Let's be real. I tend to see the people I work with more often than I see my own family. So when I interview potential candidates, I'm interested in their character, demeanor, and affect they'll have on the company's culture. I had a feeling you'd be too, so here's a peek at what you'd be getting if we end up working together.
Character question no. 1
“What are the one or two traits from your parents that you most want to ensure you and your kids have for the rest of your life?”
My parents have always connected everyday decisions with long term goals and deeply held values. Things like eating grilled cheese and forgoing name brand clothes so they could pay cash for our college education. Now, I have different values and goals, but I’ve adopted that intentionality and perspective in my life and work.
Character question no. 2
“What is 25 times 25?”
My gut reaction is to admit that I consider mental math an actual superpower (of which I lack). That said, I’ll find a scrap of paper and pen and figure it out on the spot.
Character question no. 3
“Tell me about three people whose lives you positively changed. What would they say if I called them tomorrow?”
- Faith would say that I’m a game-changer. She had spent 2 years at the company before I arrived, and was at the brink of disengagement. I threw myself into my work, and she noticed. I asked tough questions, and she noticed. I refused to accept things as they were, and she noticed. She’d say that I improved the culture of the company and empowered her to go after her own goals.
- Joel would say that I’m fearless. I was the only one who could keep up with his intellect, match his wit and wasn’t afraid to challenge him. He would say that I made him soften his management style enough to gain loyalty and encourage him to relentlessly pursue change from leadership.
- Frieda would say that I opened doors. She worked as if her only role was to listen quietly, support leadership and work harder. I showed her how to question, when to push back, and how to work smarter. She would say that things would never be the same, that she gained a voice and confidence to grow because of me.
Character question no. 4
After an interview, ask yourself (and other team members, if relevant) “Can I imagine taking this person home with me for the holidays?”
Let's share a cup of coffee, a meal or a good old-fashioned awkward interview. Then you'll be able to decide.
Character question no. 5
After an interview, ask security or the receptionist: “How was the candidate’s interaction with you?”
Or if you're like me, you tend to judge people by whether your dog likes them or not. Feel free to do that too.
Enlightening opportunity provided by Ted.