1. Tell me how to solve a real problem that you will face?

Because we need to know your capability for solving the actual problems you will face in this job, we would like to see how you will go about solving a real problem. “Please walk us through the broad steps that you would take in order to solve this problem that will be on your desk on your first day.

2. Tell us what's a common mistake you see among job seekers?

How they apply. Don't just apply for a job because you can't stand your current job, so you're running from something or feel like you'll just take anything to escape. It's really about the candidate and job match, especially now. The workforce is opening up more than it was in 2008/2009. It's becoming a candidate or job seekers market. When there are a lot of jobs but not a lot of qualified seekers, that's when a candidate has more choices, and they shouldn't feel powerless like they don't have anything to contribute.

3. Tell me what roles are the hardest to fill in your organization? Why?

Finding enough nurses. Many nurses are reaching retirement age and since they are usually working a 12-hour shift it is difficult for them to continue working at the bedside.

Also, respiratory therapists, rehabilitation therapists and pharmacists. In the past, you needed a Bachelor's degree and now you may need a Master's or even a doctorate. In general health care workers need higher levels of credentialing than before.

4. Tell me what are you currently reading?

I have found in nearly 30 years of experience, those who read are stronger employees, more creative and can be more objective.

5. Explain me about a time that conflict occurred in one of your work groups and what did you do about it?

I find that how employees deal with conflict tells me a lot about them and how successful they will be.

6. Tell us how long would you stay with us?

I see this as a long-term career move.

Prepare your own five-year plan...

7. Tell me how can I retain the talent in the organization during a recession and without a dedicated budget?

The way to retain talent is the same in times of recession and in times of economic growth. In both cases, you need to consider the appropriate way to compensate your talents and identify what motivates him/her.
The difference is the type of answers the organization is capable of providing during a recession, versus the options available in times of growth. The answer is not always financial compensation. Some employees prefer to enrich their professional skills, some set the next job as their goal, and others seek to participate in a professional conference.
During a recession, the solution for employee retention will revolve probably around professional development within the organization, mentoring by a senior company executive, exposure to cross-organizational projects, etc.
What is important is to create a personal dialogue with the employee and to understand his needs.

8. Explain what's the difference between talent management plans and executive team development plans?

Executive team development plans deal with the development of the individual. This is a process of empowering the managers, intended to deepen their professional knowledge and improve their managerial capabilities. The process aims at identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the managers, determining their personal vision, and preparing a work plan to achieve this vision.
By contrast, talent management plans are conducted at the organizational level. They deal with mapping and management of the sum total of skills: competencies, knowledge, skills, and experience essential for the organization today and in the future in order to achieve its strategic objectives and ensure business success.

9. Explain me how will you identify problems and opportunities on the job?

The best new hires rapidly seek to identify problems that must be quickly addressed in their new job. So, please walk us through the steps of the process that you will actually use during your first weeks to identify the most important current issues/problems, as well as any possible positive opportunities in your new job.

10. Explain me what kind of experience do you have that shows you are ready for a position acquiring talent for this company?

I already talked a bit about how I conducted interviews in my management position in the restaurant industry. I have also undergone training to prepare myself to be a great human resources worker. I think one thing that really demonstrates my capabilities and dedication is the fact that I went through training to be certified as a Certified Professional through the Society for Human Resources Management. I invested time and money into completing the program to make sure I was fully prepared for a job in the industry.

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11. Tell me what do you wish interviewees asked you?

I wish they asked me what my leadership style is like and what I expect. They are interviewing us as much as we're interviewing them. So they can confirm that this feels like the right match for them.
I also wished they asked, “How will I know I'm successful in this job in a year?” Use the interview to establish expectations.

Finally, I have candidates meet the team without me in the room. I wish people would talk about teams and get to know players on the team. Talk about where their strengths could help the team do better things. What kind of team they are going to be joining? What could they add to our team and what could that team add to them?

12. Tell us what misconceptions do people have about your cause area?

That you have to be a clinician to work in healthcare. We have IT, fundraising, marketing, PR, finance, HR, we have sales and business development. You can translate your skills to a role.

13. I am thinking back to your last performance review, what performance areas were reviewed and how did you fare on each one?

