Terrific piece by @tedgioia: 8 Best Techniques for Evaluating Character

1. Forget what they say—instead look at who they marry.

“A person’s choice of a spouse—or their closest lifelong partner—is much more revealing than anything they say or do in public.”
2. See how they treat service workers.

“You might not trust anything they say at the negotiating table after you’ve been with them at the dinner table.”
3. Discover what experiences formed their character in early life.

“It’s an unusual case for people to change in any substantive way after that point—not impossible, but very rare.”
4. How do they invest their two most valuable resources?

“Fortune tellers look at a person’s palm to read their future, but I’d prefer to take a glimpse at how they spend time and money. Those reveal what a person is really all about.”
5. Identify what irritates people the most in others—this is probably the trait they dislike most in themselves.

“When we look in a mirror, we dislike seeing all the flaws in our appearance, and the same thing is true when we examine other people."
"Cheaters always gripe that others are dishonest. The liar always accuses other people of lying. Parents absolutely lose it when they see their children making the same mistakes they did.”
6. Can they listen?

“I’ve met few great listeners in my entire life. But they are some of the most effective individuals I’ve ever encountered.”
7. If they cheat at small things, they will cheat at big things.

“If someone will break the rules for something as unimportant as a game, what will they do when higher stakes are involved? Watch out for the small things, and the big things will take care of themselves.”
8. Watch how they handle unexpected problems.

“My jazz musician friends will immediately understand the value of this kind of test. You can’t tell how a person improvises until they are put into a situation where spontaneous decision-making is required."
"Some people rise to the occasion, and others lose their cool completely.”
"Don’t forget to use these same techniques on yourself."