Are Bad Interviews a Good Sign?

by Alex Charfen
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Hiring the right people for your company can be complicated.

It’s difficult to tell if a person will be the right fit. If they will help you more than hold you back, buy into your vision or about a thousand other considerations. 

But I’ve realized something over the years, and it’s something no one else is going to tell you…

Don’t worry about the candidate’s performance in the interview…consider their intangibles.

Sometimes bad interviewees are the best workers.

See, interviewing well and contributing to a team are two very different things. 

Just because someone may seem uncomfortable, or takes a little longer coming up with answers doesn’t mean they’re a bad worker. Or that they won’t be a good fit for your company.

I’ve hired dozens of team members with what other employers saw as deficits, but who ended up being some of the greatest contributors to my companies. 

I remember one team member, in particular, who’d had a difficult time finding a job before showing up at our group interview.

He was new at programming but looking to break into this field. From the start, he was hesitant and sometimes unsure of his answers, but he was also honest about his capabilities and always looked me in the eye. 

It didn’t surprise me to find out that he was a veteran.

Now, he wasn’t the strongest interview in the group, but his honesty and determination were evident to anyone willing to take a look. 

As it turns out, we were lucky no one else looked because he stayed with us for three years. He learned a ton on the job while making a massive contribution to our company.

On the other side of that, some of the smoothest, most enthusiastic and well-spoken interviewees I’ve hired have turned out to be the most unmotivated and incompetent team members.

Now don’t get me wrong – things like appearance, communication, and critical thinking skills all come into play for making a good first impression. But impressions can be misleading.

When I interview people, I try to see genuineness, true experience, intellectual curiosity, and a ceaseless desire to improve. 

I ask questions like – how did that person get to where they are now? Why are they doing what they’re doing? Why is it important to them? What do they want to improve on? Who do they want to become? What is important to them outside of work?

If you can find someone who strives to improve themselves on a daily basis, you can’t go wrong. That’s a team member you can grow with, and someone who can give your business the momentum it needs to thrive.

If you’d like more details on my process for building team and other growth strategies, make sure to check out my Momentum Podcast

Who Is Alex Charfen?
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