Business Pundit On Grilling Sharp People

I hate looking for new jobs because people basically want you to already have experience doing what you will be doing at their company. I think experience is still important, but not nearly as important as other factors like:

Ability to
1) learn and understand new ideas quickly
2) find relevant information quickly
3) deal with ambiguity and incomplete information
4) adapt quickly to changing circumstances.
5) leadership skills

What questions would you ask during an interview to determine these things? Perhaps, you could start out very simply as follows:

Can you tell me about a time you had to:
- access some information very quickly
- adapt quickly to changing circumstances
- deal with ambiguity and incomplete information
- learn and understand new ideas quickly
- demonstrate leadership skills

Or even, "How good are you at dealing with ambiguity and incomplete information? Can you give me some examples?". And so on.

You'd have to have some specific examples of the kinds of situations you are thinking of in order to give the candidate a guide as to what you are looking for.

But let's say you don't get interesting answers. Would you dig for more or assume that the candidate doesn't have what you're after? My hunch is the latter. But can you assume that someone who has these abilities will be able to give you examples of them at the drop of a hat? They might list them as possessions in their cover letters but very few people regularly think in these terms.


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