Hiring is a process that requires crucial decisions in every stage, making it more tedious for employers who have to make the best of choices with so little time and with so many candidates claiming expertise and promising to deliver results.
No doubt, different things make employers tick and for Micheal Gould, CEO of Bloomingdale, he looks out for intellectual curiosity.
Below are excerpts of his interview with Adam Bryant of the New York Times.
Q. How do you hire? What qualities are you looking for?
A. One of the very first things I look for is intellectual curiosity. People have to walk through the store to get to my office, so if someone’s come in here for an interview, I will ask them, “What didn’t you like?” I don’t ask them, “Tell me what you liked.” I say, “Tell me what you didn’t like.” Their back will go up a little, and I’ll say: “I asked a question. I’m not taking notes.”
I know what they probably shouldn’t have liked, but do they have the intellectual curiosity? What do they do when they’re not working? I’ll also say, “What should I know about you that I haven’t already asked about?” It’s interesting what people say.
Q. If you had only five minutes to interview someone and could ask them only a few questions, what would they be?
A. “Tell me the best business decision you’ve made in the last year. What’s the worst decision you’ve made in the last year? What are three areas of self-improvement that you’re working on?”