I’d been trained to sit on one side of the interview table. I became a Senior Pastor and suddenly I was on the other side of the table. That day, one of my mentors gave me this advise: “Hire good people and get out of the way.”

Turns out, Saying 7 speaks to both sides of the interviewing table. Understanding it helps hire good people. (Getting out of the way is another story all together.)

Saying 7

When you sit to dine with a ruler,
    note well what* is before you,
and put a knife to your throat
    if you are given to gluttony.
Do not crave his delicacies,
    for that food is deceptive. – Proverbs 23.1-3

Step One: Unpack

The goal of an interview is to hire good people. It’s also a great excuse to go out to eat.

I used to ask the standard interview question: What are your strengths and weaknesses?That question isn’t great at finding good people to hire. Besides, it’s not nice to ask someone to lie to me.

That’s why I take them out to eat now, It get’s me where I’m going quicker.

Can the person make a decision? Do they know what they like and dislike? How do they interact with the people who are serving them? All these questions are answered as we order.

I read about a boss who shows up early, tips the server straight away and asks them to mess up the order. She wants to see how the person being interviewed reacts. Do they ignore the error? Do they blow their top? Can they confront gently without insulting?

To find good people you need to see hamartia.

Hamartia is an ancient Greek word that gets translated sin. It’s the word that describes Achilles heel. A hamartia is a weak spot, something that trips us up.

That’s what I want to expose in an interview.

Knowing hamartia is what it takes to hire good people.

In Saying 6, the hamartia was obvious… gluttony. If you are interviewing, knowing what your hamartia is and doing what you need to to deal with it is essential.

Deal with your stuff or it will deal with you.

Step Two: Apply

Having sat on both sides of the interview table, I realized something.

We are always interviewing, and being interviewed. Every time I meet new people we are interviewing each other. Reputations are being built up or torn down. Most of the time it has to do with our hamartia.

Something amazing happened when we own our struggle, not just in an interview but every day. Saying 7 suggests a knife to the throat to avoid gluttony. I’ve yet to find a time that’s necessary. Just saying, “I’m struggling” usually sends a team of support around you. Start off the meal saying “I’m trying to eat healthy” and everyone at the table lends a hand.

So this week, no knives, but own the struggle.

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