Good Boss Bad Boss: How to Become the One You want to be (Part 3)

 Leaders need to improve their interviewing skills to grow

Leaders need to improve their interviewing skills to grow

Before I go into detail of this week’s leadership principle of good bosses, leaders and companies -let's recap what the Leadership Principle were in my previous posts:

1.Good Bosses, Leaders & Companies always put people first

2.Good Bosses, Leaders & Companies make it a priority to coach, mentor & develop people

People, as defined in my previous posts, include your employees/associates/team members, and your clients. Without people (clients and employees) the best products, services, or ideas would not be manufactured, sold, inventoried or even developed. Without people companies will be without the necessary profit, performance enhancing tools necessary to survive and thrive in their respective market. You HAVE to Have Good People which means you have to get good at hiring the select candidates. Therefore the 3rd Leadership Principle:

Good Bosses, Leaders & Companies know the key to hiring the right people is having the right interviewing process

This principle is so simple that many of you are thinking well DUH!  Lee everyone knows that! I couldn’t agree more. So why are so many bosses so bad at it? Not the hiring part – most bosses are filling positions, but their success rate and retention statistics are poor.  Leaders who are devoted to improving their interview skill sets will increase their batting average of hiring the right people & will win more deals, more profitably.

8 Things Good Leaders do to Improve their Hiring Results

1) Good leaders go beyond what their HR provides them.

2) They prepare for an interview just as they would an important meeting with a significant client.

3) They look for potential candidates internally who could be a great fit for the team & the role

4) They use their influence to attract external talent through mutual business memberships (Chamber of Commerce, Business Exchange club, Speakers Bureau)  & events such as industry trade shows, lunch & learn programs and business networking socials and fundraisers). These elite leaders are always on the lookout for new potential team members and do so before a position becomes available.

5) They commit to spending time every week, building & maintaining their list of potentials candidate and –

6) They spend time refining their interview skills by volunteering to assist other management team members who may be interviewing candidates for other departments positions.

7) They take responsibility for creating a comfortable, engaging style that encourages the candidate to be engaging, open and trusting.

8)  Good leaders take a creative approach to asking standard interview questions in a creative manner to make the candidate comfortable while encouraging them to a more open dialogue. (See below for interview questions for Sales Professional & Sales Management positions)

Four Questions that will Improve your Hiring Results When Interviewing Candidates for a Senior Sales Position...

The Standard: Sell me this pen.
Try This: Sell Me your car, or apartment or house
Why you do it/What you gain: If they can’t sell you something they use every day, they
probably won’t be a high performer

The Standard: Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
Try This: Take the next 10 minutes and write your obituary
Why you do it/What you gain: How do they see their future? Did the candidate see their self as successful? Were they promoted? Did they mention anything about being balanced? Did they articulate well?

The Standard: What will your boss say about you? 
Try This: Have them fill in the blank of this sentence; behind my back people say __________
Why you do it/What you gain: This will reveal what they believe others think of them or do they even care about what others say about them (this can be a good thing in terms of resilience and focus and attitude).

The Standard: What are your strengths?
Try This: What is your GREATEST strength. Mid-way through the interview ask them what their 2nd greatest strength is and finally towards the end of the interview ask them for their third.
Why you do it/What you gain: You will get a deeper and broader perspective of their strengths and by splitting up the sequence you will avoid receiving “canned” responses

Three Questions that will Improve YourHiring Results When Interviewing Candidates for a Management Position...

Question: How many people have been promoted while working for you?
Purpose: This will speak loudly to how they develop their people


Question: From your perspective - what is your definition of a leader?
Purpose: How they answer this question (was it fluid or did it sound rehearsed?) will provide insight as to whether the candidate is a leader or simply a manager

Question: If you were the winner of a special lottery where you received $2m in a briefcase but were required to empty the briefcase in the next 8 hours or you would forfeit the balance how would you empty your briefcase?
Purpose: If you want to find out what a person stands for watch how they spend their money. A leader is someone who should focus a great deal of her/his time on others. Did their answer reflect anything that signifies a focus on others or was it only about them?

  This weeks Leadership Challenge:

  • Look for one candidate internally and one candidate externally for bench strength
  • Volunteer to participate in future interviews to observe styles, questions & techniques