Last week I interviewed a guy for an attorney position I have open at the firm. I liked the guy. He seemed to have experience in all the right areas taht would meke him a good fit. I wouldn't call him best friend material, but he seemed competent and expreienced. His references are people I know and respect and they speak rather highly of this individual. The problem is that the rest of the team hated him. Part of the interview process is how they deal with the staff while in the waiting room. One of the other attorneys thought he was too loud. He said a couple of things that rubbed my office manager the wrong way. What do you think?

DavidB's picture

I have always felt that it easier to close the gap on technical or business knowledge that to overcome poor interpersonal skills. The impact of the interpersonal skills cannot be overstated.

The ability for a co-worker to work with others is force factor issue. A single employee doing a task is far less effective than an employee with a network to utilize. This expands so that a team of 6 that communicate and work well, are far more effective than a team of 6 that do not.

That being said, I would pass on this person. I would not want to overcome the first impressions by his work mates to bring in a skill set that I can achieve through other means.

To paraphrase Mark and Mike, its all about people.

And now for the legal disclaimer. This is my own opinion and your mileage will vary.


Mark's picture

NEVER hire this person.


Mark's picture


I've been looking for a situation to reply that strongly, and this was the one. I meant my reply to convey absolutely no ambiguity.

What David shared was right... this is a truly chilling behavior he is engaging in, and you would never be able to change it.

Further, hiring him would validate the behavior, making it more likely as an employee.

NOT hiring sends a powerful message to staff about how important their input and these qualities (or lack thereof) are. I encourage you to share this story with them, including your impressions and what you learned and why you said no.

I would politely tell him it just wasn't a fit. I would be hesitant about sharing more than that... it sounds like there are connections that could be harmed by how he might characterize the feedback. You're under no obligation to coach him. To be clear, you cannot give him any indication that this feedback came not from the leadership... that would put them at risk, I feel.

If you want more help, just let us know. Hiring well - and to a high standard - is a core belief of ours here.


ericballinger's picture

Just and update. He took a job elsewhere so I never had to cross that bridge.

Mark's picture


It's been 3 weeks - had you not communicated your decision? Or did he let you know right away?