This question tells me how serious the candidate's last company was about employee performance and whether the candidate actually cared about/paid attention to how s/he did in each area and was being rated.

14. Tell me if I yelled from my office, "Hey, bring me a cup of coffee!" how would you respond?

I ask both men and women this question and I look for body language and their verbal response. If the question was met with a smile or a slight shrug, it indicates a sense of humor and an easy-going nature. In their verbal response I am looking for an applicant willing to do whatever it takes to help the team find success but always like to hear, "I'd get it for you -- and then show you how to get it yourself the next time.

15. Explain me how to make decision makers / senior management realize the need for managing talent in the organization? How to convince them or explain the importance and benefits of talent management and how to harness them to the process?

An organization's decision to start managing their talent results from one of two reasons: anxiety about a deteriorating situation or a desire to do better.
Anxiety stems from the resignations of talented employees. This usually happens after a manager has experienced personally the loss of a promising employee, and perceives it as a personal abandonment.

Often, frustration resulting from the question “Could I have handled it differently?” leads to action.
In such a case, the prevailing approach to argue the importance of talent management is based on return on investment (ROI).
Replacing a talent that has decided to leave involves higher costs and other implications than replacing other employees, mainly because the resignation of talent involves the loss of vital knowledge. This loss is particularly evident in cases of employees who maintain contact with customers, such as sales personnel, implementation and customer support or others on whom customers depend.
In Israel, the minimal calculation amounts to the cost of half a year's work. Therefore, a plan that may reduce talent turnover even to some degree will impact return on investment.
The second motive to initiate a talent management process is the drive for improvement. For example, the desire to “duplicate” a successful sales representative or to understand the set of skills that would help a person succeed in the future.
Developing talents enables the organization to produce proper successors for key positions, making it possible for the company to realize its business objectives.
The HR manager should match up the talent management plan to the company's business strategy. Managers who are convinced of the added value of such a process will approve it more easily.

16. As you know usually Talent Management processes focus only on the company's high-level management. Why?

Typically, an organization nurtures the senior management level and those in critical positions, because when such employees leave, it strongly affects the operation of the organization. Mid-level employees are nurtured when they hold a critical position, or when the employee is a potential successor in the long-term succession plan.
More and more organizations, however, also introduce the process at mid-level. However, it then takes place at the departmental level and not at the level of the organization. Each organizational unit builds its own talent pool, which makes it a part of the organization's general pool.

17. Explain me an example of a time when you demonstrated excellent interpersonal skills, and in particular when it comes to seeking out talent?

There was frequently a need for new staff when I worked as assistant manager at a restaurant, due to the high turnover rates in the industry. I was tasked with interviewing job candidates in order to determine who would be the most effective replacements. When I began recruiting people, our restaurant experienced a decrease in turnover rates of over 20 percent. I attribute this to my selective process and my knack for asking the right questions. In that job I also led the team a lot of the time, and the fact that I kept everyone motivated and ready to work hard is also a demonstration of my interpersonal skills.

18. Tell me in your response on our HR Council form, you mentioned the importance of job seekers being mindful of aligning their personal beliefs and passion with the organization's mission. How can job seekers effectively do this?

It begins with self-reflection and awareness. Understanding what is important to you. What issues or causes do you find yourself drawn to? What magazines do you want to pick up and read? Why? When you're around something you are committed to, you'll find yourself excited and engaged in it. It's usually a visceral reaction yet it also takes some trial and error.
For me, I didn't initially want to work in health care. It evolved and it's really about caring for members of our community. Although I am not a clinician who provides hands on or direct care, in my role I support those who do the direct care. To get to this point, I needed to do some self reflection and some dabbling. I thought education was what I wanted and it certainly was interesting for me. At end of day, what drove my decision was being part of the LVHN talent community. I think it's the people in your organization that truly make that organization. If organizations don't attract, recruit, develop, and keep great people, the organization will hollow out.

19. Explain what's one trait that all candidates need if they want to work in this cause area (population health) regardless of role?

You have to have some desire to be helpful to others. Even if you're an IT person, you have to care about the health and well being of others.

That being said, health care is a challenging industry to work right now. We are becoming an incredibly competitive field, which is challenging for for some who left the for profit world to seek an opportunity in the not for profit world. We're more businesslike than before: cost control, cost optimization, market share, etc. You need to be flexible and adapt quickly.

