I read a recent article about rethinking how you manage that really piqued my interest. When there are issues to be resolved and decisions to be made in the workplace, it takes a certain level of effort to get the job done. I’ve been on both sides of the equation here — as an employee who has reported to a superior and as a manager with direct reports. And because of this, I know that there can be different solutions taken that arrive at the same answer. However, some solutions may be more or less efficient or effective than others. Knowing how to effectively communicate, either employee to boss or vice versa, is important here. The key to resolution is ownership — if one feels they are vested in the project or the issue at hand, they’ll take on responsibility and see the task to completion. On the flip side, if there are always questions but no proposed solutions, or if one’s solutions are always discounted, there can be no real ownership. It’s all about the appropriate level of employee empowerment!
A recent article about Apple’s interview questions was really interesting which got me thinking — as a manager, I’ve never been asked questions like this before during an interview. I ask the typical questions about who you are, where you’ve been and what are you up to now. I’ll usually ask a few questions to make the interviewee think, such as what is your favorite excel formula and why? Or ask them to describe a situation that had conflict and see how they resolved it. But it dawned on me that there is a whole other creative way to glean information from a candidate and Apple seems to have it down pat. There are some pretty challenging questions in this article. How would you answer them?
Following are some of them:
“A man calls in and has an older computer that is essentially a brick. What do you do?” — Apple Care At-Home Consultant candidate
“Are you smart?” — Build Engineer candidate
“Have you ever disagreed with a manager’s decision, and how did you approach the disagreement? Give a specific example and explain how you rectified this disagreement, what the final outcome was, and how that individual would describe you today.” — Software Engineer candidate