Interviewing: Rackspace co-founder shares lessons learned and best practices

Dirk Elmendorf, a co-founder of Rackspace, learned the hard way: interviewing is hard. It’s even more difficult when hiring for highly technical positions like engineers, that may not excel in a traditional interview.

Today’s episode, we continue our conversation with Dirk, if you missed the first part of our interview, please make sure to listen to it to hear the incredible story behind how Dirk and his co-founders created and scaled Rackspace.

In this episode, Dirk explains his unique approach to hiring and provides tips you can use in your next interview. He discusses gut instinct vs. raw data, how to ask great questions and what you should be listening for in your next interview. Dirk also tells the deeply personal life event that changed the way he views work-life balance. Listen now:

Other topics include:

  • Why it’s important to not only hire for the current role, but the company’s future growth
  • Specific tactics you can use to find if someone has the skill and the will that matches what the role needs – today and in the future
  • How to find passion in potential employees and why passion is so important
  • The advice he gives his kids around entrepreneurship and leadership
  • What’s more important: gut instinct or data when hiring someone?
  • The surprising, best answer to the question, “Is the customer always right?”
  • How Dirk uses coaches and consultants – what he hates and what he loves about them.

Thank you again to Dirk Elmendorf for being on the For You Leaders Podcast. Another special thanks to Shaun Edwards, CTO of Dando portfolio company Plus One Robotics. Shaun gave us the original idea to reach out to Dirk and we are thankful he did!

Make sure you subscribe on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

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