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10 Fastballs and 1 Curveball to Ask Top Candidates

by Feb 13, 2014, 12:02 am ET

Usually I see someone’s resume a few minutes before the interview starts. In the time (and adrenaline) rush of an interview, it’s easy to make small talk and rehash a resume — but much harder to make a thorough assessment of fit.

One way we’ve found to avoid costly hiring mistakes is to spread thoughtful and provocative questions across the interview team. You owe it your company to analyze how the candidate thinks on her feet. Here are 10 questions we may ask to identify rockstars:

  1. What path brings you here today? Learn about a candidate’s background, but also their motivation. How much do they know about your business? Why is this the perfect opportunity for them? Or, are they just here because they’re looking for a new job?
  2. When have you experienced great customer service? Like many companies, Limeade’s No. 1 priority is to delight our customers. By learning what people value in their own customer service experience, we can evaluate how they would understand and then provide “spa service.”
  3. At work, when do you feel you’re at your best? This is a better way of asking someone to discuss his or her strengths. People who combine skill with passion beget results. This question helps you find people who have reflected on and learned what pumps them up.
  4. What company do you most admire? Why? We want employees who value the power of company culture — in large part because we’re so intentional about ours. This question evaluate the importance they place on an employer’s culture, and which specific aspects resonate with them.
  5. What “killer app” is on your phone? We’re a technology company, so we want people to be genuinely excited about technical innovation. This question requires people to articulate why something is innovative, versus other methods of doing the same thing. (Also, it’s hard to fake the authentic joy of finding a killer app — like my new favorite, Hotel Tonight). If they don’t have a smartphone (e.g. for financial reasons), ask them the same question about any new product.
  6. What’s your greatest invention? It’s a stumper. But it gets at problem identification and resolution — at home or at work. Use this query to evaluate problem solving skills, creativity, and initiative.
  7. When have you been dealt a raw deal at work? Everyone has dealt with challenging situations. By asking candidates to walk you through their most unfair treatment, you’ll see whether they love to learn from hurdles and failures, or love to whine.
  8. What project or process have you owned from start to finish? Resumes are a great screening tool. But they’re full of team accomplishments. (Just because I worked on an awesome product doesn’t make me awesome). By asking about a project they fully owned, you’ll find out if they are the baking soda or the chocolate chips in your corporate cookie.
  9. When have you used data to drive an important decision? Most modern businesses can’t afford to hire people who are bad at math. By asking this question, we quickly weed out candidates who make gut decisions without thinking things through logically. Ask, then study, then act.
  10. What else? Ask this and let the silence ring for 30 seconds if necessary. We love candidates who have a high bar for themselves, their employers, and ultimately their careers. They should be interviewing us as much as we’re interviewing them.

Curveballs are fair.

Because most candidates come prepared, I always also like to leave time for a curveball question.

“I noticed you have brown shoes on — why is that?”

Does she ask questions? Laugh? Sneer? Sigh with exhaustion? Engage? These are “spark-detectors.” If you don’t see the spark in the interview, you likely won’t love the dull stares at work, weeks later.

Bonus tip: Ask for the details — names, dates, products, weather, etc. in every story. This helps you assess whether the candidate is just well-prepped, or deeply connected to the nuance of her work examples.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel regarding any threatened or pending litigation.

  • Neil Rauch

    I like many of the questions, but the curveball???

    Mostly, the response that might elicit is “what the heck does that have to do with anything.”

    I get the premise, though.

    I had one client that used to like to ask, how many pairs of shoes can you make out of one cow?

  • http://www.ScientificSelection.com Dr. Wendell Williams, MBA, Ph.D

    Ok…let’s assume these questions are actually intended to be serious advice…

    Exactly which one(s) are supposed to accurately predict whether or not the candidate has the necessary competencies to do a specific job?

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/coriadrienne Cori Lee

    I disagree with the widespread practice of automatically assuming the candidate who speaks well on his or her feet is the best. While an admirable trait, it is not useful for determining success in a wide variety of positions. Unless it is an essential component of the job, it is bad practice to screen candidates out in this way.

    Some of these questions you would need to be very careful with as they may lead to disparate impact.

  • Keith Halperin

    @Dr. Williams: Well-said. It just occurred to me that the purpose of unusual questions isn’t so much to determine actual candidate suitability, but to establish dominance:
    “I can ask YOU stupid, irrelevant things, because I’m in the position of getting you a job, but you can’t ask ME stupid, irrelevant questions, because that would eliminate you. How’re you going to react to my power play?” (Just an idea…)

    @ Cori. Also well-said. Correct me with the facts if I’m wrong somebody, but I don’t believe there is much positive correlation between interviewing well FOR a job and doing well ON a job. (We just like to think so.)

    Keith

  • PAUL FOREL

    All this criticism…

    The premise is that these are questions that ‘may’ get asked. I assume that is based on the particular job description for that particular candidate/applicant.

    ‘Brown shoes’ is mind game and I don’t like mind games that have no defined satisfactory resolution. The danger is that a quick-minded person can simply give any most answer and the only conclusion the interviewer can come to is that the person is quick-thinking. Assuming these other questions were asked, then the candidate’s capacity for quick-thinking was already determined. The other problem with mind game questions is that there may be no ‘truth’ available for an answer. Again, a question that has no defined or measurable expectation except for seeing if a CSR/Sales person/creative arts person to-be has the capacity to hit a curve ball. For every one else, these ‘brown shoe’ questions are mostly worthless.

    Question #1…what’s wrong with ‘looking for a new job’? How is Henry finding fault with that?

    #2 is good- the candidate -assuming s/he is shooting for a CS/Sales position- can demonstrate s/he can define superior customer service and ‘probably’ has the capacity to provide same.

    #3 is another open-ended question that may not get the interviewer a truth; it is too easy for a sharp candidate/applicant to form an answer around what s/he estimates s/he is expected so say. I personally would do just that. Not knowing ahead of time what the details of the work environment are means the candidate/applicant is working in the dark and may not want to kill the possibility of being hired by defining too closely what works and what does not work for that person. Most wise people would take the tact of making lemonade from lemons once they are hired and get the lay of the land. Much wiser than having the interviewer kill the deal because the candidate too closely defined his or her ‘best’ operating environment.

    LOL, #7 is loaded question and cannot be expected to yield a truthful reply with every candidate/applicant. It is the infamous, “Have you stopped beating your wife?” question. A smart player will deliberately craft a reply that describes a Solomon-like resolution to a ‘reasonable’ ‘challenge’ that came along.

