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The Pitfalls of Hiring a Jerk


Although techniques are available to mitigate the cost of bad hires, it’s up to the hiring manager to determine whether or not a candidate can work well with others. It’s a difficult decision – if someone is highly qualified, but has an attitude – do you hire them? What is the effect of a ‘jerk’ on your team?

I once interviewed a candidate for a sales manager position. He had eight years of management experience, an MBA, and all the credentials.

Starting the interview, I asked him to tell me about himself.

“Why do you want to know? You’ve seen my resume.”

“Yes, but I’d like to hear you talk about yourself.”

“Why?”

“Because I’m interviewing YOU,” I said.

It went on and on, and I realized that – although this person was highly qualified on paper, he was such a jerk that my other managers and employees would eventually have serious relationship problems with him (to say nothing of me – I was ready to kill him, and it was only the first interview).

Needless to say, he was not hired.

Companies are getting much more discriminating in weeding out potential jerks in favor of finding the best fit for the company.

From Newsday.

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