Eric Jacobson

Posts Tagged ‘Interviewing’

Interview Questions To Identify Cultural Fit

In Cultural Fit, Hiring, Hiring Great People, Interviewing on December 31, 2015 at 6:44 am

If you are leading an organization and are the last person to interview a candidate, focus your questions more on trying to see if the person is a cultural fit. Here are a few questions to pose to potential new hires (from the new book, Advisory Leadership:

  1. What motivates you?
  2. What are you passionate about? (Finding out what people are passionate about and why is a great window into someone’s personality.)
  3. What are you telling your family/spouse about our company? (This question often takes candidates off guard and results in some often very honest answers.)
  4. What did you enjoy most/find most challenging in  your last position? (There are no right or wrong answers, necessarily. This question is a great assessment of the candidate, especially when considering certain roles.)
  5. What opportunities do you see for yourself here?

The 7 Questions To Ask When Checking References

In Checking Referecnes, Hiring, Interviewing on June 8, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Eric Jacobson Kansas

Awhile back, the Harvard Business Review published some great questions that Gilt Groupe CEO Kevin Ryan asks when he is checking references.

Ryan serves on the board of Yale Corporation, Human Rights Watch, and INSEAD, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  He holds a B.A. from Yale University and a M.B.A from INSEAD.

His main seven honest-feedback-extracting-questions (and follow-ups) are:

  1. Would you hire this person again?  If so, why and in what capacity?  If not, why not?
  2. How would you describe the candidate’s ability to innovate, manage, lead, deal with ambiguity, get things done and influence others?
  3. What were some of the best things this person accomplished?  What could he or she have done better?
  4. In what type of culture, environment, and role can you see this person excelling?  In what type of role is he or she unlikely to be successful?
  5. Would you describe the candidate as a leader, a strategist, an executor, a collaborator, a thinker, or something else?  Can you give me some examples to support your description?
  6. Do people enjoy working with the candidate, and would former coworkers want to work with him or her again?
  7. In what areas does the candidate need to improve?

Interviewing: How To Spot A Leader

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Interviewing, Interviewing Leaders on February 12, 2014 at 7:46 am

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The next time you are interviewing a candidate and you want to access their leadership skills, consider asking the candidate these questions:

  1. What personal qualities define you as a leader?  Describe a situation when these qualities helped you lead others.
  2. Give an example of when you demonstrated good leadership.
  3. What is the toughest group from which you’ve had to get cooperation?
  4. Have you ever had difficulty getting others to accept your ideas?  What was your approach?  Did it work?
  5. Describe a situation in which you had to change your leadership style to achieve the goal?
  6. One leadership skill is the ability to accommodate different views  in the workplace, regardless of what they are.  What have you done to  foster a wide number of views in your work environment?

Thanks to Sharon Armstrong, author of The Essential HR Handbook, for these helpful questions!

Additional Leadership Resources:

3 Best Places To Interview Job Candidates

In Effective Communications, General Leadership Skills, Hiring, Hiring Great People, Hiring Older Workers, Management on September 6, 2012 at 5:14 pm

One of the reasons you want to interview people in three different places is that candidates will usually be at their very best in the first interview (likely in your office).  After that, if they are pretending, the veneer will come off in subsequent meetings in out-of-the office locations.

Also, because most employees can only be successful in their jobs in different locations as well, it makes sense to witness your candidates in different settings.  So, consider interviewing the candidate over a lunch at a nearby restaurant.

And, finally, consider interviewing them in a group setting where you invite a variety of your employees to be part of the group.  If you do this, be sure to let each employee voice their “vote” regarding the candidate after the meeting.

There are lots more great tips like this one in Thompson’s and Tracy’s book, Now…Build a Great Business!

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