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Cassi Hallam, 40

This Forty Under 40 winner and marketing guru shares her secret tip for finding the right person to hire.

April 05, 2021
Cassi Hallam

Chief Marketing Officer

System Pavers / Santa Ana, Calif. Cassi Hallam

 The Secret to a Great Hire: 

One of the most important attributes of a successful team is the desire to learn and grow, and part of this is taking initiative when there isn’t an immediate answer. When I’m doing a job interview that’s going well, I end by asking, “What is 25 x 25?”

It takes them off guard because you can’t prepare for a question like that. I then stop and let everyone sit incomplete, awkward silence until they respond, or don’t. How they react when they don’t have the “right” answer is what I use to gauge what it’s really like to work with them. Do they just sit there, waiting for you to tell them what to do? Do they try to solve it or ask if they can use a tool like a calculator or Excel?


How they react when they don’t have the “right” answer is what I use to gauge what it’s really like to work with them. 


The “how” doesn’t matter. It’s about their initiative. Although I once got the worst answer: The guy stated that it was 250,000 with extra confidence. When I told him that it wasn’t correct, he got mad at me, and I thought, “Oh, thank goodness. Now I know.”

[Note: Pictured with Gnorman, the team mascot who hides in random spots in the office until he is found and moved again.]

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