Posted by: Doug Geiger | 2009/12/18

Smart questions: How to hire a passionate consultant

I recently read a great article about passion. In it the author says,

Tech Passion. For a period of years, I ran an IT business and had to hire network engineers and PC techs. One of the most telling questions I asked job applicants was, “What kind of computer setup do you have at home?” I tended to hire the ones whose faces lit up as they described complex networks they had built with salvaged hardware and beta-version software. I knew they didn’t get into the IT field after seeing an ad promising high salaries – they reinstalled operating systems for fun. Invariably, these passionate techies were the most up-to-date knowledge-wise and the quickest problem-solvers.

From a neuromarketing standpoint, customers can sense the passion of your people, even if they don’t process it consciously. The body language, the speech patterns, and other cues will give your customers the confidence that the person they are dealing with truly believes in your product.

So, when you are looking at resumes, get beyond the facts, and look for passion!

Using myself as a one-man case study, I thought of questions one could ask to suss out passionate consultants or business analysts. Pro-tip: even the really motivated analysts probably won’t gush–so it will take some smart questions. I hope my list helps you determine if your prospect has passion so that you can hire the perfect consultant!

  1. Who are your teachers, right now?
  2. What new words or concepts have you learned about recently?
  3. When do you most often find yourself in the zone? (e.g. time of day, locations, etc.)
  4. What work are you most proud of?
  5. How have you applied your business expertise to your own life?
  6. Who have you taught or mentored, whether formally or informally?
  7. Finish this sentence: “In the business world, I just wish people would…”

Ideally, your other questions and research have determined the candidates skills and knowledge. These questions are chiefly designed to elicit enthusiasm for their craft, if any exists. Be sure to pay attention to body language, engagement and any uptick in excitement when the prospect answers the questions.


  1. Great questions!

    @Doug How would you answer them right now?


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