Ask The Most Important Interview Question

Business blogger Brendan Reid says there is one specific question you can ask during an interview that will help you to clearly understand a job candidate. 

Ask this question: Walk me through how this role and company will be different from previous experiences you’ve had.

The Research Test: Reid says he likes this question because the answer always reveals how much the candidate has researched the company and the position. If they don’t refer to specifics or cite examples that indicate they’ve done their homework or if they don’t demonstrate a clear understanding of the role, then it will be apparent.

The Self-Awareness Test: Self-awareness is an attribute that Reid says should be highly valued in candidates. If you aren’t self-aware and you can’t evaluate yourself objectively, it’s very difficult to be successful on a team. This question is great at revealing self-awareness. The candidate is forced to think critically about their own experiences and compare them with this new one. In the process, they must point to gaps and deficiencies to provide a thoughtful answer. The best candidates will be able to thoughtfully analyze and identify areas of difference and speak to how they will manage through them.

The Depth of Competency Test: Many candidates can speak at a surface level about a topic or function. The Internet makes it easy to prep basic answers to most questions, so the goal here is to force candidates to demonstrate a depth of understanding. It allows them to show how they can apply concepts from one job to a different situation.

The Learning Test: Another important attribute to look for in candidates is dedication to learning. The best teams are the ones that learn and improve every day. By asking a question about differences and gaps, you provide the context for the best candidates to talk about learning. Some candidates will try to minimize the relevance of differences. The best candidates, on the other hand, will speak to specific steps they intend to take to close the gaps. They’ll talk about learning.

Try this question in your next interview as an efficient way to discover the capabilities of your job candidates.

Source: Brendan Reid is an executive at one of the largest software companies in the country and the author of Stealing the Corner Office. He also writes a business blog and provides one-on-one career coaching.

Four Ways To Combat Lukewarm Leadership

In the backdrop of uncertainty, a mere spark of ambiguity or apathy by leadership can ignite the pervading fuel of resistance among the masses. Today, we will share four ways to combat lukewarm leadership from business coach and author Brian Braudis.

1. Set the tone: Begin with the energy and gusto you want to see in others. What you do as a leader has tremendous influence on those throughout your team and even your stakeholders. People respond to what you initiate. Demonstrate how much you are willing to give and show that you are duty-bound early and often. Make your messages steadfast. When people see and feel your energy, enthusiasm and promise they will not only buy in, they will help spread your all-in message.

2. Communicate: Communication is a standard by which leaders guide, direct, motivate and inspire action. Clear, confident, resonant communication will engender trust and gain followers. Here’s how:

  • Get specific: Simple and concise is more effective than complicated and confusing. Hit the high points in your speeches and save the granular details for in-person communications.
  • Get face to face: Aim for dialog rather than monologue. Employees and team members know the demands on leaders and managers. They know the value of authentic live contact and informal dialog where they can see and feel that their message is being received.
  • Demonstrate beyond words: What you do supersedes what you say. The proven formula for personal communication is 55 percent body language, 38 percent tone and seven percent communication through words. Body language and tone will validate everything that you say. Sending protocol out in a memo is not nearly as effective as walking around and informally sharing your thoughts and expressing yourself on the need for procedures.

3. Be the Island of commitment in a sea of uncertainty: Increased global influence, more demanding customers and disruptive new players are challenges to be surmounted. But to your team members the new economy means uncertainty. Uncertainty leads to anxiety that makes people susceptible to stress, and being less productive and more vulnerable to conflict. During times of upheaval we need leaders who

are anchored in commitment. They bring a calming presence and a higher perspective to the context of uncertainty. There will always be some degree of uncertainty. But when leaders show resolute certainty in their commitment, team members take note and follow suit.

4. Show consistent enthusiasm: Leaders who show enthusiasm remove any hint of being lukewarm. People can visibly see and feel your passion, energy and commitment and they buy in. Your team wants to win and they want you to be successful. No one tries to be second best. Show consistent enthusiasm and your team reciprocate with buy in and enthusiasm of their own.

When savvy followers see and feel your energy, commitment and enthusiasm shining through the daily challenges and frustrations, there’s nothing lukewarm about that.

Source: Brian Braudis is a highly sought-after human potential expert, certified coach, speaker and author of High Impact Leadership: 10 Action Strategies for Your Ascent. He has also authored several audio programs from executive leadership development to stress management. Braudis believes “leadership” is a verb not a title. His passionate and inspiring presentations are based on the foundation that regardless of your position or role everyone is a leader.  Image courtesy of google image search.

Eight Ways To Show Employees You Care

The holidays are almost here. Company parties are taking place and bonus checks are being handed out. What are you doing to show your appreciation to employees? Today we shares these eight ideas to thank employees for their work all year long.

1. Make sure you acknowledge your employees’ contributions. Employees want to know you care about them, value them, and that what they do matters to you. Make time to go around and visit and thank employees, send notes to tell them so, or greet and mingle at a town hall meeting.

2. Giving something to your employees can really help in retaining them. The principle of reciprocity causes people to want to give their loyalty and commitment to the giver. Employees receiving bonuses are 71 percent more likely to stay with their current employers.

3. When you can give a bonus remember to make it a big deal. Don’t let the bonus just be an extra line on the pay statement. Flag it, communicate it and let everyone know. One study showed that nine percent of employees couldn’t remember if their employers had given them bonuses last year.

4. Never neglect to say thank you, no matter what you give. Too often we give the tangible award, bonus or gift and think the item given communicates our thanks. Accompany any tangible acknowledgment with some form of expressed appreciation, whether spoken or written.

5. Wrap up a special memory to take home from work. My own company gives a special gift-wrapped company gift to each employee at the Christmas party celebration. Many have been special, uniquely designed, Christmas tree ornaments that we hang up with fond memories each year.

6. Create the right message that fits your brand. Whether you choose a simple branded card with a handwritten expression, a unique calendar or a collection of great thoughts in infographic poster format, put thought into communicating your respect and appreciation in a special way.

7. Where feasible, close down earlier than usual. Time is precious over the holiday season and is always a valuable gift to give to employees. Wherever operational demands permit, and even if you have to stagger who goes when, giving early departure times over the holiday season will always go over well.

8. One-on-one meetings with the boss. When a positive relationship exists between employees and a boss, managers should make time for a brief but personal meeting with each employee. This is simply a time for managers to personally express appreciation for their employee’s contributions.

Source: Incentive columnist Roy Saunderson is author of Giving the Real Recognition Way and is the chief learning officer of Rideau’s Recognition Management Institute, a consulting and training company which helps leaders and managers get recognition right.

April Fools Office Pranks!

1. Give them an office technology upgrade!

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2. If you feel a little nasty, attach an airhorn to their seat.

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3. You can always help make sure they read the morning newspaper.

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4. Or throw them a surprise balloon party.

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5. You can give their car a nice new “paint” job.

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6. And then there’s this:

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Wheather you’re a prankster or not, we hope everyone enjoys their April 1st!