If you ever expect to interview for a job at Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), be prepared for a grilling designed to make you talk outside your comfort zone.

In other words, the open source Linux software leader expects you to be open about yourself – perhaps in ways you might not think about.

So says Jim Whitehurst, the top Hatter.

Adam Bryant, author of “The Corner Office” feature at The New York Times and a book by that same title, recently interviewed Red Hat’s chief executive officer who has guided the company toward its first $1 billion in annual revenue.

“Let’s shift to hiring,” Bryant wrote. “What questions do you ask? How would you interview me, for example, if I were in your office?”

“I would be all over you about understanding the economics of the newspaper business — where it’s been, where it’s going, what do you see as the future of it?

“How is The New York Times positioned?

“Because I want to know if you have enough innate curiosity, and analytical and conceptual skills, to be able to frame strategically where you stand. And a lot of it is about discovering if you are curious enough to care and want to know.

“Because I don’t want somebody working for me who doesn’t care, right? To me, it also signals that the person isn’t in it just for himself or herself. Are they really going to be a team player?

“If you’re really trying to understand the whole business and you’ve thought about it and you clearly have opinions around it, that says you’re not spending 100 percent of your time just making sure you nail your own job. …”

So, are you ready for the Whitehurst treatment?

Read the full interview here.

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