    #10: I do this all the time; it is useful when interviewing, recruiting and taking down the details of a job order from a client.

    The ‘screen the dummies out’ questions are, in my opinion, often not necessary since a wise interviewer can assess candidates/applicants when that person walks in and greets the interviewer. Making such a person jump through hoops when the interviewer can see in advance the candidate/applicant is not suitable is a time waster.

    All these questions are just what Henry said- they are ‘may’ be asked question.

  • http://www.ScientificSelection.com Dr. Wendell Williams, MBA, Ph.D

    Criticism of bad practices cannot be all bad…

    Most of the research I have read (and experienced) is the odds of being a high performer based on successfully passing a traditional interview are about the same as chance.

    Unlike most clients who expect a new hire to stick around for years, virtually every recruiter I have talked to measures interview “success” by who survives their guarantee period.

  • PAUL FOREL

    Dr. Williams,

    First, a “high performer” is a high performer regardless of the interviewer’s ability to determine this.

    If you are saying the assessment of a candidate/applicant being deemed to be a “high performer” by virtue of a “traditional interview” is a chance assessment, then it is necessary to say that the entire ‘success’ of a good hire is based on the capacity of the interviewer to recognize exceptional talent.

    The interviewer has to be qualified to interview.

    There are many, many, many interviewers who are just not ‘qualified’ to assess the human condition. Using trick or clever questions won’t fix this.

    If Henry wants to assert he can effectively assess candidates/applicants, using his ten questions, then we can reasonably assume he is experiencing success with those ten questions or he would be a fool to publicly suggest success while he is experiencing high turnover.

    His questions work for him and as such, it is reasonable to assume he is capable/has the capacity to assess the human condition using these questions as his tools.

    He is suggesting these questions work for him and may work for us.

    It all depends on who is doing the asking/who is doing the interviewing.

    I’ve had clients who were on the verge of making a bad call and in one case especially, I had to almost literally, very literally, upturn the table to stop what would have been a serious mistake in making an offer to an unqualified candidate.

    Your ‘research’ is a reflection of the fact that a large number of interviewers are not qualified to be interviewing. This is why they back themselves up with those ‘green grape or red grape’ tests.

    The days of that kindly old man who used to sit down with applicants and could read people are gone, in favor of some MBA who thinks s/he knows enough to interview.

    This is why, of course, first pass candidates are subsequently then interviewed by the department hiring authority. That person loses the trick questions and focuses on the job requirements and generally does a better job of interviewing and assessment than Lindi, Tammi, Susi, Wendi and Joey in HR.

    (Which of course is the reason I NEVER talk to HR about my recruits/candidates, they are generally just not qualified to assess them.)

    As for a successful hire being based on “who survives their guarantee period”, well, you are obviously, very obviously, talking to substandard ‘recruiters’.

    In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that your using that as a measuring stick leaves you to be a somewhat unsophisticated observer.

    I am not alone when I say that in thirty years, I’ve never had a recruit/candidate prematurely leave a position for which they were hired.

    There is nothing unique about this- you make it sound as though the opposite is true.

    In fact, you sound as though you have been speaking with Employment Agency recruiters, not Executive Search Consultants.

    And not for nothing -as Donnie Brasco said- your labeling Henry’s questions as being ‘bad practices’ are your own assessment. Remember what I said, above: if they work for Henry, then that is all that matters.

    Interview questions should fit the shoe. In Henry’s case, he is asserting they do.

    No offense but anyone who posts that his experience has been speaking with recruiters who measure success by virtue of a hired candidate having survived a guarantee period is not a sophisticated/experienced individual.

    Dr. Williams, you need to widen your survey to include Excellence. Until you do, you have a survey that is out of balance.

  • http://www.ScientificSelection.com Dr. Wendell Williams, MBA, Ph.D

    Well, I guess by your standards I am not very sophisticated…or, maybe all those recruiters I talked to are not really in the recruiting business? Incidentally, one of the most vocal executive recruiters on this forum made that very same “survival” statement a few years ago…I’m pretty sure he would take offense at not being an “Executive-level” kind of guy.

    As a self-proclaimed exceptional executive recruiter, do you mind sharing the process you use for job analysis, validation, test effectiveness, EEOC compliance, and how you follow fair and equitable hiring practices as outlined by the 1978 ‘Uniform Guidelines” and the 1999 ‘Standards for Testing’?

    As a recruiting professional, I’m sure you know they apply to you as well as your clients. It says so right in the government documents.

    Thirty years and not a single premature termination is a remarkable record…you should really publish what techniques you use and how you keep track of that kind of information. I’m sure many people would be fascinated to learn your secrets.

    Also, would you kindly, define “excellence” so I can read up on it and re-establish my balance?

    Oh, Yes, bad practices are still bad practices (regardless of who thinks otherwise).

  • PAUL FOREL

    Dr. Williams,

    1. “…virtually every recruiter I have talked to measures interview “success” by who survives their guarantee period…” speaks for itself.

    That you think this even makes sense or stands up to scrutiny only reflects on you. Like I said and I will say it again, what you said [above] only represents recruitment at its most mediocre.

    Not exactly a yardstick by which I’d want to associate myself or use as a reference.

    Oh, maybe they are ‘recruiters’, sure. But they don’t represent the norm. How you can even claim credibility over such a bizarre litmus test as ‘those who last a guarantee period’ is beyond me. Get real, Dr. Williams.

    Someone here posted that his success is based on his candidates lasting the length of his Guarantee? Whew!

    I would put a lot of distance between myself and that person, easily. Again, you are using mediocrity to make a point. Talk about low standards! Someone like that could never hope to garner retained search business if his references all said his people drop out prematurely.

    2. Your post sounds like you are trying to jam me. Good luck with that. At the least, you ought to consider being accurate:

    “Thirty years and not a single premature termination is a remarkable record”

    Who said anything about terminations? I’ve never had a candidate/recruit terminated. Never. What I said was, “I’ve never had a recruit/candidate prematurely leave a position for which they were hired…”.

    In other words, for the most part, my recruits/candidates fulfilled the intent of the hire- to assume the duties and responsibilities of the job as expected and for a duration of employment as was anticipated [e.g. one to three years, three to five years, five to ten years].

