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The Interview Question All Leaders Should Ask

When inviting in a candidate for an interview, leaders should explore their goals. More important than where they see themselves in one year, five years, and beyond, is the specific expectations they have for their personal development and success. This includes the exploration of their hopes for training, guidance, coaching, leadership, and their financial goals. Yes, asking them what is required for them to be financially successful needs to be part of the initial queries.


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These questions aren’t invasive, nor are they a one and done. But rather, they're a provocative request that helps you, their potential leader, understand their motivation and drive. It also helps you understand how you can help them reach those goals. But this question shouldn’t be reserved for the interview. It should be asked time and again, in reviews, brainstorming sessions, and of course in their coaching sessions.

Explore this subject with them in roundtables, trainings and discussions that help them crystalize their thinking regarding their financial goals. What’s required for them to be financially successful needs to be part of their onboarding training and as well as ongoing conversations.

Discussions and content that help them define what success looks like for themselves professionally along with that which inspires them to dream, is critical. But also there needs to be clearly understood conversations on the topic of who they must become, what they must do, and what they must deliver in terms of observable and measurable change. It needs to be a part of both their onboarding and continuous development program.

Remember, these questions should not only be asked while the person is being interviewed but explored before they are hired. And it's particularly beneficial when they are communicated proactively as part of the process of determining a fit and defining mutually shared expectations. It helps new hires commit to engaging in a continuum of development on multiple fronts. That’s how you find good help. That’s how you retain talent. And that’s how engagement and profitability are sustained.


Renwick Brutus' career has spanned roles as research economist, investment advisor, entrepreneur and consultant. He holds an MBA from Fordham University and has been recognized for his outstanding achievement in sales and business leadership. Today, Renwick applies his unique blend of business strategy and interpersonal skills to help individuals prosper and companies grow. He owns multiple companies and is in great demand to consult with business leaders. Contact him by email and LinkedIn.

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