Re: FWD: Employment Interview Questions

Subject: Re: FWD: Employment Interview Questions
From: Kelli Bond <versakel -at- EARTHLINK -dot- NET>
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 11:36:24 -0800

Marie wrote:

> Have a business friend call posing as a prospective employer and
> question your manager as though they were considering you for a
> position. You'll find out really quick if your manager is
> messing with you.

Excellent idea. I'd also make sure that this business friend has either
a direct-dial number at work with his or her own voice mail attached to
it, or a home-office number where his or her business name can be
announced along with the outgoing message on the answering machine. The
*last* impression the business friend ever wants to leave is one of
amateurism if the manager will have to return the call.

I'd have a employment scenario firmly in mind when the call's made.
However, the dialogue to the manager need not go much beyond "We're
considering ________ for a (position slightly higher than the current
one) with our organization." I'd also have a list of questions ready to
roll; hopefully, in this case, the manager will stop with the
name-rank-serial number recitation and say "I'll have to refer you to
our human resources department." Questions I've asked--and have had
answered--on reference checks of all kinds include:

--What kinds of work assignments did you give _____?

--Tell me about his or her ability to get these done.
(This may be followed up with questions regarding
ability to work with subject matter experts, ability
to communicate progress to the manager being questioned,
ability to meet deadlines, the work habits of the
person being inquired about, etc.)

--The job ________ is being considered for involves
_______________. I'd like your take on how well he or
she would do in carrying out that particular
responsibility.

--What strengths/weaknesses did _______ exhibit in your
department or organization? (NOTE: If the "I'd like
your take..." question was asked and answered, this set
may not have to be asked.)

If there's fear this business friend would get a lot of negatives, or
the manager would give information this particular friend has called you
on in the past, you may want to pay a service bureau (there's one in
California; you'll have to do a net search for their name/number) to do
the checking. You don't want to put the business friend in the kind of
awkward position I was around 10 years ago. Back then, I ended up having
to cut off (tactfully, of course) a particular reference someone wanted
me to check on. It was one of those "How many ways can you spell
slander?" situations; I got myself out of a tight spot with the person
inquired about by telling him, "If I were you, I'd be really careful
about giving this reference to prospective employers." (I did this
because the reference-giver unfortunately confirmed a number of
characteristics I had started to see in the person inquired about, whom
I had not known long enough to level with but long enough to know he was
looking for one lovely set of deep pockets to dip into. I had no desire
to testify on his behalf!)

Take care,
Kelli Bond
Principal Consultant
KBA/DesignWrite
versakel -at- earthlink -dot- net




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