    “For the most part” refers to those who left a job after a year or so. In those cases, when I offered to ‘make it up’ to a client, I was told, in each case, this was unnecessary since the recruit/candidate performed exceptionally and by their productivity, more than reimbursed the client for the recruitment fee they paid.

    That I even offered this made me an exception to the rule.

    3. “…how you keep track of that kind of information…”

    LOL! Are you joking? Who in our business doesn’t keep a send-out and hire log?

    4. “As a self-proclaimed exceptional executive recruiter, do you mind sharing the process you use for job analysis, validation, test effectiveness, EEOC compliance, and how you follow fair and equitable hiring practices as outlined by the 1978 ‘Uniform Guidelines” and the 1999 ‘Standards for Testing’?

    As a recruiting professional, I’m sure you know they apply to you as well as your clients. It says so right in the government documents…”

    Yawn. You are attempting to put me into a box of some sort. I think it is also possible you are speaking out of context- I am an ‘external recruiter’ and many of the distinctions you cite above (job analysis, validation, test effectiveness, EEOC compliance, and how you follow fair and equitable hiring practices as outlined by the 1978 ‘Uniform Guidelines” and the 1999 ‘Standards for Testing’… government documents..) are not given to me by a client for consideration.

    I can see you don’t work a desk.

    When a client gives me the ‘go’ to recruit for an advertised position, it is because I have spoken to the obvious and hidden qualifications an appropriate recruit possesses and by inference I am saying I can (and do) recruit such qualified persons. In most cases I cite which companies in the past have hired similarly qualified recruits from me. Duh.

    What government documents? What job analysis? What validation? What test effectiveness?

    What are you even talking about?

    In the contingency and retained search business it is our place to determine if a ‘job order’/search assignment is ‘viable’ or not. That is our guideline, Dr. Williams.

    How we do this is not relevant to this thread. But it should be obvious to you. It’s called asking the right questions of the client. Or, in the event the search is retained, we are instrumental in writing up the job description to mutually agreed-upon specifications between ourselves and the client. This includes speaking with all who participate in the hiring/final decision process.

    Either you are being pissy [you are most definitely being snarky] or you are sadly ignorant of the executive search business and how it is executed.

    5. “Excellence”? You don’t know how to define ‘excellence’?

    6. “…bad practices are still bad practices (regardless of who thinks otherwise)…”

    This is a very obvious error on your part, Dr. Williams.

    Assuming you are saying Henry’s ten questions are ‘bad practice’….

    You have discounted the fact your assertion is an assessment. As such, it is not necessarily a common assessment which means, of course, your saying it is ‘bad’ does not make it true for everyone.

    Insisting that your assessment is a viable and appropriate assessment for everyone else is a mistaken position for you to take.

    Regardless of your having an MBA and Ph.D….

    And I won’t tell you what I think of people who list ‘MBA’ next to their name. Well, I will, in your case.

    It is meant to impress.

    I think it would be helpful if you were to actually work a desk so you would come to know what it takes to execute the executive search business.

    Don’t bother to reply to my post- you are clearly playing badminton and as such, you are wasting my time.

  • PAUL FOREL

    Dr. Williams,

    May I suggest that instead of posting to get our attention you simply hang a banner here, instead?

    All you’ve done here, on this thread, was calculated to get our attention, click on your name and be taken to your website.

    It is cheap and transparent to use someone’s post to draw attention to yourself, just to promote your business.

    All this noise because you allegedly can’t abide with Henry’s ten questions.

    Methinks thou dost protest too much.

  • PAUL FOREL

    I see your clients have already assessed you:

    “…Wendell’s got a big personality, and frankly, sometimes he can be a pain in the neck…”

    Well, well, Dr. Williams.

    Why didn’t you just say so?

    LOL!

    “EMT’s, Customer Service Reps and Professional Recruiter.”

    As opposed to ‘UnProfessional Recruiters’, Dr. Williams?

    You’re quite the Big Shot.

    EMT’s, CSR’s and uh, Professional Recruiters.

    Not exactly the cream of the F500.

    So, now that we know how ‘qualified’ you are, I’d like to ask why you just had to insult Henry by saying,

    “…Ok…let’s assume these questions are actually intended to be serious advice…”

    Was it really necessary for someone of your high esteem to throw dirt on Henry’s post in order to make your opinion known?

    I think you must have missed a class or two on your way to that MBA and Ph.D, Dr. Williams.

    Such as “Class and Style”.

    You ought to consider the merits of throwing your weight around at your clients’ facilities instead of here. No one is paying you here. We’re not obligated to take your posts to heart.

    And do try to be accurate in the future when posting in the public domain, won’t you?

    EMT’s, Professional Recruiters and CSR’s.

    Well, you gotta start somewhere, huh?

    LOL!

  • PAUL FOREL

    Dr. Williams,

    How is that with an advanced degree in Industrial Psychology you can’t be more polite?

    “…Ok…let’s assume these questions are actually intended to be serious advice..”

    I think you own an apology to Henry.

    Especially since you are capable of better. Just because your clients say you are a pain doesn’t mean you ought to broad brush that onto Henry.

    Recruiters, CSR’s and EMT’s………LOL!

  • http://www.ScientificSelection.com Dr. Wendell Williams, MBA, Ph.D

    Darn…And I was just starting to like you…So we won’t be getting together for dinner and drinks this weekend? Read this…it’s based on the 1964 Civil Rights Act:

    §60-3.10 Employment agencies and employment services.

    A. Where selection procedures are devised by agency. An employment agency, including private employment agencies and State employment agencies, which agrees to a request by an employer or labor organization to devise and utilize a selection procedure should follow the standards in these guidelines for determining adverse impact. If adverse impact exists the agency should comply with these guidelines. An employment agency is not relieved of its obligation herein because the user did not request such validation or has requested the use of some lesser standard of validation than is provided in these guidelines. The use of an employment agency does not relieve an employer or labor organization or other user of its responsibilities under Federal law to provide equal employment opportunity or its obligations as a user under these guidelines.

  • PAUL FOREL

    Dr. Williams,

    One Last Note:

    In the future, avoid quoting recruiters unless their name starts with KORN-FERRY, Heidrick & Struggles, Spencer Stuart or Russell Reynolds.

    The reason for this is because there are as many ‘recruiters’ out there as Carter has pills. Some, like your deadbeat friends, have high dropout rates, others are the envy of the industry.

