A senior GE executive explains how she tests job candidates

Beth Comstock

If you want a job at the top with GE, you had better be able to think on your feet.

“I’m big these days on the quality of being able to figure things out,” Beth Comstock, GE’s vice chairwoman, told The New York Times’ Adam Bryant during a recent interview.

In job interviews, Comstock said she likes to test candidates to understand their methods for figuring things out.

She’ll do this by asking questions like, “Give me an example where you didn’t have any rules, and what did you do?” and “What was the toughest situation you’ve ever encountered, and how did you deal with it?”

“If I’m bringing them into a centralised role, they have to be able to navigate the company,” she told Bryant. “There is no rule book for that, and they have to figure it out. They have got to connect with people inside the business, and with customers.”

Read the full New York Times interview here.

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