3: Research Referrals continued
10. Is he political or a straight shooter?
11. What is his temperament?
12. Where does he get his good people from?
13. What type of people does he hire?
14. Is [insert name] forward thinking or reactive?
15. Is he aggressive or laid back?
16. How’s his ability to pick winners?
—You need to know now if this manager can easily recognize talent. This will dictate the amount of effort you may need to put into your approach.
17. Will [insert name] go to bat for his staff?
18. What was his biggest accomplishment?
19. Does he seek professional growth for himself? [If not, it will be difficult for you to grow on the job.]
About the Department
1. Is it growing or shrinking?
—Either way, the information will influence which of your skills you emphasize.
2. Is the department under pressure from competitors?
—How is it handling this?
3. What are the department’s biggest issues?
—Can you solve their problems?
4. Is the department respected by the rest of the company?
—This determines whether it can get another hire in the budget.
5. Is the department seen as adding value to the company or is it viewed as just another cost center?
6. How’s the department doing compared with other departments in the company?
7. What’s the biggest thing the department needs to do to be successful?
About the Company
1. What new products or services are they looking to build or offer in the near future?
—How can my experience apply?
2. How are they doing financially?
3. If there’s one thing they need to do better than their competitors, what is it?
4. What do they do better than their competitors?
5. Who are their best customers?
6. Who would they like to have as customers?
7. What do their customers think of the company?
8. How’s the turnover?
9. Can you think of anyone else I should talk to?
—Get referrals, if you can, to people who currently work there to help cement your position even before you come in for the first interview.
10. Would you work there again?
11. Why did you leave?
—Asking this directly is a good idea, especially if the person has made negative comments about the individual, department, or company. A person who won’t or can’t return to a former job may have a beef with the company that makes
any opinion of doubtful value.
12. Does the company have a clearly stated vision? Do people in the company know what it is?