- Ask about interests and hobbies, passions beyond what is on the resume.
- Are they passionate, interested, curious? Innovators love to ask questions. They devour new information, constantly seeking insights, stimulation and opportunities.
- Look for travelers. Restless people take holidays in unusual places and come back to share what they’ve learned.
- Have they lived abroad? Ex-pats are, by definition, confident risk-takers who share that ex-pat sensibility of looking to see what’s around the corner. Understanding different cultures fuels an ability to understand what people might want.
- Are they an omnivorous eater? People who explore new foods, restaurants and concepts are curious seekers.
- Find constructive critics. Folks who are fascinated by and opinioned about films, architecture, fashion, hotels, and web sites are interesting and important to conceiving innovative solutions.
- Hire readers. Look for those people who walk down the street reading. They know stuff you don’t, but should.
- X Factor. Be alert to the unusual quirk that catches you off guard and suggests that the box you might expect them to be in is not all it seems. A passion for acting, bagpipes prowess or being a leading expert on poodle behavior indicates commitment.