I ask candidates what books and blogs they are currently reading. Learning what someone reads provides you with great insight into his personality, passions and dreams.
Be candid without sounding arrogant. Mention observations other people have made about your work strengths or talents.
What salary would you pay yourself if you were me? I love this question because you can get an idea if they are only money-motivated, or if they're joining the team for the right reasons.
What is the one thing you would change about the company if you could today? I love to ask this question to find out how much they've thought about my business. The answer isn't super important. What is important is that it is thoughtful.
Learning what someone reads provides you with great insight into their personality, passions, and dreams.
If you are hiring at the executive level, no matter the function, you need people you feel can represent the business as well as you do. Have them pitch the company to you as if you are in a sales meeting, and you'll get a sense as to whether you'll feel comfortable with them in an outside-facing role.
It helps me identify the journey and their sense of the situation from the get go. Most people who are trying to impress you will be more than happy to give you a syllabus of their credentials as to why. But the gems are usually the ones that answer with something simple and impactful like, "Let me show you why…"
I generally like to question his or her communication skills. If someone's going to join my organization immediately in a senior role, they have to know how to effectively communicate with myself, their colleagues, and direct reports. This is a must if they're joining my company as an executive.
Conflict resolution is a valuable skill. With downsizing, mergers, and problems in corporate management, this could be your winning ticket. Put yourself in the interviewer's shoes to know what interpersonal issues are current stumbling blocks at the company. Then come up with an experience of your own that parallels the company's.
What we do every day and what we try to accomplish for our customers is unique to other accounting companies out there. We are trying to change the value proposition of accounting for businesses in general -- so it is important for us to know our team is in the same boat. Besides being technically capable for their positions, we want to know that every team member sees the same vision we see.