    Quoting or referencing recruiters who have a high drop-off rate not only makes us wonder about the company you keep, it skews the numbers and suggests that mediocrity is the norm as opposed to being an aberration.

    Like I said, I think you need to work a desk. From your LinkedIn profile, it appears you have no actual recruitment experience. I’m talking about executive search experience, not just hiring sales people and basketball players.

    On the other hand, you’re getting close to retirement soon, n’est-ce pas?

    EMT’s, Professional Recruiters and CSR’s.

    LOL!

  • PAUL FOREL

    Hey, Dr. Williams!

    That’s all you got? That’s the best you can do? You are going to broad brush this entire thread by reducing it down to EEOC and reporting requirements?

    Boy, you really do need to jump in the water and get wet.

    You are speaking one language, I am speaking another.

    I think you should take this 1964 conversation and show it to any respectable search firm so they can school you on the difference between being a Ph.D. consultant and being a down in the trenches recruiter.

    That you even think what you have there is relevant to this conversation suggests you really are separated by much more than six degrees.

    I don’t suppose that reminding you I am NOT an employment agency would make a difference, would it?

    Yes, some parts of all that mumbo-sambo do apply to me equally as it does to employers but what you are missing, apparently, is that you are talking past me with your 1964 quotes.

    Like I said, you even more very obviously lack personal experience in the execution of executive search.

    Apples and Oranges, Doctor.

    Not counting your EMT’s, CSR’s and let’s not forget, Professional Recruiters.

    If I can find you a spare copy of my three ring binder, I’ll send it to you. You very badly need some schooling here.

    Let’s call this a truce- out conversation is not interchangeable.

    And don’t forget about that apology to Henry.

  • PAUL FOREL

    Dr. Williams,

    So no one can say I never gave you anything-

    You have your ‘references’ listed incorrectly. Instead of listing the specific jobs of EMT, Recruiter, CSR it would be more effective if you listed the Industries you have served, instead.

    That way you are painting a broader brush of your experience vs. having possible clients think you ‘only’ do work related to those specific jobs you listed.

    “Service Industries”, “High Risk Industries/Environments including EMS” and “Human Capital” would open more doors or at the least, prevent people from stop looking when see that dumbass “EMT”, “Professional Recruiter” and “Customer Service Agents” list.

    It looks very mom and pop the way you have it listed.

    No Charge.

    Unless you want to send a box of Montecristo #2′s my way.

    Don’t forget about Henry.

  • Keith Halperin

    @ Dr. Williams: Thank you. To probe more deeply:
    Let’s say instead of a conventional interview a candidate has a BI, They give good/appropriate answers, but do not come across well- poor eye contact, non-self confident, hesitant, etc. Is there any correlation between THAT kind of poor performance and poor job performance (assuming the person is hired)?
    “…virtually every recruiter I have talked to measures interview “success” by who survives their guarantee period.”
    Great minds think alike! Said almost the same thing on another site just yesterday.
    .
    @ PAUL FOREL Feb 13, 2014 at 6:12 pm
    Tell us what you really think- don’t hold back. Please feel free to go on and on and on- such is the virtue of being an “exceptional executive recruiter”.

    Dr. Williams,
    First, a “high performer” is a high performer regardless of the interviewer’s ability to determine this.
    I know what a high-performing sales rep is, but what’s a high-performing A/P clerk, or minister, or HR Manager, or Recruiting Thought Leader?

    If you are saying the assessment of a candidate/applicant being deemed to be a “high performer” by virtue of a “traditional interview” is a chance assessment, then it is necessary to say that the entire ‘success’ of a good hire is based on the capacity of the interviewer to recognize exceptional talent.
    What does “exceptional talent” have to do with it? “Exceptional talent” is usually the exaggerated expectation of clueless folks who believe how “exceptional” their totally “unexceptional” company and job really are.

    The interviewer has to be qualified to interview.
    There are many, many, many interviewers who are just not ‘qualified’ to assess the human condition. Using trick or clever questions won’t fix this.
    Very true, in which case much about our current workforce can be explained by the strong probability that most interviewers AREN’T qualified to greater or less degree, particularly in BI.

    If Henry wants to assert he can effectively assess candidates/applicants, using his ten questions, then we can reasonably assume he is experiencing success with those ten questions or he would be a fool to publicly suggest success while he is experiencing high turnover.
    His questions work for him and as such, it is reasonable to assume he is capable/has the capacity to assess the human condition using these questions as his tools.
    I can’t speak for Henry or anybody else (I can barely speak for myself.) However, he may/may not be expereinceing objective success, and the personal decision of whether or not I am en effective hirer can be strongly influenced by my desire to consider myself competent in such areas. Even if a person’s method are objectively effective it may be IN SPITE rather than BECAUSE of what they are doing. They may be lucky, or able to compensate in other ways…

    He is suggesting these questions work for him and may work for us.
    That’s a very valid and acceptable way of presenting things. I try and do likeways, and NOT presume “divine revelation” the ways some people do.

    It all depends on who is doing the asking/who is doing the interviewing.
    Not so sure of that. I think you CAN come up with things that work for most (trained) people, most of the time.

    I’ve had clients who were on the verge of making a bad call and in one case especially, I had to almost literally, very literally, upturn the table to stop what would have been a serious mistake in making an offer to an unqualified candidate.
    That says a lot of bravery/confidence on your part. I commend you.

    Your ‘research’ is a reflection of the fact that a large number of interviewers are not qualified to be interviewing. This is why they back themselves up with those ‘green grape or red grape’ tests.
    The days of that kindly old man who used to sit down with applicants and could read people are gone, in favor of some MBA who thinks s/he knows enough to interview.
    This is why, of course, first pass candidates are subsequently then interviewed by the department hiring authority. That person loses the trick questions and focuses on the job requirements and generally does a better job of interviewing and assessment than Lindi, Tammi, Susi, Wendi and Joey in HR.
    (Which of course is the reason I NEVER talk to HR about my recruits/candidates, they are generally just not qualified to assess them.)
    It’s good to hear that you have the option of deciding who and how you’ll deal with clients. Most of us don’t.

    As for a successful hire being based on “who survives their guarantee period”, well, you are obviously, very obviously, talking to substandard ‘recruiters’.
    Those “substandard” recruiters are present all over the place, and so are there bosses. This is not Lake Woebegone,” where all recruiters aren’t substandard”.

