During a recent conversation with Adam Bryant of the New York Times, Melanie Whelan, CEO of the New York-based fitness company SoulCycle, explained how she hires.
“The first thing I always say is, ‘Tell me about your background,'” she told Bryant. “It’s a great way to warm up any conversation, and it really helps me understand how you communicate. Are you linear, concise, and direct? Or are you a storyteller? Are you entertaining? Do you go off on tangents?”
She said she also enjoys hearing how people talk about transitions they have gone though and career decisions they have made. “Were you running away from something or toward something, and how do you frame that?”
Then, she said, she asks people to talk about a project they have been involved in. “I listen for ‘we’ versus ‘I,’ and I want to know what you specifically did to impact the outcome.”
The final thing she does is ask what questions the candidate has for her. “That shows me how well you’ve done your research on our mission, and how intellectually curious you are,” she told Bryant. “And it’s important to me that it feels organic and not packaged.”
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