Great IT staff is hard to find, says Elvis Cernjul, senior\n director of technical services at Spiegel Brands. But one key\n to finding\u2014and hiring\u2014great IT staff is the knowing\n how to interview really well.\n Related on CIO.com\n \n PG&E CIO Shares Interview Methods\n \n How Ogilvy Finds Great IT Talent\n \n Hiring Manager Interviews\n \n Special Report: The Future of IT Leadership\n Interviewing is a skill Cernjul\u2014a 2008 CIO Ones to Watch winner\u2014has honed over the last 20 years. "I've\n learned a lesson from every hire I've made," he says. "I've\n captured the good things about the best hires I've made and\n I've learned a lesson from the hires that didn\u2019t work out\n so well." (You can watch video excerpts of CIO\u2019s interview with Cernjul.)Passing such hard-earned wisdom along to his staff is one of\n Cernjul\u2019s priorities, and he follows through by giving\n his staff opportunities to help him interview candidates for jobs at\n Spiegel.\n\n When appropriate, Cernjul includes his managers and other\n staff members in interviews. Afterwards, he brings his team\n together for a discussion: How effective were the interview\n questions? What did you think about how the candidate\n responded? How could we have interviewed more effectively?As for what interview questions work particularly well for\n Cernjul, one stands out: "What do you hope to achieve\n here?"With that one question, he can suss out "what goals and\n objectives people have in their lives." He points to the\n example of a desktop technician he hired just out of high\n school. The applicant may have been young, but he knew what he\n wanted, "I want to be a systems engineer.""Sure enough, a year a half later, that\u2019s exactly what\n he was.""I don\u2019t look for hardcore technical skill," says\n Cernjul, who instead believes in hiring for potential. "I look\n for people who have inspiration, desire and aspiration to\n better themselves."Cernjul says the company also finds good job candidates\n through "tryouts"\u2014that is, through internship programs\n and IT contractors. This gives his team a chance to see if\n there\u2019s a good fit between the Spiegel Brands\u2019 IT\n group and the prospective employee. It\u2019s also a way for\n the job candidates to see that the company is a good place to\n work.