In a recent conversation with someone on the short list for the senior most position in an organization, they asked me what should they focus on in their final interviews.

In response to their question, I reminded myself there are critical decision points in this process whether you selecting a new hire or considering promoting a current employee. Those critical decision points also exist if you are the candidate exploring whether you would accept an offer or embrace an expanded role.

In those decision points something is asked and answered. A specific moment where an insight is made, a conclusion drawn, and a decision about whether and how to move forward is made. Sometimes we miss the moment and wonder afterwards where did it go wrong or where did it go right.

Can we anticipate those moments, even orchestrate them? Can we Penn-point them and take advantage of them?

Here are three questions you can ask to create those moments that get or give you answers you need to make decisions

  • Over time, what is the impact of what you are doing, not doing, or planning to do, on accomplishing what you expect to do
  • How will I know I am on track or that I am drifting off track
  • If you have three credible choices, how will you choose

Try those questions out or reframe them in your own words. If the other person tilts their head, stutters, or says aloud that’s a good question, you know you are tapping into a critical layer of information that is off-script and potentially more authentic.

Comment below or message me if you want to hear more about what underlies each question.

My more general advice is to:

  • Shape this as a conversation and not an interview
  • Make it a preview of working with them and not a pretense of what either of you might imagine it would be like to work with each other
  • Focused on options and opportunities and not limits and liabilities

Like this. Comment on it. Share it. Give me a call and ask me a few questions.

I am sure I have 3 or 4 that I want to ask of you.

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