It is pretty amazing to me that people are put into situations to interview someone where they believe they are in over their heads. How do you interview someone more senior than you? Well, it’s easy.

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I'm Jeff Altman, The Big game Hunter.. I'm a coach who helps people
professionally in a number of different ways
and here I'm back with a Career Angle that was generated by
one of my subscribers. I think it was a great question that no one ever talks
about and I know I've been placed in these positions myself
so I have a perspective on it that might be a little bit different than
what you might hear from your boss. So, the question really is
"How do you interview someone who's more senior and more knowledgeable than you?"
So, the first thing I want you to do is to ask your manager, director, boss,
whoever this is what it is they want you to evaluate
for or "just get to know him" was the way it
was always presented to me which was a joke.
I'd be wasting my time and I told them that I'll do this one time but
i need specifics because otherwise you're not going to listen to anything I
say because I haven't hit on the points that you really care about.
So, what is it you want me to evaluate for is the launch point
here. From there, I want you to meet with the person,
obviously, do all the social stuff at the beginning
and then begin the conversation in a pretty unconventional way.
I just want you to simply tell them "I don't plan on being a roadblock to you
joining but I've been asked to talk with you
about (fill in the blank). Thus what you're doing is revealing
what it is that your boss has asked you to look for
so they know what the target is. You're not going to tell them the specific
questions but what the target is. Now, the
probability is you're going to be asked to talk with them about
something related to their work and that's fine. You cover those points.
But I think there are three things that you need to find out about this person
and these are the three basics i want to encourage you
to dig deeper and be curious, not with an idea towards turning this into an
inquisition but to turn it into a conversation where
you get a sense of how they like to lead.. So, the next question is what is your
leadership style? And they'll, of course, say something like
collaborative. I've got an open door policy.
All this sort of crap that every manager talks about.
Given me an example of that. Talk with me about how you led in that perspective
and how you got results. Dig deeper. Be curious. Ask your questions to find
out more. Tell me about a subordinate you took
from, let's say, average to exceptional. How did
you do that? Listen to what they define
exceptional as being. Let's see what average wound up being.
And you learn something from that question, too, that i
think is really useful. There are other things I'm sure they're
going to start opening up from there. But the third question I think is a very
subtle one. What haven't I asked you about that I
should in order to get a perspective of you as a leader in an
organization, you as a manager in an organization.
Their feedback, their comment about that
is going to be telling because you really don't want to be a roadblock
because you think you're in over your head. I
just want you to have a conversation, report back and give your
manager a sense of what your perspective is which is really
from the standpoint of you are more junior than them you
shouldn't be evaluating them from the standpoint of what they know.
They may know a heck of a lot more than you. And
the final thing you might just ask if you have
time is teach me something that you think is important
Catch that one. Teach me something that you think is im.portant for me to know
about in order to be a successful individual.
Again, you learn something about them, from questions like that and that's
really what you want to do. Hope you found this helpful. I'm Jeff
Alton. my website is
Go there and go exploring. There's just going to be a lot there to help you with job
search hiring more effectively,, managing and leading, workplace related
stuff. In addition, if you're interested in one-on-one coaching, you can schedule
time at the website for a free discovery call
or schedule time for coaching. I'd love to help you.
Lastly, subscribe to my channel. Click the small icon in the lower right of the
picture of me in the upper left to get notified when i release something new.
Hope you have a terrific day and more importantly
be great!! Take care


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is Career Angles | Jeff Altman, The Big Game Huntera member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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2 Responses
    1. Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

      Thanks, Helena. I hope you gave it a thumbs up. Would you be willing to do a recommendation on LinkedIn for my work here? If we aren’t connected yet, send a connection request to me at I’ll send a connection request to you after we connect.
      Again, glad to help.

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