The Quality That Really Counts When Interviewing a Job Candidate


It’s not very often that Warren Buffet, the CEO and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, shares his wisdom with the rest of us. So, when he does, you would better stop whatever you’re doing and listen, because chances are you are about to learn something very useful.

One of his recent quotes caught my attention. He was talking about hiring the perfect individuals for your company and he stated that you must look for just three things: energy, intelligence and integrity. However, he also mentioned that while almost everyone has energy and intelligence, few people have integrity.

As you probably already know, Buffet has used his intelligence and unique set of skills to become a billionaire through his hard work and dedication. However, his integrity is something the investor is always proud of. His integrity is his choice, but keep in mind that it should be the choice of every person who is seeking success.

Finding Integrity the Right Way

Of course, hiring managers use all sorts of information to find the perfect people for the job and for the company. But background checks, drug screens and other methods are not foolproof. To help with the selection process, you are advised to ask some behavioral-based questions during the interview:

  • How do you react when your trustworthiness was put in doubt?
  • When did you “break the rules” and in what situation or circumstance?
  • What action would you take if you catch an employee stealing or harassing another person?
  • What are the values that you most appreciate in a team?
  • What is your preferred relationship with the people you work with?
  • If the company has a problem with a client, would you be able to tell a little lie to get us out of trouble?
  • Did you ever see a coworker do something you deemed inappropriate? What did you do?

These are just some of the questions you can ask. Always look for hints of integrity in the answers. And beware; a rock star employee with low integrity may be just a very smart thief.


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