From the New York Times, 20 September 2013, an interview with the CEO of AirWatch... (my underlines, my bold). All of this is well known, and may not apply in many situations, but I think it is good to hear it.
Q. So let’s talk about hiring. How does the conversation go?
A. We ask how people feel about mobile. Do they like it? How do they interact with their devices? We want people who are passionate about this. We ask them if they feel lucky. We want people to feel lucky, because the harder you work, the luckier you get. So people who work hard actually feel lucky.
And I make the statement that I think there are three kinds of people in this world. With the first, you ask them to do something, and they can’t get it done. With the second type of person, if you tell them what to do, they’ll get the job done. There’sa third type of person — you point them in the right direction and they’ll figure it out. We need that third type of person.
Q. What other questions do you ask?
A. You ask them to tell stories. Give me situations where you’ve done something creative. Give me situations where there was a problem that you needed to solve. Give me a situation where you didn’t have the leadership telling you what to do, but you had to go fix a problem. And then you just let them go from there. By asking really open-ended questions, you get a good sense of not only how people answer questions, but also how they think.
And I almost always ask somebody to take something that’s complicated and that they know really, really well and explain it to me. I don’t care what it is. Can they put it in plain language and communicate it in clear and crisp and complete terms?There’s just nothing more important than clear communications. Being able to take the complex and turn it into simple — that’s what we do for a living. It takes a lot of technology to create the illusion of simplicity.