A Great Interview Question…and Answer

Have you ever worked for a bi-polar, Jekyll and Hyde personality? One who sucks up to the boss but is abusive with subordinates?

I have….

When interviewed by a panel for the job I currently have, I was asked “If you had 30 seconds in an elevator to convince the hiring official you are the right person for this job, what would you say?”

 I responded that “I would NOT go over my qualifications as those are well spelled out in my application. I would assume the hiring official had reviewed my resume. I would simply say: ‘You can talk to anyone I have ever worked for… worked with… or who has worked for me… and they will tell you the same thing about Craig Whelden.’”

Why did I say this? 

Because I’m a firm believer in “What you see is what you get.” I was confident people would report on me in positive ways, and this answer demonstrated that confidence no matter who they asked.

Weeks later, I had a phone interview with the selecting official. It was mostly a ”chemistry check” as my application had been thoroughly vetted by that time and he had the recommendations of the board. 

Towards the end of the conversation, he asked “Is there anything you’d like to leave with me?”

I told him about the question I was asked by the board. He laughed and said “Yeah, they told me about that.” 

A few weeks later, I was hired.

You may never be asked this question in an interview, but you can answer it none-the-less when someone asks “Is there anything you’d like to leave with us?”

Retired Major General Craig B. Whelden

Major General Craig Whelden,
U.S. Army (Retired)

Served 30 years in the Army followed by another nine as a member of the Senior Executive Service for the Marine Corps.

He is a global Fortune 500 speaker and the author of a three-time award-winning, #1 international best-selling book, opens in a new windowLEADERSHIP: The Art of Inspiring People to Be Their Best.  He now resides in Bluffton, South Carolina.