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Tell me about a time you hired someone.

"Tell me about a time you hired someone."

If you hired somebody before, you know you could have hired someone great, or someone bad.  If you have both experiences, you can ask if they want to hear a bad hire experience or a good hire experience.  Sometimes the question will be, tell me about the time you made a bad hire.  In that case, then you don't have to ask.  I'll give an example of a good hire and a bad hire.

Short Answers

"I found a resume on the Internet that was a perfect match for one of our open positions.  I contacted the person and we talked for about 10 minutes.  During that call, I explained why our company was a great place to work and the opportunities we offered.  After a couple more calls, he agreed to come in for an interview and we made an offer.  He became a great employee."

"I received a resume but it didn't have all our requirements.  I initially thought she wasn't a fit, but after looking over the education background and the previous work experience, I thought this person would have more potential than other candidates.  After interviewing her, we extended an offer.  She was a quick learner and performed at an exceptional level.  Sometimes it's important to see potential and in this instance, it was a great hire."

Long Answers

"In the last company I worked for, we had a recruiting team.  They go through all resumes and submit the ones that would be a good fit for a particular team.  I received a resume and after looking it over, I was quite impressed.  I called him for a phone interview and after that we scheduled a full interview.  He aced almost every question given to him by 5 different interviewers.  We made a reasonable and fair offer.  He mentioned that he was considering another company.  I called him to touch bases with him and reiterated the opportunities, the great environment here, and ultimately that we all looked forward to having him join our team.  I tried to make the phone call more personal and warm to show him that our group was a place to be comfortable.  He joined our team and became one of our strongest performers.  It took a little extra work, but it's important to take extra steps when you see someone who is going to be great."

"I had one bad experience when hiring someone.  I remember I was following procedures and verifying everything I could from past experience, checking communication skills, personality, work ethic, technical skills, and some tough logic problems.  We even had 4 different people interviewing this candidate.  Everything looked great.  But when the person started, he had a hard time understanding new concepts.  I originally thought it was because he was new and had to ramp up on many things, but as months past by, this employee was still unable to work alone.  He always had to ask how to do even simple tasks.  I remember going through his resume and looking over his background and even thinking about where we missed this flaw in the interview.  Using this same interviewing procedure, we hired many great people.  But this one turned out a little sour."

The first question is straight forward.  This person took it one step farther by making a phone call and encouraging the candidate to join his team.  But the second answer is an example of doing everything right, but seeing bad results.  You can use something like this, but if you do, you must think of follow up questions such as, 'what did you do to this employee?  What happened in the long run?  Did you end up firing this person'  But I recommend you think of a situation that you personally experienced.  Then you can answer all follow up questions easily.  But if you never hired anyone before, then simply say that.  It shouldn't hurt unless it is for a recruiting position.

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