Interview Questions

Coming up with good interview questions is an art, particularly when you are interviewing people for executive positions.  I have a list of questions that I like to augment from time to time.  Some questions are quirky, some are predictable, and some are a little weird.  Purposely weird.  My general theme is to test how the candidate will react in a startup environment and deal with/treat people (including board members) in that environment.  After all, leading a startup takes an organizational behavior skill set.  Here is a sampling (in no particular order):

  • If given the choice, do you sit in the exit row on an airplane?
  • Do you accept phone calls from “restricted” numbers?
  • Do you keep your own calendar?
  • How fast do you normally drive in a 65mph zone?
  • When is the last time you actually created a PowerPoint?
  • How many unread messages do you typically have in your inbox at 5pm?
  • What is the last book you read?
  • What blogs do you read?
  • Do you know what DealBook is?
  • What do you value more:  product launches or business development?

I realize that some of these questions are practically silly, but I honestly think that keeping your own calendar is a signal of possessing important startup survival instincts.   Likewise, driving the speed limit is a sign of caution; driving 20 miles over a sign of recklessness; and driving, say, 75mph is aggressive bliss.   I could give a similar ditty about each of these questions.

If you like, put your favorite questions in the comments and I will assemble a list and post it up.

Been a crazy week, complete with a 5.5 hour board meeting (that was actually awesome).  Often times, board meetings over 3 hours signal some unpleasant issues.  This week’s was a nice exception.

Enjoy the weekend.