February 5, 2019 at 8:57 am #2592JeffAltmanCoachKeymaster
The question for today is, “What support do you believe will be necessary for you and us to be successful?”
Now, this is not going to be asked of a staff level person. This is going to be asked of someone at a manager level and above who’s concerned . . . or they’re trying to get a sense of what your expectations are for resources that will be available.
I think it’s a pretty good question because it gives them a sense of what you see as being necessary and whether they think that’s reasonable. Hence, a trap question.
The way I suggest people deal with this is to flip the question. Flipping the question, you basically turn around and say, “I’d be happy to answer this. I’m just curious what’s going to be available to me? What’s been the thinking internally about resources and support that is going to be made available to me? How often / how regularly / budget . . . Things along those lines.
Yo Himu see, you know they know the answer. So, putting it on you is unreasonable because you don’t really know the talents of the people there. And if they press you, you can say, “You can talk to me about having three people, but I don’t know the caliber of the three people. You can talk with me about having a budget of X number of dollars, but I don’t know how it’s been slotted, whether it’s this or that, or this or that. So getting a sense of the caliber of the individuals I’m getting. Let’s say, I joined it a couple of weeks, who am I getting? What am I getting? What’s their background? Are these the “A performers” or “the B’s” and “C performers” within the organization. Am I getting other people’s refuse or am I getting high quality talent?”
“Oh! All these people are great!”
“You know, can I talk with them before I join because, frankly, my previous experience has been that, sometimes, I have gotten some really good people. Sometimes, not so good. I understand you may think of them that way but I just want to check them for myself.”
Frankly, in answering the question, again, “I’m curious, what resources are going to be available to me? What’s been your thinking about this so that I can start thinking in those terms? and again, can calibrate my answer based upon what’s available. There’s always an optimum set of circumstances, there’s always a less ideal one. And there’s obviously always an untenable one. And, you know, I want to make sure that I’m working in ways that work for you, and, of course, work for me.”
So again, the idea is flipping the question so you’re putting it back on to them to explain what they’ve already already budgeted, slotted for this and you’re not the one with incomplete information offering data.
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