10 Questions You Must Ask a Potential Executive
Talent acquisition and bringing in right talent should be the #1 priority of every business. Hiring and retaining the right people is the only real sustainable competitive advantage of any company irrespective of the industry. The right people are the building blocks to an exceptional workplace.
Identifying and hiring stellar employees isn’t always easy. The interview is a pivotal aspect of any recruiting process. Interviews help to gauge the applicant’s ability to do the job and fit into the organization and culture. Finding the candidate who is the right fit for the job, figuring out if the job requirements match the candidate's strengths and if the new job will keep him/her motivated to move onto the next level is critical.
Effective interview questions play a major role in the selection of the best executives for your business. Before formulating the questions decide on the qualities you expect of the ideal candidate. Put priority on his/her interpersonal strengths, values, attitude and aptitude. The work environment and challenges associated with the work can be a source to attract better candidates.
Questions asked should pertain to what really motivates the prospective employee. The interviewer should try to understand what makes them happy and motivated to come to work. Ask open-ended questions so that you can gather enough information to determine the candidate’s “fit” within the department and company.
Below are the 10 questions you should ask a potential executive:
- What are the greatest accomplishments of your career?
- What are the reasons for your success?
- What problems do you often struggle with?
- What do you look for in the people you wish to hire?
- Describe how you would or have led your team to become more effective?
- How do you determine the untapped potential of your team?
- Describe how you go about building strong relationships with your clients and co-workers.
- How do you rate your verbal and written communication skills?
- How did you exceed expectations in your current role?
- What do you think about your work/life balance?
Asking the right interview questions will help you weed out the wrong people. Spending some quality time preparing for and conducting the interview will help you recruit the right people faster. Employees are the foundation of every successful company.
Jim Collins rightly said that the starting point of excellence in management is to “get the right people on the bus, get the right people into the right seats on the bus, and then get the wrong people off the bus.”
NBA Player Carl Landry Demonstrates the Value of Persistence in Life and Work
Written by: Jon Sabes
When you meet Carl Landry, stand-out college basketball player and nine-year NBA player, you imagine that becoming a professional basketball star was a straight forward run for the 6-foot-nine-inch power forward.
However, when you go deeper into Carl’s background, becoming a NBA professional was less than certain and little came easily to the 33-year-old from Milwaukee:
- He was cut from his high school team as a freshman and averaged less than ten points a game when he did play as a senior.
- He started his college career not at Purdue, but a junior college where it was not clear he would play.
- When he finally got to Purdue, he tore his ACL in his knee his first year and reinjured it the next year.
- While his family held a party for him the night of the NBA draft, he slept in the Philadelphia airport after missing a flight following a workout for the 76ers.
- In the NBA playoffs, Carl had a tooth knocked out, but came back in the same game to make a game-winning blocked shot as the Rockets beat the Utah Jazz 94-92.
Landry, who I interviewed on my podcast, Innovating Life with Jon Sabes (www.jonsabes.com), is a remarkable example of the value of “persistence.” In a time where technology creates the image that anything is possible at the touch of a button, persistence is an under-appreciated trait. When I spoke with Carl, I clearly saw someone for whom success has only come through a force of will that made him a NBA player, but it also made him a better player every year he played. That’s the kind of personality that has produced greatness in business as well as sports.
Carl was, in fact, drafted that night he spent in the airport. The Seattle Supersonics chose him as the 31st overall pick and then traded him to the Houston Rockets where he rode the bench for much of the first half of the season. When All-Star teammate Yao Ming was injured, he stepped in and played a key role in the Rockets astonishing 22-game winning streak (the third longest streak in NBA history). And, that season, after sitting on the bench for 33 of the first 36 games, he was named to the All-Rookie second team.
Carl was the first in his family to go to college. “I told myself that this was my ticket out, so I did everything I possibly could to be the best person in school and also on the court,” he said.
His family life in Milwaukee showed him what he didn’t want to do. “Just being honest with you, seeing some my cousins, peers, they went to work for jobs paying six, seven dollars an hour or they didn’t go to work at all and then living off welfare. I didn’t want that.”
When he was first injured, he had to contemplate the end of a career before it even got started. “When you have an ACL tear, it’s over…no more basketball,” he told me. “I said, God, give me health again and I’ll do everything I can to leave it all out on the line and be a successful individual.”
On my podcast, Carl pointed out another interesting lesson he learned in the NBA: Not doing things just to fit in.
“Fitting in was easy,” he said. “Doing everything that everybody else does was easy. If I stood out in some type of way, I’m going to have different results. I’m going to have stand-out results.”
That’s called the “Law of Contrast” and it produces that exact effect of changing the outcomes that everyone else is experiencing. Carl is smart, he recognized that differences make a difference, and doing whatever it takes is what is required to make real, meaningful differences.
Every off-season for the last 11 years, he has run a camp for kids in Milwaukee where he tells youth his story of hard work and persistence. “I always tell the kids to apply themselves and always be persistent,” he said. “If you dream, apply yourself and be persistent. With hard work, man, the sky’s the limit.”
When Carl says the sky’s the limit he means it. He is smart to recognize that it’s important to dream big, because if we don’t – we may be selling ourselves short. “You have to dream bigger than your mind could ever imagine,” he said. “I wanted a nice house. I wanted a nice car. I said, and I got all of that. So, what do I do, do I stop now? Maybe I didn’t dream big enough.” That’s a big statement coming from a kid who grew up to be the first in his family to graduate college and go on to be not only a top NBA basketball start, but a good businessman, father and someone who gives back to the community.
I’m convinced that in whatever he takes on as a basketball player or in his post-hoops career, Carl Landry is not going to stop getting better at whatever he does, and in the process of doing so, make the world a better place.
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