Gary Allison's Leadership Blog

Leadership21 Jul 2006 10:25 pm

Lately, I’ve been interviewing to fill an open management position. Clearly these are positions of the utmost importance in that a great hire will push the team farther and higher, while a bad hire can be disastrous.

I’ve put together some question (but not all in case you’re next) I’ve used, and hope they are of help to you.What does a manger do? This will generate lots of conversation. Looking beyond the technical to an understanding of the business environment willingness to get up close with a customer and truly understand their need ability to ask the hard questions, whether with marketing/sales, or with software engineers. Above all someone who embodies characteristics of servant leadership. How do you distinguish between top performers and above average performers? What are some examples of how you have rewarded these top performers? Looking for bonuses, creative recognition, and monetary recognition that clearly separates the top performers.What has been your highest performing team? What made them that way? Looking for people who give credit rather than take credit.What has been the most difficult situation you’ve encountered in mgmt? What would you do different about it if you relived it today? Amazing what you can learn here. If they can’t think of one, they are not being honest or don’t have any real world experience!Have you ever needed to manage an employee out of the business for performance reasons? Describe this process.What gets you excited?What would your goals be for the first week on the job? (I know it is such a stock question, but its still a good one).What agile development processes have you used? Where were they successful and where were there problems?What qualities do you look for when you hire? (what I’d like to hear is: willingness to go the extra mile (commitment), examples of driving issues/opportunities all the way through closure, even outside of normal channels (ownership), demonstrated ability to innovate, someone that works well within a team and demonstrates a fair amount of personal leadership.So, how long have you had that wart? (just seeing if you are paying attention)

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