When interviewing candidates for a position, we only care about 3 things: ability, passion, and fit.

Can they do the job?

Think about the most successful employees in your organization.  What traits do they possess?  These are the characteristics you should be looking for in new hires.  Make sure you think about what you really need.  A job description describes what a person needs to do, while a people description says what qualifications a person needs to have. Ask yourself how often have you hired a candidate that didn’t have all of the qualifications outlined in your job listing yet was a top performer then consider the candidates that did yet performed poorly. Certifications are great, but performance is everything.

Certifications are great, but performance is everything.

Will they love the job?

With line separating work-life balance becoming more blurred with each passing day, it is becoming increasingly important to find a position that is as much about personal fulfillment and growth as it is a paycheck.  Notice that I use the term passion instead of motivation.  Passion and Motivation are nice ways of describing a desire to do things to receive a reward.  The difference, however, is that motivation usually refers to an external reward (such as a paycheck or a promotion), while passion describes an internal reward (such as personal fulfillment).  Studies show that internal rewards trump external rewards.  The trick in an interview is to understand an individual’s passions, and determine whether those passions align with the company’s objectives.

Studies show that internal rewards trump external rewards.

Are they a good fit for the job?

In dating, people rely on something called the “Waiter Rule” to assess the character of their date.  The “Waiter Rule” is the common belief that ones true character can be gleaned from how one treats service workers, such as a waiter.  If someone is nice to you but is rude to the waiter, they are not a nice person.  You can employ a variation of this rule by seeing how they interact with your staff throughout the interview process.  These interactions offer a window into their personal value system allowing you to determine if they are worthy of a position at your company.

If someone is nice to you but is rude to the waiter, they are not a nice person.