I also try to get a feel for can they be a leader. Of course, communication skills are important, so I try to get a measure of just how clearly they articulate their ideas. How many sentences is it taking them to answer an easy question. Can they cut through and give me something succinct, so I can get a measure of their thinking, the clarity of their thinking.
7. What are some of your favorite interview questions or techniques to elicit information to determine whether a candidate will be successful at your company? What sort of answers send up red flags for you and make you think a job candidate wouldn't be a good fit?
I've got some standard questions that I don't think are all that unusual. Hopefully, all of the folks who come in here [for job interviews] are successful, they got where they are because they were able to do things more effectively than someone else. What exactly are the strengths, the skill sets, the traits they rely on to edge out that competition. I can take a look at their resume, but they need to give me some insight, an inventory of how they see their skill sets.
I'll ask them about their disappointments and most of all what are the lessons they learned. We all have disappointments, but hearing about the lessons they learned tells me a lot about the individual. Were they able to take the inner look and what did they do to respond. What are they going to do differently next time. Folks a lot of times have a very difficult time with that question. The ones who are able to dig deeper are the ones who score higher points with me -- what are you willing to share? Those are the individuals who show a level of trust in giving the answer and also have the confidence that they can articulate accurately how they are better for the experience.
Another question I ask is how do your subordinates describe you. Sometimes they will give just the top of the cream [for an answer], but I'm looking for something with a little more depth. Also sometimes, with a question like that folks have to think back and then come up with a rapid response. It causes them to process quickly, so how quick are they on the draw when they get a question like that.
Of course, I ask open-ended questions and listen and watch the body language. Some people are better at interviews than others, but that doesn't necessarily mean that what you see in the interview is how they're going to perform. You have to really quarterback the interview.