Three things to look for when hiring

Hiring someone for your company can often seem like a toss of a coin. Regardless of how rigorous the interview process may be, there is always a chance that you end up with a dud.

This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared on About Leaders

As a leader, you are probably aware that things get even more precarious when searching for a team member; after all, this person doesn’t just need to be proficient, they must also get along with others. So what element do you focus on when selecting a team member? Well, the answer isn’t as clear cut as you might imagine. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that come into play when making such a decision.


Self-awareness in leaders is important; however, it is just as significant in each member of a team.

On paper, this may not seem all that essential but a team member with this trait is better equipped to improve their own capabilities and get along with others as well.

So how can you identify such a characteristic? This can often be done with the help of these interview questions:

  • Detail a problem that you had with a previous employer.
  • Do you consider yourself an expert in all areas of your job?

In the first scenario, someone who is self-aware should be willing to admit the role they played with a difficult boss. In the second, someone who has a solid grasp of their abilities knows that it is impossible for them to be an expert on all fronts.


Then there is the matter of reliability – after all, each person on a team needs to be able to count on one another. If one person flakes, it can disrupt the entire project.

To ascertain reliability, you often have to do a deep dive into a person’s previous work and personal history. From background checks to in-depth reference interviews, it is vital that you understand how this individual works

While this may sound extreme, this is one of the more important steps in the hiring process. It will often determine whether a candidate will help the team succeed, or pull them down.


Commitment is a two-pronged element. On the one hand, it is important for an organisation to ensure that a particular team member remains committed to their jobs and, at the same time, employees are responsible for their own commitment as well.

Of course, since commitment isn’t a quantifiable trait, it can be a little difficult to test for such a characteristic. The right questions in an interview can help:

  • Why do you wish to leave your current place of employment?
  • Is there anything that your current employer could change about your circumstances to convince you to stay?
  • Would you prefer to work for a toxic workplace for a higher salary, or for a good organisation for lower pay? Justify your answer.

There is no denying that assessing these particular traits and skills isn’t the easiest thing to do.

However, if you make an effort, you can be quite certain that your determination will pay off.

You will be rewarded with a willing and capable team member who is sure to be a valuable asset – in every sense of the term.

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