    In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that your using that as a measuring stick leaves you to be a somewhat unsophisticated observer.
    I am not alone when I say that in thirty years, I’ve never had a recruit/candidate prematurely leave a position for which they were hired.
    That’s a thing of which you truly can be proud.

    There is nothing unique about this- you make it sound as though the opposite is true.
    In fact, you sound as though you have been speaking with Employment Agency recruiters, not Executive Search Consultants.
    And not for nothing -as Donnie Brasco said- your labeling Henry’s questions as being ‘bad practices’ are your own assessment. Remember what I said, above: if they work for Henry, then that is all that matters.
    Again, you must be very proud to be in that category of “Executive Recruiter”: far from the rough and tumble, not Kealing with the greedy, arrogant, fearful, ignorant/incompetent, or stupid, and spared the necessity of painful compromise, “where all recruiters AREN’T substandard”. It sounds better than being in the “in-clique” or “the elite club” it sounds like it’s PRETTY CLOSE TO HEAVEN!

    Interview questions should fit the shoe. In Henry’s case, he is asserting they do.
    No offense but anyone who posts that his experience has been speaking with recruiters who measure success by virtue of a hired candidate having survived a guarantee period is not a sophisticated/experienced individual.
    Perhaps not, but that’s what a very large number of quite successful recruiters are measured by.
    Dr. Williams, you need to widen your survey to include Excellence. Until you do, you have a survey that is out of balance.

    Frankly Paul, the world of executive recruiting is very foreign to most of us. We would welcome particular points that can help of us still “down in the trenches” but much of what you described isn’t applicable to us. You might want to seek out or form groups specifically to ERs, either here on ERE or elsewheer. They might enjoy hearing your stories…

    -kh

  • Henry Albrecht

    Thanks to you all for the thoughtful and thought-provoking debate on this. It makes us better. I think an underlying point is that culture happens whether you are intentional about it or not. We try to be intentional. For example, when we look for a “spark” it is because curiosity and interest in problem solving is important to our culture. It is not a personality test. We have introverts, extroverts, quick processors and slow. We are simply intentional about building a culture of learning and improving (and will learn from this).

    p.s. I agree with Dr. Williams that these questions are not a substitute for competency assessments. And I did not cover backchannel research (yet) either.

  • Keith Halperin

    On my behalf Henry, you’re very welcome.

    In my experience, I’ve found companies typically say: “We value curiosity as long as it doesn’t apply to what we do, how we do it, or why we do it.”

    I’ve NEVER found in my time in recruiting a place that sought out curiosity in its recruiters, and usually didn’t tolerate it, and I’ve been recruiting for a long time for a lot of companies…

    Happy Heart Day,

    Keith

  • http://www.ScientificSelection.com Dr. Wendell Williams, MBA, Ph.D

    @Keith…I’ve lost track of who said what, so I’ll just address the question you posed in the first paragraph…

    BEI is a three-legged stool…The first leg starts with gaining a complete understanding of job competencies. This usually involves extensive interviews of job holders, managers, visionaries, and sometimes confirming questionnaires. Seldom is this kind of data contained in a job description; but, it’s critical to know because it becomes your benchmark…Let’s say that “solving complicated problems” is job-critical.

    The second leg is for trained and skilled interviewers to extract legitimate examples from the candidate’s past experience which illustrate when/how/where the candidate “solved complicated problems”. (This becomes a problem when the candidate has little relevant experience).

    The third leg requires comparing the candidates’ examples to job requirements. Was the problem the “right” kind, was the solution the “right” one, was the situation sufficiently “complex” to match the future job? In many cases, this requires working from a standardized scoring sheet developed with client input. (Note: Highly skilled or technical subjects usually require a technical interviewer…)

    Now to your question…even though the BEI Interviewer’s main objective is gathering job-competency examples, everything in an interview is fair game. If the candidate presents him/herself as completely anti-social, that information should be treated just as important as the other competencies…In other words, “Next candidate, please”.

    Incidentally, there is also plenty of research and examples showing the higher you go in the organization, the more likely executives will be clinically narcissistic…And that kind of information can seldom be learned through an interview.

  • PAUL FOREL

    Keith,

    I am thinking you are saying that most of the body of listeners here are corporate recruiters and not independent recruiters like myself.

    Since I have not been in the shoes of a corporate recruiter, I don’t see myself making suggestions that I would not know are practical, given the restraints and conditions of corporate recruiting.

    Much of what I do and how I execute is based on my being responsible to no one except my recruits, my clients and my own moral/ethical yardstick.

    No corporate oversight; no corporate guidelines.

    The freedom to pick and choose clients and recruits is just about a necessity in the ‘external’ world of executive search.

    1. Regarding my track record of having no fall-outs…this is largely because I have strong Intuitive skills that are off the chart; I can tell you more about someone I’ve seen in a glance than their own neighbors know about them. I had thought this gift would be less than useful once I started on the phones- up till then I had based my assessments on visual and perceptible observation but fortunately, I discovered I have pretty much the same capacity ‘observing’ by telephone.

    So I have no need for the ‘red grapes/green grapes’ questions but it is still absolutely necessary for me to be on my toes and not overlook nuances in a candidate’s presentation that could easily be overlooked in the normal realm of observation.

    2. Actually, I did have a client call me after about twenty days of hire to let me know the recruit was not conforming to expectation and he wanted me to talk to him and ‘fix’ this.

    Better than asking for a refund after telling me he had fired my recruit!

    I made arrangements to speak in person with the hire and fortunately, after letting him talk and talk and talk (Hmmm, who does remind us of?) I could see easily he was not being much of a listener which was the basis of the client’s concern.

    My fist came down so hard on the cafe table -knocking silverware everywhere, tipping over water glasses and causing nearly every customer there to jump up and look our way- that his eyes opened the size of saucers.

    I hit him with a two by four a few times, severely chastising him and once I saw I had his understanding I reminded him he was the cat’s meow but to be sure not to mask that with his overblown ego.

    I spoke with the client a couple of weeks later who told me the hired recruit was operating in the manner of a superstar, that he had garnered a large following there at the hospital and that his performance exceeded expectations.

    3. Re the client who was inches from committing a grave error- the search was retained, two thirds of the $60K fee had been paid and had I been fired for gross insubordination, I would have been stuck with the stigmata of having an uncompleted search on my record. On top of which, the client was an autocrat in the extreme and does not accept advice, let alone criticism easily if at all.

