Checking the References of Potential Execs
July 22, 1999
Here are some important issues to address when interviewing a reference for an executive-level candidate.
- How well does he/she make decisions, particularly when dealing with incomplete or ambiguous information? Ask the person to expand on the answer.
- Using a specific project as a point of reference, describe how the candidate’s problem-solving skills were exhibited, and how he or she contributed to its success.
- How well does the candidate work with others including supervisors, subordinates, peers and people outside the organization? Can you give me an example?
- Describe how the candidate sells ideas and projects to others?
- How does the candidate work in a structured environment? Is he or she better in a hierarchical, entrepreneurial or team environment?
SOURCE: Michael D. Zinn & Associates, Inc., Princeton, NJ, Feb. 16, 1999.