Tag Archives: interview

5 Leadership Interview Questions to Ask in a Post COVID-19 World

Since the global lock-down began, my mind has become restless and has gone into overdrive with all sorts of compelling questions popping into my head. Noting the calamitous responses by Western countries such as the US, UK, Spain and Italy in handling the pandemic, the theme of leadership has taken centre stage. Observing the leadership competency and style of respective countries across the world, the following traits are evident in countries such as South Korea and New Zealand who have managed to be on the front foot in the fight against COVID-19.

· Humility and Respect — they demonstrated a total commitment to the people of their country and led from the front to ensure trust and integrity

· Compassion — they understood that their people were worried about their health, their jobs and took appropriate action to reassure them

· Clear strategic direction — they took early action against the pandemic and listened to the scientific advice taking a multi-agency approach by engaging all parts of their public health infrastructure

· Secure communication — they spoke to their people with honesty and kept them up to date regularly informing them of what they wanted them to do to ensure their health and safety during the pandemic

In the absence of a vaccine against the disease, we are journeying into uncharted water of uncertainty. As most Western leaders continue to fumble their way through the pandemic and erode their trust and integrity, we need to start focusing on cultivating the leaders for a post-COVID-19 world. For companies, this is critically important as we will require a new type of leadership that is future-focused, and committed to energizing their employees.

The following infographic summarizes the shift that needs to take place between the leadership of the past and the future.

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacobmorgan8/

We need to ensure we have the right people in leadership positions that will take companies and their employees forward in this new world that will be driven by a level of disruption we will probably never see again for a very long time.

Below are five questions that interviewers must ask to understand the essence of a future leader.

How would you go about fostering a sense of community in your company or team?

What to look for: If they say they’ll create a family atmosphere, they have the wrong mindset. Your employees are not your children but fully formed adults. They should focus on how they will go about bringing people together and creating a special bond between the company and employees. If your staff are happy, your customers will be satisfied as well.

Do you think authenticity matters at work?

What to look for: Authenticity requires an enormous amount of transparency, so their core principles need to be robust in the first place. Consistency matters so they must ensure that they are excellent in the good times and in times of a crisis.

If you were offered this job, what would your reaction be?

What to look for: Their answer should reflect their true self. They should say that they are honoured to be given the role and the responsibility that accompanies the position. If they say, they will look forward to the challenge that’s not enough. As above, they have to own it in the good and bad times putting their people first.

How do you approach change management?

What to look for: Change is coming, and change will happen fast in the wake of COVID-19. Change is scary to people because it’s not guaranteed to be a success. They shouldn’t say to employees that ‘you need to embrace change’. They need to be transparent and honest in their communication — don’t withhold the truth from employees. They need to deliver their message in a step by step, bite-sized, easy to digest manner backed by a solid communications plan. They need to acknowledge the things that aren’t working and spelling out exactly how they’ll be fixed.

How do you ensure your employees don’t suffer burnout?

What to look for: With mental health a vital issue amid the pandemic, mental health is going to gain more traction than ever before. Leaders must understand the impact that positive mental health has at work. For this to prevail, a deep dive is required to understand the following — do people enjoy their roles, how is the organizational culture, and how is the relationship with their line managers? You need to identify the root causes of burn out. Employees need to feel connected to the work they do. If you have a purpose-driven and engaging culture, you’re on the right path.

The brave new world requires a new type of leader that truly understands the spirit of the organization and the people in them. It is so important that we recover trust and integrity in our organizations that have been displaced during the chaos of the pandemic. We need to start that process by selecting future-focused leaders.

Photo by VisionPic .net from Pexels

Originally published on 4 June 2020: https://medium.com/@zabeonline_82980/5-leadership-interview-questions-to-ask-in-a-post-covid-19-world-a731ace51d51

7 Bizarre Behaviours Demonstrated by Candidates in the Interview Process

From crazy interview questions at Google to nerve-shredding interviews on the BBC’s Apprentice, the interview process is a tense and daunting experience. While it is rare that candidates will be subjected to this level of scrutiny, what is certain is that interviews can either bring out the very best or worst in candidates. Here are seven bizarre behaviours demonstrated by candidates before, during and after the interview process.

The candidate is asked about motivations

Interviewer: So, what got you interested in this position?

Candidate: My parents told me to apply!

The outcome of this interview was not favourable. Despite the candidate ticking all the boxes on paper, the interviewer stated that this single response resulted in the candidate being rejected. Ill thought out answers is a sure-fire to destroy interview success.

Turning up at the interview at the wrong time

In this example, a candidate turned up at his interview at BST (British Standard Time) when he was supposed to turn up at the meeting at CET (Central European Time). The Hiring Manager wasn’t too happy about this and waited for the candidate for around 30 minutes. It wasn’t until the recruiter contacted the candidate on his mobile that it emerged that the candidate thought the interview was BST when in the confirmation email it was stated that the meeting was CET. When arranging interviews between client and candidates overseas, communication is essential. It’s always good to double-check and if one is pedantic triple check.

