Interview Questions for Politicians (or Managers)

I was thinking about the election. (How can anyone in the US avoid it?) I read Seth's piece, Politics!, and thought that nightly debates might be a great way to discover who the smartest people are. Maybe. But a lot closer than the sound bites we get now.

Since we're not going to have nightly debates, here are some of my questions for the candidates:

  1. Tell me how you've chosen at least four of your advisors. What do they advise you on, and how did you choose them?
  2. Give me an example of a time you inherited a budget that wasn't balanced. What did you do? (I might need to ask when that was, because we've had different economic cycles and unbalanced budgets.)
  3. How have you affected health care in your state in the last year? two years? five years? (All of the candidates are either senators or governors.) If not the state, the Senate. Explain the effect of your actions on the people affected.
  4. Give me an example of how you've worked with people who did not share your philosophy or values. (I might ask for half a dozen examples!)
  5. Give me at least four references that can discuss your integrity. What would you like to tell me about your integrity?

I suspect I need more questions than these (!), but I would start here. The President's job is too difficult to take people who don't think and act clearly.

BTW, you could these questions when hiring for managers, too. Instead of the health care question, change it to a question that addresses a significant cost in your organization, such as project management.

3 Replies to “Interview Questions for Politicians (or Managers)”

  1. Those are great questions to assess the competencies of the candidates. But politicians are not chosen on competencies, they are chosen on looks, sound bites, and/or professed values.

    Often managers too are hired on looks rather than competencies.

  2. Pingback: The Week In Recruiting (Reading the blogs, so you don’t have to…) | The Recruiters Lounge

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