The 1 Question Every C-Level Candidate Should Be Asked (And a Lot of Non-C Suite Potential Hires, Too)

Meaning.

Few of us like to think of ourselves as cogs in a machine. No where is that more true than in the C suite where a man or woman is hired to embody an idea or concept and lead an organization.

Yet so much of their interview, so much of how a man or woman is measured translates into two things:

Do you have what I believe are the requisite skills and experience that will need to execute in this role.

Do I trust you.

Of the two, usually by the time of the interview, what a firm is really doing is confirming your assertions that you have the requisite experience and looking you square in the eye to see if they believe you.

No wonder interviewing has become such an unsatisfactory way of evaluating potential hires. In most cases, it has turned into “business blind dating” . . . and we know how unsatisfying most blind dates have turned out.

What if I told you that there was one question you could ask that would allow you to identify the special people, the ones that should grade out head and shoulders above the others, would you be interested in using that question in your interview, whether you were a potential employer or C suite hire?

Here’s the question:

Are you familiar with our firm’s mission and what does it mean to you?

There’s only one problem with asking this question of Potential C-Suite Hires

There’s only one problem . . . Most corporate mission statements are as dry as sand and equally inspiring.

Here are a few examples that may yield defensive responses:

Serving Others. For Customers, A Better Life. For Shareholders, A Superior Return. For Employees, Respect and Opportunity” (Yawn)

To provide our policyholders with as near perfect protection, as near perfect service as is humanly possible and to do so at the lowest possible cost.” (I guess it wasn’t good enough to provide policyholders with the right protection; they had to give themselves some wiggle room)

Helping our customers manage document workflow and increase efficiency through best-in-class products and services. Fostering the growth and development of our employees. Providing a distinct advantage to our suppliers as a distribution channel of choice. Growing shareholder value through strong execution of our strategies.” (Are you excited?)

It is the policy of xxxxx to provide products and services to the market which meet or exceed the reasonable expectations of our customers. Satisfying our customers with the appropriate level of quality is a primary goal and a fundamental element of our business mission.”  (Not a mission statement. It is a policy statement, hence a goal).

Let me contrast these with:

(Our) mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use (us) to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.”

or

to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

or

“We enable businesses to thrive and economies to prosper, helping people fulfill their hopes and dreams and realize their ambitions.”

When did business stop believing in becoming bold and breathtakingly great? In our search for meaning, do you think we will be more inspired by offering a leader the opportunity to help a firm become “near perfect” or “helping businesses thrive, economies prosper and people fulfill hopes and dreams?” Do mission statements that could be used in a greeting card help attract exceptional leaders or cause them to be repelled?

And, if you tell me that the mission statement means nothing and the last time it was referred to by management was during the last century, what are you telling the public about your words having meaning?

Mission statements should be a rallying point for everyone to be extraordinary so that your firm can be extraordinary. If they ave no meaning to you, take it off your website and abandon the lie. However if they do have meaning, ask potential hires if they are familiar with your firm’s mission (first tip off of adequate preparation) and what that mission means to them.

And if you are looking at a firm as a potential employer, ask the people you meet with about the firm’s mission and what it means to them. You will learn something about the leadership of the organization and its congruence with its avowed values.

© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC  2017

 

If you liked this article, read, “4 Things to Do to Find Your Next C Level Job (And None of Them Involve Writing a Resume).

 

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life 

coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and leadership coaching.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions. NOW WITH A 7 DAY FREE TRIAL

Connect with me on LinkedIn

Are you interested in executive job search coaching, executive coaching or life coaching from me?  Email me at JeffAltman@TheBigGameHunter.us and put the word, “Coaching” in the subject line.

No BS Coaching Advice

Recognizing the Signals And What to Do | No BS Job Search Advice Radio

Listen to this episode of No BS Job Search Advice Radio

Warning Clouds

Ep 595 Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter encourages you to pay attention to the warning clouds and prepare for your search. He uses a metaphor to explain how to do it.

Summary

I want to talk to you senior professionals who have just been laid off, or think your job is in trouble.  You know the signals.  I’m not going to go through them all but you know there are problems that your firm or, politically, there is been someone partying over you who doesn’t really know you and you know the signal and don’t ignore it.

Rather than this being exercise and why you should change jobs, I want to go to the next step.  That is, preparing for the search.  Over the course of time, most execs I talk to have had a lot of branches on the tree and a lot of leaves on the branches.  Invariably, what happens is the leaves start to wither and die; same with the branches.  They are left with the trunk.

For you, I want to encourage you to take some time to figure out what the trunk of your tree is.  What the core element is of what you do, want to do and what your successes have been so that as you start to lay out a marketing campaign for yourself and your capabilities, you can focus in on those as your primary objective in some of the branches and maybe a leaf or 2.  As some of the ancillaries.

As you know from your own experience when hiring, you want to hire exceptional people.  You don’t want hire someone else’s failure.  By being able to focus in on what you excel at and marketing your capabilities for that, you will go a long way toward finding work fasterBut it starts with recognizing the signals and making the preparation for that time.

By the way, looking at what the trunk of the tree is, that can include your financials, too. As you start getting the signals of problems, you know what deals have been negotiated previously with the firm and you want to get something comparable or better.  You k now what your financials are like and you know it will take you a while to land something.  Start getting down to the trunk of the tree for your financials. Look to cut off some of the extraneous dead branches Or some of the unnecessary dead branches so you can focus on the core.

 

Do you really think employers are trying to help you?

You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell you as much as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.

The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com changes that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

Connect with me on LinkedIn

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle for $.99 and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.”

Don’t forget to give the show 5 stars and a good review in iTunes

Who’s Managing Your Job Search?

“He (A lawyer) who represents himself has a fool for a client.”

~Abraham Lincoln

In my many years of doing recruiting, there have been a ridiculously few number of people who have ably represented themselves in their job search. Even the ones who claim victory and found positions have made mistakes that have proven costly.

 

Continued

 

© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC 2016

 

Do you think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.

The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com changes that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

Connect with me on LinkedIn

The Big Lesson from Television for Executive Job Hunters

 

I take a lesson from tv and apply it to job search tailored to executives.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.

Follow him at The Big Game Hunter, Inc. on LinkedIn for more articles, videos and podcasts than what are offered here and jobs he is recruiting for.

Visit www.TheBigGameHunter.us. There’s a lot more advice there.

Connect with me on LinkedIn

Pay what you want for my books about job search

Subscribe to TheBigGameHunterTV on YouTube  for advice about job hunting and hiring. Like videos, share and comment.

Trying to hire someone? Email me at JeffAltman@TheBigGameHunter.us

Do you need more in-depth coaching? Join my Coaching program.

Want to ask me questions via phone, Skype or Facetime? Have your job search questions answered.

 

Managing a Bruised Ego and Taking Action

 

In this video, Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter discusses a few things you can do to manage a bruised ego, particularly if you are an executive.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.

Follow him at The Big Game Hunter, Inc. on LinkedIn for more articles, videos and podcasts than what are offered here and jobs he is recruiting for.

Visit www.TheBigGameHunter.us. There’s a lot more advice there.

Email me if your firm is trying to hire someone.

Connect with me on LinkedIn

Pay what you want for my books about job search

Subscribe to TheBigGameHunterTV on YouTube  for advice about job hunting and hiring. Like videos, share and comment.

Trying to hire someone? Email me at JeffAltman@TheBigGameHunter.us

Do you need more in-depth coaching? Join my Coaching program.

Want to ask me questions via phone, Skype or Facetime? Have your job search questions answered.

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