Telling a Hiring Manager during a telephone interview, they are not interested in the job.

In this example, the candidate had a full, transparent discussion with the head-hunter, and his motivations and aspirations were known. When it came to the telephone interview, the candidate told the Hiring Manager that they were not interested in the job but wanted to have a general discussion. So as a head-hunter when asking a candidate about their interest in a particular position, it is a good idea to ask them a questions along the lines of “on a scale of 1 to 10, how interested are you in this job” or “what is your level of interest going to be in a few weeks”. That will allow a better understanding of their exact level of interest.

No contact after the interview

In this example, the candidate interviewed with the client with positive feedback with the client inviting the candidate for a second (face to face) stage interview. The recruiter contacted the candidate for a meeting to make the necessary arrangements but despite repeated attempts was unable to get hold of the candidate via mobile email, text. Result = radio silence and even more strange was that this particular candidate was still active on a social media site.

Candidate attending another call at the same time of telephone interview

While it is understandable that unforeseen circumstances might prevent communication between the client and candidate, all other calls must be put on hold. The client has blocked out time to interview so common courtesy should be extended.

Quiet place during a telephone interview.

One of the golden rules in telephone interviewing is that a candidate must be in a friendly, quiet private place when speaking to a recruiter or client. Background noise or a lack of privacy will hamper the ability to give reliable answers and jeopardise chances of further progression in the interview process.

Failing to disclose information to the recruiter or client

One of the pet hates of head – hunters and clients is a candidate failing to update them on issues that may be critical to their candidacy. Common problems include not being transparent about salary expectations, failing to inform of competing offers, interviews with other companies, interview availability. A little foresight will go a long way to avoiding problems further in the process.

 

The Anatomy of a Job – Understanding each stage and taking it easy

A job represents different things to different people. A job provides sustenance, prosperity, growth, a realization of a worthy goal to name a few. I have always thought of a job as a vehicle that propels our life, and so it is made up of many key components. More importantly, you are the fuel that is used to drive this engine so it is absolutely important that the engine has the right quality of fuel and in sufficient quantity. The seven key components of a job are as follows:

Job Advertisement/Job Lead – The job advertisement is what generates your interest in a job. You read about the job description and decide whether you tick all the boxes in order for you to apply for the vacant position. That is why it is absolutely important you read the job description carefully and tailor your CV/application accordingly because you do not want it to end up in the discarded pile.

Interview – The make or break stage of the whole process. Some researchers have said that an interviewer will make his/her mind up whether to hire a candidate or not in the first 3 minutes of an interview. First impressions count, and if you can come across positive as soon as you step into the interviewer’s room the better. What is even more important is getting off to a good start when the interview questions come your way. In order to be really successful in interviews you have to know what you stand for and what you can bring to the table. The interviewer may start off with a common question such as ‘Tell me about yourself?’ Quite a lot of candidates struggle with this question. This is your opportunity to truly sell yourself. Think of this question like an elevator pitch for yourself. Have a few meaningful words and sentences committed to memory to really get your pitch flowing.

Contract/Offer of Employment – This is the moment you sign on the dotted line. It is an opportunity for you to review the fine details of the job. Does it fit your requirements? Are there any clauses? What are the terms and conditions? It is always a good idea to read through the contract several times before you sign it and send it back to the employer.

Induction – This is quite an exciting part of the whole job process. It can last anywhere between 1 and 2 weeks and depending on the nature of job can even be longer. The induction is designed to provide you with as much information about the specific job and company. It’s all about becoming acquainted with the house rules. You will be given information on health and safety issues, your holiday entitlement etc. Use this process to gain as much knowledge about the company’s policies and procedures as possible.

Performance Review – This is the nervous part of the entire project. However, it does not need to be that way. The important thing to remember is that the employer is basically looking to evaluate you in accordance with a set of pre-determined criteria relating to the job you were hired to do. The criteria for this depends on the type of job but in essence it revolves around core competencies and your attitude at work and the impact that has on company profitability.

Redundancy/Firing – This signals the end of the road for you but don’t take it in a bad way. The company has made the decision based on your performance review or has been forced by senior management to trim the staff count. Although this process can be very difficult to bear the important thing is to be proactive and figure out what you are going to do next. If you have a really good relationship with your manager, you can ask him/her if they can help you identify any job leads. Also use your network to your advantage because there is a hidden jobs market out there, it’s just a case of finding it.

In summary, starting a new job can be a really exciting experience. The first three months are considered to be toughest where you really have to showcase your abilities. It’s almost like a President’s first 100 days in charge. A solid start will lay a solid foundation for your future role in the company. By six months, you should be comfortable in your daily role. There will be challenges and there will be disappointments and setbacks along the way. The important thing is to remain focused and work hard. Your attitude will determine your altitude.