Crain’s Nashville: Why A Joke Can Land A Job

crains_nashville.pngOur CEO chatted with Crain’s Nashville’s Emily Bills about entrepreneurship. Check out the interview below:

Dan Hogan founded Nashville-based Medalogix four years ago, drawing upon the experience he gained and data collected from owning a home healthcare company in Manchester, Tenn.

Hogan identified a gap in the healthcare industry and set out to close it with Medalogix, which helps providers understand patient risks by studying previous health data. All of that data – compounded over years of daily patient care – offers predictive value for future care, Hogan explained.

“Then we help you act to improve outcomes,” according to Medalogix’s mission.

For example, Hogan explained that the data has helped identify patients who are more likely to require returns to the hospital.

With massive data sets and a wealth of experience in hand, Hogan and Medalogix are in the business of offering predictive insight and solutions to improve quality of care and reduce costs.

Interviewed by Crain’s Nashville, Hogan revealed more about his entrepreneurial foundation by sharing insight into the way he interviews candidates for his company:

I don’t do it every time, but I tend to ask candidates to tell me a joke because it does a number of things. It’s certainly unexpected; it puts them on their heels, and it’s interesting to see how they think on their feet. It’s also very interesting to see who’s willing to come up to the line in terms of maybe throwing out a little edgier joke on the table. It definitely says a lot about the personality of the candidate that’s sitting across from you at the table.

The funniest joke I heard I can’t repeat, and it was terribly inappropriate and we didn’t end up hiring him, but we both had a good laugh. I’ve had a couple of pretty lame knock-knock jokes, but I do applaud their efforts. It’s not an easy question. Were I to be hit with that question as a candidate, I’d be thrown for a bit of a loop.

Another question I’ve asked that’s generated some interesting answers is, “Tell me about your favorite day.”

The reason I ask about this is because rarely is that ever defined as a day at the office, and we practice something here at Medalogix called “FORD.” When we’re meeting people or talking to clients, we try to get a stint for what else there is in that person in terms of family, occupation, which in this setting is usually an easy one, what do they do for recreation and what their dreams are.

If you have an opportunity to define any of that information from someone, you accomplish a couple of things. You make them feel as though you’re really interested if you’re asking about their family and what they aspire to, because those aren’t frequently asked questions, and certainly not in interviews. When you demonstrate that willingness to listen, people feel appreciated.

I also ask them what it is that they want to accomplish and how they want to be thought of when they’re done with their career. However, for the most part, we’re trying to get a sense mainly in that time for their capabilities.

*Originally published in Crain’s Nashville