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Starting a company involves dedication, intelligence, and perhaps most importantly, passion. Almost every entrepreneur starting a new business venture does so in order to turn their passions into careers, and wants to find like minded individuals that will help them grow these businesses.

A common mistake many startups make is rushing to hire as many employees as possible for the fastest possible growth rate. This can quickly and easily lead to poor hires, thus directly hurting the company as a whole. It can also create an unsustainable and poorly leveraged situation, risking failure and collapse. Slow and steady wins the race, with stability being key.  What you as an entrepreneur will want to do when hiring is search for those who are both passionate and qualified. Whether they feel strongly about the same interests as you or are just passionate in general shouldn’t dictate who you do and do not hire. Having any passion at all shows that a potential hire possesses the drive needed to succeed in the world of business. A shortcut Barbara Corcoran uses is to ask if the prospect is happy, and what they think about their family. These simple questions cut straight to the root of a person, and may help reveal their attitude which is key.

The first step you can take in gauging an applicant’s level of care is asking them about the last task they were involved in that they felt strongly about. It can be a project from a previous job they held, a personal hobby of theirs, and anything in between. If they respond in an excited manner, they’ve clearly invested a great deal of time into said task, and are happy to discuss the details with you, i.e. passion. Note times throughout the interview in which they seem to get excited and what it is exactly that makes them so enthusiastic, seeing if any of these bits of elation fall in line with what they will be doing within the company. Ask if they were successful, and what success they have experienced in life. There is a saying, the way someone does anything, is the way they do everything. Where are their struggles and what have they failed?

An important question to ask however, is the applicant’s willingness and ability to balance his or her work-life schedule. While showing a great deal of passion is surely a great characteristic, too much time invested into this project outside of work can distract them from their responsibilities within your company. The notion of working hard and playing hard comes into factor here, and a sign of someone who may be unfit for the position is that of unpreparedness when asked this question. Those with a sense of undeserved entitlement are to be discarded. Those looking to learn and earn should be considered.  If the only questions they have are regarding pay, benefits, insurance, things which they will be able to take from the company, be wary.

A key trait that passionate employees possess is generosity. Their enthusiasm to help others and succeed alongside their peers is what will inevitably better themselves and those around them, directly benefitting your business. During the interview process, ask candidates about their history volunteering, or of a time in which they helped others. Adherence to a non personal goal is not only the sign of a good person, but potentially a great employee as well.

What are their goals within your business? Though you are bound to hire a number of employees content with their starting positions, it’s important to find those that with work their way up as soon as possible. Asking the question “Where do you see yourself within the company in the next 3 years?” will usually prompt an emotional response out of those who are truly passionate. Growth orientation is often a dead giveaway of someone who possesses the care and drive necessary to benefit your business.