During job interviews, business leaders can connect with and evaluate talent capable of spurring organization wide change. Unfortunately, many spend these crucial periods posing vague, by-the-book questions or lobbing innocuous softballs.
To avoid these situations, come prepared with stimulating queries that enable candidates to showcase their experience and skills and give them a favorable impression of your organization. As you think through what you might ask, be sure to focus on these key question types:
In modern workplaces, team synergy is a chief concern. When evaluating potential C-level staff, you must keep this in mind and pinpoint candidates whose personalities and work habits jibe with those of your current employees. Asking about past work relationships is a great way to get the answers you need regarding fit and workplace compatibility.
Try following the lead of legendary newswoman Barbara Walters when developing interview questions of this kind, the Harvard Business Review suggested. Walters is known for coaxing her subjects into conducting honest personality evaluations. Even particularly reserved interviewees engaged in deep reflection and offered up significant insights into their habits and past actions. For Walters, one particular question usually did the trick: "What would you say is the biggest misperception people have of you?"
With this simple query, you can facilitate an honest conversation about how candidates work with other people.
More personal questions are also effective, according to Business Insider. For instance, Apple often asks candidates to assess their personalities through the eyes of their close friends or family. And Expedia executives do the same, but also mix in situational elements.These kinds of questions will enable you to understand candidates on a psychological level and assess their potential within your business.
Most interviewers come armed with situational questions. However, many involve predictable interoffice scenarios with right answers. Instead of staging an easy-to-pass ethics exam, offer some weightier situations that might lead to more significant answers.
Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations at Google, asks candidates to tell him about an "analytically difficult problem" they've had to solve, Inc. reported. Tom Koulopoulos, founder of the think tank Delphi Group, is a bit more whimsical with his situational questions, regularly asking prospective employees, "If today were your last day on Earth, what would you most regret not having accomplished?"
These days, forward-thinking startups and technology innovators like to pepper candidates with seemingly odd questions, intending to uncover deeper psychological insights or evaluate general problem-solving abilities, FastCompany reported. Many human resources experts and recruiters like this practice but recognize that it has downsides. Software companies often throw out brain teasers to see if candidates can think and solve problems on the fly. For instance, Facebook asks prospective operations personnel to estimate how much they would charge high rise owners in Seattle to wash their windows. Many find this approach self-indulgent on the part of the interviewer.
"On the hiring side, we found that brainteasers are a complete waste of time. How many golf balls can you fit into an airplane? How many gas stations in Manhattan? A complete waste of time," Bock said in an interview with The New York Times. "They don't predict anything. They serve primarily to make the interviewer feel smart."
Curveballs will lighten up interviews and enable you to engage candidates on a personal level.
Move away from these kinds of analytical questions and develop some fun, yet revealing queries. Take a cue from Capriotti's Sandwich Shop CEO Ashley Morris and ask your candidates how they would survive a zombie apocalypse, or follow Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh and tell them to rate themselves on a 10-point weirdness scale.
These questions will not only lighten up your interviews but allow you to engage with prospective C-level staff on a more personal level and uncover their quirks.
Before you can break out your latest curveball, you need to develop a rich recruitment pipeline filled with truly gifted executives. Of course, only a retained executive search firm like YES Partners can facilitate this constant flow of talent. Unlike contingency firms, we develop real, long-lasting relationships with our clients and work tirelessly to source candidates with the executive experience required to have tangible bottom-line changing impact.
Are you ready to fill your organization with talented C-level staff? Contact YES Partners today. To see some of the roles we have already successfully searched for and placed, click here.
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