newspaper-on-tabletMy one “must read” for jobseekers is Corner Office, in the New York Times, by Adam Bryant.

If you don’t have a subscription, use your free article reads for the month on this column.  Or go to the library and read them there.

Every week on Sunday, on the inside front cover of the New York Times Business section, Adam Bryant summarizes an interview with the CEO or top leader of a company – start-ups, established, even non-profit.  The interviews cover 3 main topics:

Leadership:  How did the person become a leader?  Past influences, lessons learned, style of leadership.

Management / Culture:  How does the person run their company? Values, behaviors, expectations.

Hiring:  How does the person hire? Questions they ask, things they look for, what certain answers say.  Sometimes includes advice for new graduates.

What I’ve gleaned from reading these columns for years is that most chief executives want to hire a real person, not someone who gives the “right” answers.  So they dig into your hobbies, your values, how you approach obstacles and more.  Most also look for a culture fit.  And most look for impact and drive – someone who likes to have an impact and wants to succeed.  Many want someone with passion for the work and/or cause.

I regularly recommend that my clients read these columns because they will get great examples of questions they might encounter in an interview, and can then prepare their own answer. They also will get reassured that they don’t have to give a “right” answer, just the best answer they can give based on their own experience.

An interview is a 2-way street, where you want to find out whether you’ll be a good fit for the company, just as the interviewer wants to find out if you are a right fit for them.  Knowing what an interviewer is likely to ask gives you the chance to think through YOUR answer, which will serve as a good way for you and the employer to decide if you’re the “right fit.”