Tricky Interview Questions for CEO’s to use
Posted Monday, January 2nd, 2017

by Bert Sadtler

Tricky Interview Questions for CEO's to use

Tricky Interview Questions for CEO’s to use.

As a CEO or business leader, are you reading this article expecting to find the great secrets for tricky interview questions from the viewpoint of a professional recruiter? Are you looking forward to uncovering the best tricky interview questions for CEO’s to use and the magical ways to get them to work?  Is the headline itself a trick? As a CEO, would you feel angry or disappointed to learn that this column will not be offering any great tricky interview questions? Would you feel misled? Will I have lost some of your trust?

Please step back and think about your response. None of us enjoys being tricked. Why would anyone being interviewed enjoy being tricked?

Tricky interview questions ARE NOT a best practice in recruiting

Tricky Interview Questions Send the Wrong Message

– They demonstrate that the hiring manager may be a weak or insecure leader if they need to resort to tricky interview questions.
– If the hiring manager has delegated tricky questions to be asked by an administrator it may also suggest weak leadership.
– If a hiring manager asks tricky interview questions during the hiring process, what will the hiring manager be like to work with if you are hired? Things can only be expected to get worse, not better.
– Tricky questions suggest the need for the hiring manager to establish a dominant position over the candidate. Highly qualified talented professionals do not want to join companies with that type of a toxic environment.

Best Practices

Best practice hiring is about attracting and hiring the best talent. Poor hiring processes quickly turn off highly talented candidates.  Our changing society is a more transparent society. Simply Google “Interview Tricky Questions” to have access to all of the “Greatest” ones.

Here are two examples:

What would you do if you won $5 million tomorrow

Can you name three of your strengths and weaknesses?

These types of questions fall under the larger category of being totally useless hiring questions that can be practiced and rehearsed by candidates.  In the dark ages, there was a place for them when hiring managers would share their secret handbook of hiring questions and dinosaurs were roaming the earth.  It is easy to Google for the interview tricky questions, it is just as easy to Google the ideal responses to the tricky questions. In doing so, candidates can demonstrate their ability to polish answers to predicted questions.

Does someone who has well rehearsed and polished answers to predicted interview questions make a great hire?  Hell No!

The purpose of hiring critical talent should be to solve a critical business challenge. Responding to tricky questions or predicted questions has nothing to do with demonstrating the necessary qualifications for solving a critical business challenge. Many hiring efforts have lost their way when they resort to using predictable, stale questions. Best practice hiring takes effort and works to get it right. Tricky interview questions and predictable interview questions require zero imagination and very little effort.

Tricky interview questions contribute to the currently broken hiring practice model.

Where should we be going?

The purpose of hiring is to solve a critical business challenge.  The format should be a business discussion vs. an interrogatory.  The conversation should focus on discussing in more detail the business challenge.  Have a candidate discuss their original thoughts and ideas to solve the critical business challenge.

Change is a constant component of business.  We have arrived at the place where it is time to retire the worn-out weak interview questions and move forward with a fresher and more relevant approach?

Good hunting.

About Boxwood Strategies

Bert Sadtler is the President of Boxwood Strategies.  A thought-leader for best practices recruiting, performance-based compensation, and the shift in the changing paradigm toward acquiring critical senior level talent.

Boxwood Strategies is a management consulting and recruiting firm located in the National Capital region. Bert is a dedicated, consulting resource to CEO’s and hiring managers.  Boxwood develops strategies for organizational growth through a focus on performance and the evaluation and acquisition of critical talent.

To help companies meet numerous business challenges, Bert has co-founded the Alliance of Independent Managers.  AIM is a group of diverse and accomplished senior-level professionals who are available to companies on a consultative and project basis.  The focus of this group is to take “AIM” at a company’s challenges and opportunities.  Clearly defining those challenges the group delivers cost-effective solutions.    Instead of hiring full-time employees to create sustainable solutions, use experienced, professional consultants.  Market sectors include SATCOM, Space, Government Contracting, Communications, and Technology.

Bert can be reached at:

[email protected] or use this contact form.