Smart Hiring Practices

In a New York Times interview, Kathy Savitt, founder and CEO of Lockerz, talks about how to hire employees. Her emphasis is on intelligence and wit. She is looking for people with active listening skills and people who enjoy talking to others. One of Savitt’s most important rule is: “no jerks, no divas.” Although a jerk or diva might be highly intelligent and/ or very experienced, “life is too short.” Plus, Savitt thinks that they are the kind of people who may create cynicism in a company.

In the interview process, Savitt typically asks these questions:

  1. “What did you love most about the work you just finished doing?
  2. If you could design your life in terms of work, what would that job actually be?
  3. If you could take 100 percent of your abilities and create a job description, what would it look like?
  4. What were the qualities of the best or worst manager you have ever had?
  5. If everyone here was a CEO and I was to make you the CEO of something on day one, what would you be the CEO of?
  6. Can you laugh at yourself?
  7. Who’s your wackiest friend?”

Savitt’s questions allow her to really understand the person being interviewed. She wants to ask questions that provide her with insight on the interviewee’s cultural fit. In the end, Savitt is looking for the best people, not the person who plans ahead to make his/her experiences fit the job description.

To read more of Kathy Savitt’s interesting interview written by Adam Bryant, check out the December 4, 2010, New York Times article, entitled“The Dangers of Cynicism at the Office.”

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