    When the candidate stalked angrily out of the restaurant (Schatzi, in Venice, CA- Arnold Schwarzenegger’s restaurant), I turned to the client, wondering if that was when I should be asking the waiter for a blindfold.

    Fortunately, to my amazement, he let me off the hook and I subsequently recruited someone who has been on the job now for close to fifteen years.

    My point here is that being ‘external’ has the advantages of freedoms you can’t have but also carries the entire weight of consequences on my shoulders alone.

    So, uh, Keith, I guess you can see why I may not be the one to guide you in your corporate recruiting role.

    LOL!

  • PAUL FOREL

    Dr. Williams,

    “Incidentally, there is also plenty of research and examples showing the higher you go in the organization, the more likely executives will be clinically narcissistic…And that kind of information can seldom be learned through an interview…”

    I don’t see how this can possibly be true. Unless I don’t understand what you said, an ego-centric personality can easily be observed through the process of an interview.

    I don’t see how it can be any other way. Unless the interviewer does not understand the human condition.

    BTW, my initial interview is approximately fifty-five minutes long and there are subsequent conversations that are opportunities for me to continue to observe and catch anything I might have missed in our first talks together.

    By the time I have sent a recruit in for an interview, we will have nearly three hours of talks together. More than enough time for me to discover that which needed to be discovered.

    So far, anyway.

  • Keith Halperin

    @ Dr. Williams:
    It seems that BI has three important components necessary for it to work well, and that while not explicitly looking for cultural fit, BI can help uncover information relevant to it. Is that correct?

    @ Paul:
    (From Dr. Williams)“Incidentally, there is also plenty of research and examples showing the higher you go in the organization, the more likely executives will be clinically narcissistic…And that kind of information can seldom be learned through an interview…”
    “I don’t see how this can possibly be true. Unless I don’t understand what you said, an ego-centric personality can easily be observed through the process of an interview.”
    Actually there IS research that indicates there are lots of psychopaths in high executive levels:
    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201312/why-are-there-more-psychopaths-in-the-boardroom
    Kevin Dutton, author of The Wisdom of Psychopaths, argues “Traits that are common among psychopathic serial killers—a grandiose sense of self-worth, persuasiveness, superficial charm, ruthlessness, lack of remorse and the manipulation of others—are also shared by politicians and world leaders. Individuals, in other words, running not from the police. But for office. Such a profile allows those who present with these traits to do what they like when they like, completely unfazed by the social, moral or legal consequences of their actions.”
    In their book, Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work, Paul Babiak and Robert Hare, argue while psychopaths may not be ideally suited for traditional work environments by virtue of a lack of desire to develop good interpersonal relationships, they have other abilities such as reading people and masterful influence and persuasion skills that can make them difficult to be seen as the psychopaths they are. According to their and others’ studies somewhere between 3-25% of executives could be assessed as psychopaths, a much higher figure than the general population figure of 1%.

    “I may not be the one to guide you in your corporate recruiting role.”
    I’m not so sure, Paul. Your firm, authoritative style, your “strong Intuitive skills that are off the chart”, your long and extensive involvement with high-level executives make me think you’d be a good “Recruiting Thought Leader”. The fact that you may not have much relevant to say to regular recruiters isn’t a “showstopper”- there are lots of people who want to hear things from a high-level,“far-above-the-trenches” perspective. You should seriously think about it, and definitely keep blogging….

    Cheers,
    Keith

  • PAUL FOREL

    Hello, Keith….

    Firstly, I believe there is a misunderstanding here…

    Quoting Dr. Williams, “…the higher you go in the organization, the more likely executives will be clinically narcissistic…And that kind of information can seldom be learned through an interview…”

    My assertion is not that such people exist but that a qualified interviewer, contrary to what Dr. Williams said, ought to be able to pick out such personalities in an interview.

    My broad brush is that if someone can’t pick out such a personality from an interview then perhaps that person ought not be interviewing.

    It floors me that Dr. Williams says a “clinically narcissistic” individual can only be seldom perceived as being such a person.

    By the way, are you saying a ‘clinically narcissistic’ person is a psychopath?

    You might find it interesting that on one occasion, when I was meeting a recruit for a F2F, I was almost physically struck with the fact the person I was interviewing had ‘barracuda’ written all over him.

    Clearly, he was a predator type. But his track record was sterling and he had the numbers. As a change agent he had a track record of success.

    So I had no choice but to simply let him know I could easily see he was someone who ‘eats all the slow moving fish’ and how did he reconcile that with the need to build teams and create focus amongst a variety of listeners with varying agendas.

    Naturally, he was caught off guard that I had not only seen this in him but that I chose to approach this head-on with him.

    His response was that he tempers his aggressiveness to conform to his direct reports’ ability to follow his form of leadership.

    This is where the client’s culture comes in. Were I sending him into a company where he would create havoc then of course there would not be a good fit but in that particular case, the client’s management teams were mature and were composed of ‘big boys’ who were not cry babies.

    So, for me, it is not that these types can’t be identified- it is knowing where and when they are a good match for a particular client.

    I will repeat myself when I say that for Dr. Williams to say it is seldom these types can be ascertained in advance by way of interview is a scary assertion.

    Because that can only mean the majority of recruiters/search consultants are woefully lacking in assessment skills.

    Also, as a last, I am willing to bet if we did a survey of the search consultants at top tier executive search firms such as K-F, Heidrick & Struggles, Spencer Stuart and Russell Reynolds, the majority of them would look sideways at us if we were to suggest they cannot spot such narcissistic/psychopathic personalities way in advance.

    The better conversation for me, you see, is ‘where best to place such individuals’ vs. not being able to identify them.

    Thanks, Keith.

  • http://www.fasttrackrecruitment.com Mitch Sullivan

    There is one thing Paul Forel could never be accused of and that is brevity.

    In among the deluge of rhetoric I did spot this little gem:

    “..this is largely because I have strong Intuitive skills that are off the chart; I can tell you more about someone I’ve seen in a glance than their own neighbors know about them”

    Paul, how has this intuition superpower of yours been measured? Was it measured independently or just by you?

  • http://www.ScientificSelection.com Dr. Wendell Williams, MBA, Ph.D

    @Keith…to some degree, yes…But people are prone to look and do their best in an interview…So about the only thing you can trust are signs of a “bad” fit. For the rest, it’s a gamble.

