6 Traits to Look for When Hiring New Employees

October 08, 2018

Switching to the hiring side for job interviews changed my perspective of how interviews and hiring works. I used to go into interviews nervous, anxious, and trying hard to impress. But after conducting many interviews to hire, I realize it’s not as dire as an event as we all usually perceive.

Based on my experience hiring Project Managers, Product Managers, Senior Developers, Senior Designers. Here are the 6 most important traits I look for in a potential hire:

1. Culture Fit
Make sure the potential employee matches your culture. Are you more laid-back or more serious? Does the candidate laugh or make jokes sparingly during the interview? When hiring, I look for someone who has a sense of humor, not overly humorous in an immature manner, but someone who is willing to look at the funny side of things rather than taking everything so seriously. If you take things too seriously, every mistake and set back becomes a huge source of stress and over time can lead to burnout.

2. Attitude
Does she have a positive mental attitude? No one wants a Debbie Downer. It is very important to see both sides of an issue, including the negative side. But an overwhelming negative attitude will infect the entire organization and decrease overall morale and productivity.

3. Growth potential
Does the candidate have the potential to grow with the organization or does he know everything already? Whatever team or department this person is in charge of will only grow to the extent of the leader. You want some open-minded enough to keep learning. To be willing to say they are wrong, and willing to change the conventions. Never with the attitude that “we have always done things this way”.

4. Leadership
Do people listen to this person? Or does the person need to show everyone his/her title to get people moving? When the person speaks, are they trustworthy? Or do they just BS the whole time to make themselves feel smart? If I can’t trust you during the interview, how can I trust you to run one of my teams?

5. Communication
Do they use clear, concise language when talking? Or do they add lots of words to sound more sophisticated when really they have no idea what they are talking about? Straightforward and simple. I want my team to be able to explain everything like they are talking to a 5th grader. Do I mean I want everyone to dumb down their communications? Of course not. But in the world of software development, things are extremely complicated and your ability to break things down in the simplest way possible so that clients and customers understand is essential.

6. Problem Solving
Do they have a proactive thought process to find a solution rather than complaining about the situation? Do they tend to make excuses and throw people under the bus? It’s the responsibility of the leader to fix the issue. There’s an solution to every challenge. Just remember 1 year from now you will look back at this challenge and wonder why you were even stressed about it in the first place.

Make sure to add these traits to your checklist when hiring.

And as a potential candidate, evaluate yourself on these 6 traits. Do you pass all traits and are you a highly valuable based on these traits?

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