitz a couple years ago in a interview for The New York Times.

Lebowitz is the CEO of Big Spaceship, a marketing and communications agency.  He claims, and I agree, that no matter how talented the person may be, if he/she can't fit into the company culture and work effectively with co-workers, it doesn't matter how talented he/she is.

The other advice Lebowitz gives is:
  • If you are the CEO, be the FIRST person to interview a candidate.  Don't be last, as is typically the case.
"I completely step back from trying to assess their skills. I leave that to the people they're going to be working with really closely," said Lebowitz.  "And, so I spend as much time as an hour, sometimes 90 minutes, just trying to figure out who they are and if they're going to be a good fit for the culture."

In his interviews, Lebowitz asks these open-ended questions:
  • So, what do you do?
  • What do you like to do?
  • What should you do on your first day, first week, and first month?
"If one of the answers isn't "listen," then it's not going to work out at all.

Thanks to marketing guru, Debbie Laskey, for sending me the interview.


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