20. Tell me if there were three of your closest friends sitting right here, what would they say about you?

This answer tells me more about the social skills of the applicant and their ability to get along with others in the office. It also gives me more insight into their real personality.

21. Explain me which types of risk does talent management address?

Talent management addresses two main types of risks: “My star employees abandon me” and “the empty bench”.
The first risk, “My star employees abandon me,” is where they receive or even proactively seek job offers from other organizations, and when they find an appropriate offer they leave.
There is also the phenomenon of emotional desertion of the workplace, where the employee has no plans to leave, but neither does he make an exceptional effort to use his talents to benefit the organization.
In this case the organization should manage the talent, that is, examine what motivates employees, what is important to them, and what gaps must be filled to develop the processes of talent nurturing and retention.
The second risk, “the empty bench,” refers to insufficient successors to key positions in the organization, where an employee quits or is promoted to another job, but there is no one to fill his place.

Even if it seems that there is a suitable successor for the position, it may take him a long time to become effective in the new job. A position that is not staffed may lead to loss of revenue and to a failure to achieve company objectives.
In this case, the organization should manage the skills and competencies, –map the critical positions and the skills required to fill them, and identify employees with the right qualifications.
Depending on the mapping results, the organization should then create a pool of “potential successors for all the key positions (succession planning), addressing the skills and readiness of the employees.

22. Explain me is it possible to characterize a typical talent? How do you avoid overlooking the recruitment of an applicant when screening is based on highly specific requirements dictated by the professional manager?

Although some skills are needed in every organization, such as IQ, EQ (emotional intelligence) and others, one must remember that the definition of talent is not clear-cut.
Talent is always estimated relative to the current and future needs of a particular organization, the nature of the organization, and the specific situation. It is possible, therefore, that an employee considered a talent in organization A will not be considered as such in organization B, and vice versa.
If the recruitment process is carried out according to the specific and rigid requirements of a hiring professional manager, there may be applicants with great talent who could fill the position who will not be engaged because they do not precisely meet the defined profile.
At the same time, one should keep in mind that the hiring managers sometimes may have a genuine difficulty accepting a candidate who does not meet the criteria, from their point of view.
Therefore, it is important to distinguish between the skills and capabilities necessary based on the job description and those that are no more than a matter of habit.
The understanding that diversity can help the organization achieve its business goals should percolate to the hiring managers. To this end, HR managers should provide the hiring manager with the tools and means to expand diversity.
This can be accomplished through various interview options. You can add another step of an interview with another manager to evaluate the candidate, or even expand the variety of the recruitment resources beyond those currently used for recruitment.
The connection between talent management and diversity, besides being value-related, enables the entry of new populations into the organization, which is important to the vitality of the organization and increases its chances of success.
A good example is the call center, which in the past was populated only by students.
In light of the high turnover in the field, an attempt was made, which proved to be successful, to incorporate different populations, such as women after maternity leave, senior citizens, the ultra-Orthodox, and people with disabilities and train them as call center representatives.

23. Tell me suppose you had to choose between two equally qualified candidates. How would you go about deciding which one to extend a job offer to?

I think the interview process is really important when it comes to selecting candidates, so I would use that as the primary way of distinguishing them. Whoever gives the most confident answers and is most passionate about joining my team would be more highly considered. I would also look for the person with the longest amount of time working in the industry.

24. Tell me what aspects of the job search do candidates focus on that aren't really that important to you?

There's no need to spend too much time looking for the hiring manager's name.
And sometimes, I get packages with resumes, raised font, and brochures after they've applied for a job. I can't even look at it. I have to toss it. They did a lot of work to put that together, but because of the legality giving preference to someone doing work above and beyond what most job seekers might be able to do, I have to put it aside. For an organization of our size, it's a waste of time. Spend your time on conveying your personal brand through a cover letter, resume, and by networking.

Go above and beyond when you're an actual candidate. If you are brought in for an interview, and you want to bring something in like a project, presentation or other visuals to demonstrate your ability to do the job, I highly recommend that.

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25. Tell us what exactly is it in your background that makes you feel like you are qualified for this position?

The best type of response is an anecdote of an experience the candidate had which is germane to the requirements of the position.