Last year an old friend, and former co-worker, was interviewing for an Inside Sales Manager role at a fast growing company. With any fast growing company he naturally had concerns around the culture and whether or not it would fit his approach to managing the team he could potentially inherit. When he got to the final round of interviews, he had the opportunity to meet with the CEO, who laid it all out on the line for him.

This is what she said:

“Chris, you seem like someone I would like to hire….but just so you are aware we have a “no a$%hole”` policy here. Are you alright with that”?

Of course it took him by surprise as it isn’t necessarily a question you’d expect to hear in an interview, especially from a C-Level executive.

When he mentioned it to me, we both had a good laugh and said that we wished it was a question that been asked of everyone we were responsible for hiring through the years.

Typically the fluff questions we would ask would be more like:

“What kind of work environment do you excel in?” or “What kind of people do you like to work around?”or “What style of management do you respond best to?”

I would say the CEO’s question really seemed to cut through the crap in order for my friend to realize what she was really looking to understand about him.  Apparently, this is a common policy since I came across this blog from a gaming company helping to highlight why it’s important to keep the jerks out of your organization.

Every office environment inevitably has a range of personalities. I know I’ve worked at certain places where there always seemed to be a handful of individuals that were amazingly adept at sucking the life out of the place. While I recognize that we don’t necessarily have to love each other, we have to at least respect our colleagues enough to treat them as we would like to be treated…sorry for cliché, but it’s true.

So how are you weeding out the jerks and what question would you be asking?

Oh, and by the way, my friend got the job.