by Aine Cain

This article is blunt and not meant to offend anyone.

When it comes to hiring people, Luis Von Ahn, CEO of the language app Duolingo, has one strict rule.  “We have a big ‘we don’t hire assholes’ rule,” he tells Business Insider.

So, how can you ensure you don’t hire someone who’s a bad fit — or a massive jerk?  “That sometimes comes out in interviews, but that’s where people are usually on their best behavior,” Von Ahn says.

Instead of banking on interviews, the executive says his company relies heavily on references, which most candidates readily provide.  “You’d be surprised how much comes out during that process,” he says.

“At first I thought when we did reference checks, it would be like a rubber stamp,” Von Ahn says. But he soon found that’s far from the case.

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