When it comes to hiring the right people, we hear many versions of the same story. It goes something like this: “We hired this person...” and with that comment, a very frustrated leader reaches across the desk and hands me the resume of the person they’ve just let go, and then adds, “…but this isn’t the person who showed up on the job.”
Hiring great talent these days is a daunting task. Interviewees are on their best behavior, equipped with their arsenal of stock phraseology, canned responses and even contrived body language. By the end of most interviews, the chance of actually knowing the individual underneath all the strategic veneer is slim to none.
Welcome back to Season 1, Episode 4 of the Convene Podcast. This week, Greg Leith sat down with Bruce Dingman of The Dingman Company to discuss best hiring practices, in particular when it comes to senior executives.
Everyone has regrets, but after a bad hire, those should have asked questions pile up quickly! While typically an employer thinks ahead of time what questions they want to ask someone in the interview process for a leadership role, hindsight can be painfully accurate. Here are some questions we as recruiters have heard employers muttering to themselves downstream from a bad hire:
- What else should we know about you?
- When we talk to your references what issues might they raise about you where you want us to hear your side first?
- What have you done for self-improvement in the last five years?
- What have we not asked that we should have?
- How does this job fit in your career development? What experiences have most prepared for this next step?
- For a few people Emotional Quotient (sometimes defined as the capacity of individuals to recognize their own, and other people's emotions) is natural but for most it needs to be honed and developed. When we ask the direct reports from your last job on a scale of 1 to 10 to rate your EQ, how might they respond? What would it be if we asked colleagues from your first job? How would you explain your growth in exercising your EQ?
- Thinking back on the bosses you’ve had, what were the characteristics you liked and disliked? And why?
- What kind of tasks should your superiors not give you to do, those you don’t enjoy or areas at which you do not excel?
- Why might this be the right job for you? And what concerns do you have about it?
- As you look back on your last three jobs, please list several employees you have mentored, and what has happened to them since?