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.


2 thoughts on “Interview Questions

  1. 1. If you could be an fruit, what would you be and why? (seems silly but you actually get fantastically interesting answers and explanations)

    2. Sell me this (pointing to anything in the room – a pencil, light fixture, etc.) – shows how the person thinks on their feet, how well they understand what’s in front of them (much less the actual product/service), and how well they can communicate the benefits to others.

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