Interviewing: Act Like a Doctor…Diagnose Before You Prescribe a Cure

By October 8, 2014 No Comments

By: Maurice Gilbert

doctorI was not feeling well and went to see my physician.  He walked in and started asking questions: Where does it hurt?  What are the symptoms?  He then did a physical exam.  Once completed, he identified the issue and prescribed a treatment plan.  Throughout the visit he spent 20 percent of the time asking questions and 80 percent of the time listening to my responses.

I use this analogy when I prepare professionals to interview with clients.  Do your research on the client and you may be able to project their needs (i.e., their pain), but while interviewing, eliminate the guess work and just ask good questions.  Our firm places compliance officers, so some appropriate questions would include:

•  What do you see as some of the greatest compliance risks facing the business right now?
•  If you where to hire me, what would you like me to accomplish within the first 12 months?

Upon receiving responses to your questions, you can then identify how your experiences relate to meeting the client’s specific needs.

Note:  If you are a hiring authority, be on the lookout for candidates that utilize this technique in the interview process, as it usually indicates the professional is prepared, inquisitive, smart and a good communicator.  Why a good communicator, you ask?  He/she understands the 80/20 rule: listen 80 percent of the time and talk 20 percent of the time.  It’s the winning formula in any conversation.


Maurice GilbertMaurice Gilbert is Managing Partner of Conselium Executive Search, which specializes in placing Compliance Officers and Legal Counsel for clients in the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific.  Maurice is also CEO of Corporate Compliance Insights, a worldwide publication devoted to governance, risk and compliance issues. Maurice can be reached at maurice@conselium.com or maurice@corporatecomplianceinsights.com.

Published by Conselium Executive Search, the global leader in compliance search.  

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