Straight Answers to Real Questions
Question: I’m CFO of a very large, diversified Canadian company and I’m trying to fill a newly created position of vice president, acquisitions. I’m very fortunate in that we have a lot of financial bench strength in our organization and I’ve had quite a few senior people express interest in the position. Everyone who’s expressed an interest is a highly competent financial executive with some experience with acquisitions to one extent or another. However, none of them really stand apart in terms of acquisition experience and so each is ostensibly as well qualified as the others for the position. Is there a way of determining who might be the best suited for the job?
Answer: In a situation where the person you choose will be taking over a function that is basically new to them, it would be very instructive to get an idea of how they would approach real life situations. Present each candidate with a hypothetical (but probable) scenario and ask them to prepare a summary of what they identify as the key issues, and how they would go about addressing them. Their responses should give you an idea of their analytical process and the range of the professional tool kit they will bring to bear on future challenges they’ll likely be facing in their new job.