Do you have a sales representative who is driven, dauntless, and phenomenally productive--by all measures, a star? If so, are the competitive friction with coworkers and thirst for autonomy and recognition worth the sales and profits that person generates? You may well be wondering how to drag that superstar down to earth.

Marie Clapper, president and publisher of Clapper Communications Cos., a $12-million magazine publisher in Des Plaines, Ill., says that spending 22 years supervising 60 employees has taught her to weed out recruits who won't fit into the company's culture--which is resolutely open and team-spirited. One giveaway is a candidate's discomfort with a "no locked doors" policy. Anybody who feels strongly about having a closed office isn't likely to fit in at a place that values team players.

Another tactic for ferreting out prima donnas during interviews is to ask for examples of success as a member of a team. If the applicant can't think of a good answer or responds instead with a strong individual achievement, you may want to hire someone else.

Copyright 1998 G+J USA Publishing