From the February 2, 2014 New York Times and the Corner Office column by Adam Bryant and his interview with Jody Greenstone Miller, co-founder and C.E.O. of the Business Talent Group.
How do you hire?
Most people I interview have demonstrated that they’re successful at something. It’s my job to figure out what they’re good at, and that’s how I approach it. So it’s not a “gotcha,” but instead trying to understand, “Where are you going to succeed, and where are you going to be happy?”
I don’t believe in talking someone into a job. I spend a lot of time trying to understand where the person will thrive and what they want. They have to want to do the actual job we’re hiring for. So I like to paint a granular picture of the job — “Here is what you will do, and here are the hard parts and the parts that may not be so much fun.” I don’t want anyone to come in and say, “I didn’t realize I had to do this.”
A favorite question is, “Tell me the things that you didn’t like about your last job.” When you learn the things that get under people’s skin and make them dissatisfied, you can make the judgment about whether they’re going to work in your culture.
I think you want optimistic people who are problem solvers, not problem spotters. It’s easy to analyze what’s wrong, but if you come in and say, “I have an idea; here’s something we can do,” that’s so wonderful. You want people who give you energy, and not take energy from you.