  • PAUL FOREL

    Mitch,

    LOL, I’m afraid you’ll have to live with your skepticism. I am not unique in this regard and perhaps if you have time you might look into this and find this is not an unknown phenomenon. There has been no need to ‘test’ this since it exists, therefore I am.

    It is my understanding this starts off as a survival mechanism and given the circumstances, becomes a tool.

    I won’t take up this thread’s space with anecdotes or provide references [from people you of course don't know] but if you are motivated, contact me via my contact info at LinkedIn, send me a handful (six or more and in fact, the more, the better) of pictures (face shots) of people you know personally and I will surprise you. In fact, I am going to blow your mind by saying that if you include a few people who are deceased, it is possible I will pick them out as such, LOL.

    Now, let’s back up, here.

    Whether I am an “Intuitive” or not is not as relevant as recognizing it is possible for good observers to recognize certain character types either because they can naturally do this or they are trained to do so.

    Cops, lawyers, nurses, doctors, detectives, etc., -people who are in the business of recognizing ‘people types’- can do this sort of thing regularly. (They won’t know as much as I get from that ‘glance’ but they are trained/experienced in being able to determine character/emotional types from just looking at people.)

    This is why I say I am floored when Dr. Williams says -in so many words- narcissistic types are difficult to spot. For a trained observer, this is just not true.

    They give themselves away from their body language (a common tool for assessment), how they describe past events -how they position the players in their anecdotes- and how they position themselves in their narration.

    (Once they have been hired, they will more obviously give themselves away- they listen with eyes half closed, they cut you off when you are talking, they are quick to discount other people’s assessments in favor of their own, they position themselves to their best possible benefit, etc. The trick is to spot this BEFORE you hire them! This is one of the reasons I don’t do my heavy-duty interviewing in a formal setting; the more relaxed the environment [restaurants, for example] the more likely the person being interviewed will relax, let their guard down and give away clues important to observe. This is also why it is important to not rush an interview and when one’s six sense suggests something important has not yet been uncovered it is necessary to extend the interview in the hope it shows itself. This has been useful for me on a few times when I did not know why I was dragging my feet on closing out the interview and then, BAM! the person being interviewed/the person giving me a reference drops a bomb.)

    Also, -and perhaps this will cause you to want to react- there are often body shape clues and especially facial shape clues.

    Think of Larry Ellison at Oracle. Think of Ray Lane at H-P. Think of our Action Hero, Arnold.

    Try it. Google them, click on ‘images’ and then look at all the pictures and try telling me you don’t see a consistency. These guys are all predator types. One is a fool if they don’t recognize these clues exist and don’t use them accordingly.

    This is not a perfect science but whether you know it or not, there are specialists who train police, FBI, SS, etc. how to recognize certain character types. Hah, while Dr. Williams is saying they are hard to spot, there are highly paid professionals out there training the FBI to do just that.

    I just do it naturally. Or, it was drilled into me long ago out of a matter of necessity.

    Research this before you reply, Mitch.

    Thanks.

  • PAUL FOREL

    Dr. Williams!

    “So about the only thing you can trust are signs of a “bad” fit. For the rest, it’s a gamble…”

    You should ask for a refund on that degree in Industrial Psychology.

    You are totally ignoring the fact there are those who are trained or natural observers who can reduce that gamble down to a [near] certainty.

    Read my post above where it references those who train LE on how to observe people so as to be able to determine future events/actions.

    Then do the research about these professionals and see if you would benefit [you would] from taking a course from one of them.

    I would never hire someone who told me interviewing is a gamble.

  • PAUL FOREL

    Dr. Williams,

    “But people are prone to look and do their best in an interview…So about the only thing you can trust are signs of a “bad” fit. For the rest, it’s a gamble.”

    Have you ever turned the tables, so to speak, by having someone sit in YOUR seat and you then take the seat normally reserved for the person being interviewed?

    Yes, it’s definitely a gimmick but it does provide a little insight when interviewing sales types….to see how long it takes for them to adjust and then ‘be themselves’.

    It’s not an all-inclusive ‘test’ but I throw it into the mix occasionally when I sense I am dealing with someone with less experience in sales than I need for them to have.

  • PAUL FOREL

    Good Morning, Dr. Williams!

    Today I received your emailed note that you could not bring yourself to post here:

    “Mr Forel:

    I have copied all your comments to file from the ERE site.

    If you continue to post disparaging remarks about me or my practice, you will hear from my attorney.

    R. Wendell Williams, MBA, PhD
    Managing Director
    ScientificSelection.com, LLC
    36 Emerson Hill Sq
    Marietta, GA 30060
    http://www.ScientificSelection.com
    770.792.6857

    This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify us at 770.792.6857. This message contains confidential information and is intended only for the individual named. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail. Please notify us immediately by e-mail if you have received this e-mail by mistake and delete this e-mail from your system. If you are not the intended recipient you are notified that disclosing, copying, distributing or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited.”

    ['prohibited' by whom?]

    Well! You must have run out of snappy comebacks such as the one you posted at the first of this thread:

    “Ok…let’s assume these questions are actually intended to be serious advice…”

    You’ll recall this was your response to Henry’s posting, suggesting that Henry must not have been ‘serious’ when he started this thread.

    And now, you are threatening me. Because you got your feelings hurt?

    Why does that line about the ‘pot and the kettle’ come to mind, Dr. Williams?

    Please keep in mind that neither your posts nor mine have been “…lightly moderated…” by ERE.

    This must mean you can be snarky with Henry and I can question your credentials as being effective [when you say that -in so many words- hiring is a gamble].

    And this is the thanks I get for making a legitimate suggestion on how to improve how you present your Branding?

    Next time you do something like this -threaten someone- I suggest you do a little more research. Had you taken a longer look at those Air Ambulance pictures at my LI Profile, you would have seen those were my boots standing on the skids of that UH-1H Iroquois helicopter. A more keen observer could deduce I was standing outside the helicopter. Where red-hot enemy tracer fire would, on occasion, be shooting past me, putting holes in the helicopter while we executed a rescue hoist of an injured infantryman.

    So bearing this in mind, what in the wide, wide, wide world of sports makes you think your emailed note this morning would have an effect on me?

    You said some outlandish things that don’t mesh with my thirty years of professional experience in the Executive Search business and frankly they don’t mesh with the experience of many of my peers, either.

    Perhaps the issue here is that without your ‘system’, you are not as effective at picking out winners as we are.

    How about instead of threatening me, Dr. Williams, you offer a Challenge?

