Go-To Interview Strategies with Josh Baer
Intro: Welcome to the Daily Bolster. Each day, we welcome transformational executives to share their real world experiences and practical advice about scaling yourself, your team, and your business.
Matt Blumberg: Welcome to The Daily Bolster. I'm Matt Blumberg, Co- founder and CEO of Bolster, and I'm here today with my friend, Josh Baer. Josh is the founder of Capital Factory, which is the most active early- stage investor in the State of Texas. He is famous for saying and for actually doing that he helps people quit their jobs and become entrepreneurs. Josh, great to see you.
Josh Baer: Yeah, great to be here, Matt.
Matt Blumberg: All right, so here's my question for you. You have, over your career, hired many, many, many senior people and in many different capacities. So my question for you is, what do you look for when you're hiring a senior executive? What's your either go- to question or questions, or data that you're looking for in the interview process?
Josh Baer: Obviously, there's a lot of different things that you look for, but one of the things that I've done, particularly over the past few years, that's become a critical part of my process, something that's really, I find, super helpful and I really try to never overlook or never skip, is actually traveling or taking a small trip with the person that I'm going to be working with. Being in Texas, where you can go to Dallas or Houston or San Antonio overnight or for the day, it actually creates a lot of those easy opportunities where I can invite someone to say, " Hey, let's go to Dallas for this event overnight," or do this other thing. And as a result, you get either a couple hours in the car together or time traveling on the plane. You get to see those people in a lot of different environments, interacting with different people and handling different situations, interacting with the regular people they meet in the airport and interacting with customers. In many ways, it helps me sell them because they get to see how everyone else interacts with us and how we're received as we're traveling around and meeting with different people. But just what you get from actually really spending time with someone versus interviewing them versus it having be a transactional setup exchange, I find to be super, super valuable. And it's something that you can't do with every role. You can't take that time, although we try. But with a senior executive, usually you can. Usually, if you're in a process with a senior executive, you've got that time. It's worth that time investment when you get down to a small number of candidates or even a final candidate, having that be kind of the last step in the process is, we're going to go take a trip together. We're going to go lock ourselves together for 24 hours and make sure we don't want to kill each other at the end, and I find that super helpful.
Matt Blumberg: I really like that. That's a unique tip, and it kind of builds on something. I'm always a big fan... First of all, I insist on in- person, and now people are just doing these things on Zoom. I've always been a big fan of at least having a meal with someone, so you're doing a long- form, in- person, doing a meal or going for a walk or something. But taking a trip, it takes that to another level, so inaudible
Josh Baer: Yeah. Walks are a big part of my core interview strategy. I really don't like sitting across from somebody interviewing them. I don't like that environment. I don't like the whole setup. I don't like the way it makes me feel. It doesn't make me feel comfortable. I can't imagine how they feel comfortable, and my brain just work better when my feet are moving. And so when the weather permits in Austin, most of my interviews are walk and talks.
Matt Blumberg: Are walking, yeah.
Josh Baer: Most of them, we go take a walk from where we live. We're downtown. We go take a walk around the Capitol and yeah, just get to talk.
Matt Blumberg: Yeah. All right. Great thoughts on interviewing senior people. Josh Baer, thank you.
Josh Baer: Yeah.
What do you look for when interviewing executives? Today on the podcast, Capital Factory Founder and CEO Josh Baer shares his strategy for interviewing senior leaders. The episode is just under 4 minutes—don’t miss this valuable tip!