Why ‘Shark Tank’ Star Barbara Corcoran Never Reads a Resume Until After an Interview

Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank has a hiring strategy quite different from the standard corporate vetting process. The real estate icon pays more attention to character than credentials and won’t even look at a resume until an interview is over.

Barbara Corcoran of 'Shark Tank' attends the Tribeca Talks Panel
Barbara Corcoran of ‘Shark Tank’ | Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Barbara Corcoran values a tough skin

With 11 seasons of Shark Tank under her belt, Corcoran has seen a plethora of pitches from aspiring entrepreneurs. The millionaire panelist has learned what to look for when she’s considering an investment.

“The same thing I’ve always listened for: attitude,” she told the New York Times in 2017. “I’m looking for someone who, after the Hollywood of Shark Tank fades away, is going to stay the course, and always figure out a way to succeed.”

In a previous interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, Corcoran revealed that contestants on the reality show often face obstacles after their televised appearances.

RELATED: ‘Shark Tank:’ How Barbara Corcoran Created a Second Career From the Reality Show

“After Shark Tank airs, after about three to six months, something goes wrong. The merchandise wasn’t delivered, or the product has a problem,” she said in 2019. “Then I want to see what the entrepreneur does. Two-thirds of them don’t get over it.”

‘Shark Tank’ star’s go-to question on an interview

While many employers will go over an applicant’s work history in an interview, Corcoran prefers to focus on the personal side. 

“Tell me about your family,” the Shark Tank star shared as her favorite topic when screening a potential employee. “If their family couldn’t give them a positive attitude, there’s nothing I can do that’s going to change it.” 

Building her own real estate empire from scratch with just a $1,000 and selling it for $66 million, Corcoran has no patience for whiners. 

“Early on, I hired a couple of people who had all the markings of great salespeople. But they were not happy people,” the real estate icon explained. “I learned that if you have just one unhappy person in a pool of 30 happy people, you feel that weight. I couldn’t wait to get them in my office to tell them they had to leave.”

Barbara Corcoran spends more time on the person than the piece of paper

Always going with her gut, Corcoran focuses on the business owner rather than the business itself when she’s hearing pitches on Shark Tank.

“Every time I invested in the business concept – ‘oh that’s cool’ or ‘that’s a neat product’ – and they didn’t have a phenomenal entrepreneur, I’ve lost my money,” she said on Access Hollywood. “So I try to turn a deaf ear honestly to the business itself. But I’m hyper attentive to the entrepreneur, trying to size them up and get myself a great partner.”

The millionaire investor opts for the same strategy during one-on-one interviews. Corcoran puts more stock into the person in front of her rather than a prepared piece of paper. 

RELATED: ‘Shark Tank’ Star Barbara Corcoran Credits This Insult for Her Success

“When I hire people, I just look for the light in the person, to see what’s good about them,” Corcoran told NYT. “I can spot it a mile away. And I never read a résumé until after the interview because you never know who wrote it. And you can be fooled by it. If you read a résumé, the interview is nothing but a business small-talk session confirming stuff you just read.”

Season 12 of Shark Tank premieres on October 16!