    My thirty years of eye-balling candidates/recruits vs. your ‘scientific selection’ system?

    This would seem like a much more professional approach to conflict resolution than you have offered me.

    Have a Nice Day, Dr. Williams.

  • http://www.pjmconsulting.com.au Peter Macdonald

    Wendell, Wendell, Wendell!
    Still up to your old tricks
    And here I was thinking I may have had some success in getting you to realise that it’s not what you say but how you say it that causes all this angst after our own fencing match!
    Obviously I failed miserably but I am amused by the fact that others are now wasting their time in this pursuit also.

  • PAUL FOREL

    GIVE THE MAN A KEWPIE DOLL!

  • http://www.verticalelevation.com Carol Schultz

    Though I have no interest in engaging in the litany of comments above, I noticed a few things about this article and in the comments I’d like to mention:

    1. The author opens the article with, ‘Usually I see someone’s resume a few minutes before the interview starts’. Shame on you for not preparing for the interview. By having a “canned” list of questions, you are ripping off the candidate you are interviewing. As Dr Williams mentioned in one of his replies, “BEI is a three-legged stool”. The first thing that must happen (I do this in my kick off meetings) is to determine what we need/want in a candidate, which then allows me to build the Position Description.

    2. “What path brings you here today?” One thing the author wants to know is, “Why is this the perfect opportunity for them? ” REALLY??! Do you know why you want to marry someone on a first date? This is a terrible question.

    3. “What’s your greatest invention?” Am I to assume you’re only interviewing and hiring inventors? This is ridiculous if you’re interviewing anyone other than inventors.

    4. “I noticed you have brown shoes on — why is that?” is also pretty ridiculous, but the author seems to be looking only for a reaction. If that’s all you want to determine, maybe this is appropriate. I used to know of a manager at EMC many years ago that would leave sales reps waiting for him for no other reason than to see their reaction to being left in the lobby. This is just rude. I take my appointments seriously and if I’m going to be late I let someone know. Otherwise I’m just not respecting someone’s time. Why am I wearing brown shoes? Because they went with my outfit. Happy?

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/coriadrienne Cori Lee

    Are you trying to convince us or yourself that you are good at what you do? If you have confidence in your craft, then you won’t feel the need to attack others to make yourself look better or barrage us with lengthy comments trying to prove something.

    Anyone in this field who has given up 4+ years of their life diligently studying the scientific research, contributing to new avenues of research, and sharing it with us is deserving of our respect because it helps us all become better at what we do.

    If your company is ever taken to court on charges of racial discrimination in hiring, well-documented, well-practiced BI selection criteria is your best defense. Decisions made on “instinct” is indefensible.

  • PAUL FOREL

    Cori,

    Is this you?… “Human Resource Graduate Looking for Entry Level Opportunities”

    Nice to know you are motivated.

    Keep up the good work!

    Paul

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/coriadrienne Cori Lee

    Yes, it is. I stand by my comment.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/coriadrienne Cori Lee

    And to clarify, I’m not stating you don’t know what you’re doing; only that it’s odd to be so aggressive in trying to prove it.

  • PAUL FOREL

    Cori….

    “…Human Resource Graduate Looking for Entry Level Opportunities…”

    Meaning, call me in three to four years. Once you’ve had some real-world experience.

    Better, read this entire thread again in three to four years and then be sure to read your post, especially the part where you misquote the context of what was said.

    Anyway, keep up the good work.

    Always nice to see such enthusiasm!

    - 30 -

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/coriadrienne Cori Lee

    The comment was not informed by my expertise, but by solid, well-known and respected research, the expertise of industry pros guided by evidence-based practice, mentors, SHRM, EEOC, UGESP, and precedence regarding employment law cases.

    No doubt you would whoop me at execution with your experience, but we are talking theory and best practices. These aren’t my theories and best practices. If they were, then yes, hearing them from a “Human Resource Graduate Looking for Entry Level Opportunities” would be absurd.

    Both veterans and new grads are vital assets. Together, they bring a powerful balance of book-smarts and street smarts, precedence and innovation.

  • PAUL FOREL

    Cori,

    I’m very impressed. You and Senor de Cervantes have a lot in common.

    Now, let’s put things in perspective, okay?

    First, this train has already left the station; you got to the party too late to make a dent in things:

    Dr. Williams has seemingly retired from the thread;

    Mr. MacDonald -a professional who has us both beat in terms of aggregated HR service and consulting- has put his two cents in front of Dr. Williams and apparently knows him well enough to chastise him in the public domain and at the same time, has suggested I also have put enough time and energy into this thread.

    You are too inexperienced to make a dent in someone like myself, the ‘outrage’ on which your enthusiasm is based is largely built on mud, Cori. You are continuing this ‘noise’ by your well-intentioned but misplaced angst and I hope that at this point you will realize your time and energy is best spent on the topics as Mr. Albrecht and even Dr. Williams have posted them here at this thread.

    Stay focused and stop trying to right wrongs, spear windmills and put out fires that were already reduced to ashes by the time you got here.

    You’ve had your say, now let this go and focus on the purpose and intention of Henry’s post or you will be blackened by the same ash that has been stirred up here prior to your arrival.

    In other words, grow up, mind your own business and stop working this ‘noise’ since it is not your best work.

    How is that Ms. Schultz was able to contribute without getting involved in a ‘you said, he said’ while you cannot resist the urge to do just that?

    So, please respect the tone that Mr. MacDonald laid down here prior to your arrival. I have, there is no reason you cannot.

    As you said, it would be clearly “indefensible” for you to continue when the gloves have already been discarded in favor of respecting the thread as it was meant to be respected.

    I’ll even suggest you have had the last say if that will satisfy you.

    Now, no more windmills, please and again, if you don’t mind:

    - 30 -

  • Renee Bornfreund

    Kudos for a company to focus on culture and creating an intentional culture. It should be assumed that candidates applying or a role have the right credentials. All things being equal, it is prudent to look for the right “fit” and to bring in and individual that not only fits in the culture but advances the companies strategic directives. Creating an intentional culture, forms a long term, highly functional team of passionate, highly producing, valued individuals looking to make a difference, rather than a bunch of drones looking for a paycheck. Henry has a similar philosophy to Tony Hsieh from Zappos and it is highly successful. It reduces hiring and training costs and provides superior customer service, let alone long term revenues. Also highlights the do it right the first time concept.