Five Questions Candidates Ask That Get My Attention
One of the things I enjoy most about working as Ellevate Network’s People Operations Lead is the opportunity to grow our team. Over the past few years, our team has expanded from a handful of tireless multitaskers in a coworking space to a group of over two dozen diverse, dedicated people, split between our own main office and remote work in four states.
Some things haven’t changed: the people who make up our team are still tireless multitaskers, and we’re just as committed to our values as ever. We’ve spent countless hours interviewing for the candidates who will help us achieve our purpose: equality for all.
When I schedule an initial conversation with a candidate, I’m always excited to learn more about their goals, their values, and their skills. Many times, though, it’s the questions they ask me during the interview, and the discussions that follow, that really show their potential to become a part of our team.
Why is Ellevate a B Corporation?
When it comes to making business decisions, we care about making choices that benefit our community, our employees, and our environment. We believe that getting more diverse voices to the table where decisions are made will lead to a more just and equitable world. With that in mind, we’re using business as a force for good. Whether Ellevate is the first B Corporation someone has interacted with, or they’re actively looking to work for one, this kind of question gives me a chance to have a conversation with candidates about how our goals align.
How does Ellevate live its values?
This is a big one. I could go on all day about what we do, and why. But the real reason I’m happy to get this question is this: We want to work with people who are on board with our values, and really care that we put them to use as we work toward equality for all.
Who will the person you hire be working with, or what departments will they collaborate with?
I love this question, and not just because I get to brag on the people that make up our team. It shows me that the candidate is thinking about how the different pieces of our business fit together, and about working collaboratively across departments before they even step through the door.
What are some of the challenges you see facing the person who takes on this position?
This question has lead to so many productive conversations. Sometimes we just scratch the surface, with what we’re working on now. Others, I walk away from the call with some interesting new perspectives on how we can improve our approach.
What happens if someone makes a mistake?
When I got this question for the first time, I had to stop and think. Why? We make mistakes all the time! In our culture, it’s normal to iterate and try new things. Those things don’t always work out. Mistakes are opportunities to own it, step up, and learn, because when one of us grows, we all benefit. We got to talk about that process, and how it sets our culture apart.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
People Operations Lead
Samantha Giannangeli is Ellevate Network's People Operations Lead, responsible for all things HR, hiring, and culture. Before joining the Ellevate team, Samantha was an analyst for the United States government. There, she put her degree in history and international affairs to use by researching, writing, and presenting studies to military members and senior government officials. Samantha now resides in Virginia with her husband and their cats. When she's not in the office, aka her living room,... Continue Reading
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