Question: What’s your favorite question to ask a potential new hire looking for an executive role in your company? Why?
What would you change?
“What is the one thing you would change about the company if you could today? I love to ask this question to find out how much they’ve thought about my business. The answer isn’t super important. What is important is that it is thoughtful.”
Adam Lieb | Duxter
What are you reading?
“I ask candidates what books and blogs they are currently reading. Learning what someone reads provides you with great insight into his personality, passions and dreams. ”
Eric Corl | Fundable
What are we doing that resonates with you?
“What we do every day and what we try to accomplish for our customers is unique to other accounting companies out there. We are trying to change the value proposition of accounting for businesses in general — so it is important for us to know our team is in the same boat. Besides being technically capable for their positions, we want to know that every team member sees the same vision we see.”
W. Michael Hsu | DeepSky
Why are you wrong for this role?
“Anyone who has made it to an interview with our company will have been recommended by someone who knows Modify well. We do not hire from cold calls — interviewees are strong candidates. At that stage, we want to make sure they are humble, yet confident. Ideally, they share grand visions for our brand and are hesitant only because they have big goals.”
Aaron Schwartz | Modify Watches
What do you think I could do better as the CEO of my company?
“There is no better way to test the guts, authenticity and smarts of a potential new executive for your company than to ask her to look you in the eye and tell you what she thinks you — the CEO — should or could be doing better. If she falters and has no answer, it’s a deal breaker for me. If she comes right back at me with feedback and ideas, she gets big points!”
Carissa Reiniger | Silver Lining Ltd.
How would you pitch our service?
“If you are hiring at the executive level, no matter the function, you need people you feel can represent the business as well as you do. Have them pitch the company to you as if you are in a sales meeting, and you’ll get a sense as to whether you’ll feel comfortable with them in an outside-facing role. ”
Sunil Rajaraman | Scripted.com
Why do you work?
“As a purpose-based executive search firm, we interview people for executive roles every day. Y Scouts tries to understand the interviewee’s purpose during the first phase of the executive interview. The majority of the questions we ask can be traced back to the simple question, ‘Why do you work?’ Their reasons must align closely with a company’s purpose if they’re going to be leading the company.”
Brett Farmiloe | Internet Marketing Company
What inspires you? What are your hobbies?
“In a startup, it’s important to connect with people beyond their skills, and understand their drivers. We ask what inspires them in life — a person, quote, book or mission. If they haven’t thought about this, they lack a sense of depth we require in our employees to get behind our company mission. I also like to know their hobbies to truly get to know them as people, not just employees.”
Shradha Agarwal | ContextMedia
Is money the No. 1 motivator?
“What salary would you pay yourself if you were me? I love this question because you can get an idea if they are only money-motivated, or if they’re joining the team for the right reasons.”
John Hall | Influence & Co.
What’s your dream job?
“Too many founders make hiring about themselves and their companies. Your job, as a founder, is to provide a fertile ground for your team to grow and evolve as people and professionals. If a candidate’s idea of personal success isn’t in alignment with the trajectory of your company, it’s not a good fit. By all means, make them love your company and mission, but make the job about them, not you.”
David Gardner | ColorJar
Where do you see yourself in one year?
“Where to from here? Entrepreneurs are constantly a growing community, always looking for bigger and brighter days. Some are success-driven, others are money-driven and, for most, it’s a little of everything. Understanding their vision will help determine where they will take the company a year from now to get themselves to where they want to be (similar to a dream within a dream).”
George Mavromaras | Mavro Inc. | Praetor Global LLC.
What’s your plan for making our organization better?
“We hire executives to make plans and be decisive. If they’re coming to the table without any solutions and a plan to put them in place, they either haven’t done their homework or don’t possess the type of thinking we’ll need them to have from the start. The plan doesn’t necessarily have to be dead-on; it’s the attitude and thought process the plan reveals that we care about.”
Charlie Gilkey | Productive Flourishing
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