If you are taking your company public, expanding your corporation, doing in house cleanup to get rid of dead weight or just filling a C level or VP level position at your company your hiring method should be clear, concise and strategic. You need to take into consideration every intricacy that the individual being interviewed has to be exposed. You need to pay attention to what is said, not said, gestures, verbal intonations and the overall presence of the individual. Here are a few things to take into consideration when hiring an executive. These are elements outside of the resume.
First look at the obvious. Evaluate the overall attire of the individual pay attention to his suit, dress shirt, tie and dress shoes and even the shoe laces. Are his suit, shirt and tie crisp, conservative and pressed? Are his shoes shined, scuff free and are his shoe laces in good condition? When he crosses his legs and his socks are exposed what is the condition of his socks? These things may seem artificial, pretentious and pointless but keep in mind, you are hiring the appearance of the individual as well and most times the clothing condition and selection tell us a lot about the subconscious activity and mindset of the individual. Do they pay close attention to detail? Do they have a clean presence? These things are ‘tells’ every time the executive stands before a client or panel.
Next the interview, obviously you’ve gone over their resume and checked references before you even bring them in for a serious interview so let’s go past the general inquires that go along with an executive interview. You need to evaluate their intellectual and emotional fitness by getting right to the point. How much do they know about your company? Finding out how much they’ve researched the company will demonstrate their level of motivation in becoming part of the team with a focus on contribution. The strongest candidate will come into an interview ready to define their role and express the realities of what they bring to the table in the form of contacts and intellectual capital.
Ask them, in their own words, from their own research, where they see the company in 5 years with them in a leadership position. Ask them to give an example of 5 to 10 strategic alliances they have planned for the company and what that will contribute to the bottom line of the company. What expansion experience do they have? Ask them what makes a company in your position better or worse for being public or private and have them elaborate. Ask them to critique the top executives of the company and how they would reorganize the company if they had their way. Get past the artificial nature of educational pedigree and ask them about their professional pedigree and how it has prepared them to join your corporate team.
Now during this process pay close attention to their physical gestures and take notes. As you’re asking them questions look for their subconscious movements that they are using to communicate. Look for gestures that demonstrate confidence, arrogance, insecurity. Are they sitting back in their chair when they are talking (if so they are too comfortable, a qualified executive will be sitting up straight without letting his back rest on the chair, you on the other hand should be relaxed and sitting back). Are their legs crossed? Are they using their hands? Is their forehead crinkled or calm? Are they making use of a strong vocabulary that can strengthen their presentation etc?
Hiring the proper executive for a specific role in the company can be challenging but using the process above to help weed through the poor candidates will help you in securing the perfect candidate.
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