November 21, 2022


Nothing is more important to the success of a growing business than building a great team. But finding the right people is easier said than done.

These days, there are plenty of candidates with sparkling resumes. Unfortunately, it’s much easier to list claimed accomplishments than to truly be the driver (rather than passenger) on the road to business success.

Interviews are a great opportunity to assess a candidate, but the best interviewees often are not the best employees. Too often, interviewers are charmed by candidates who are great at storytelling. Unless storytelling is the job, this isn’t a reliable indicator of performance.

How do we find the best people? In my experience, a great way to evaluate a person’s drive is by asking “how” questions. Pick an interesting resume line and ask, how did you do that? Don’t just ask for more details. Ask for the how beneath the story.

Great candidates will give interesting and insightful answers that reveal the kind of learning that comes from struggling with a challenge. The more detailed and free flowing the answers, the more likely it is that this person was driving solutions, rather than going along for the ride.

It’s often tempting to spend a lot of interview time reviewing resumes and talking a little bit about this piece and that piece. But I often find out more by focusing on one or two elements and going deep. Usually, this deeper dive will reveal what I really want to know.

Does this person take the initiative, think creatively, and follow through? Is this somebody who will really drive value for the company?

I seek out true proactive go-getters for my team at Alliance. We also focus intently on finding people with integrity, honesty and cultural fits. Find people who will really engage with challenges and they will grow into their roles and drive value for years to come.

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