The Snow Test

| by Shannon Williams

At Armstrong McGuire & Associates, we do a lot of search work helping to connect strong executive and development leaders with impactful organizations across our state. More often than not, we work with search committees of board and staff members.

Every search committee has its own personality and approach to the interview process. It is fascinating to watch some groups spend more time talking than asking questions while other groups grill their candidates in a Donald Trump like fashion.

Search Committees often ask us about the value of personality testing. Some organizations are anxious to put their candidates through a battery of tests. Others are content to follow a more traditional interview process.

As I write this blog from my home office, I am contemplating a new type of test. The snow test. You see, it is a snow day here in Raleigh and I realize that your response to the snow says a lot about your personality.

The content—Some people are content to hunker down at home on a snow day. These people relish a break from the norm and a chance to slow down for a day or two. You might find them curled up by the fire or engrossed in a good book.

The antsy—Other people have trouble sitting still. No matter how treacherous the roads may be they have to get out of the house. I realize I have several neighbors in this category as I watched their cars crawl up our neighborhood hills.

The curious—Maybe the antsy are really just curious. They are anxious to know if the media is giving a true picture or just a bunch of hype.

The overachiever—These are the folks who are immediately out with snow shovel in hand to clear the driveway. My husband is definitely not in this category. Part of what he loves about North Carolina is that most of the time temperatures rise above 50 degrees within a couple days of a snow event, so he likes to allow nature to melt the snow and leaves the shovel in the shed.

The kid at heart—You guessed it. These folks are the first to drag the sleds out. The only reason to use the shovel is to repair the sledding track. They are racing the kids and pelting them with snowballs. Fun is the only snow day mission.

The nurturer—This is the person who bakes cookies for the kids and takes hot chocolate out to the sledding track to warm everyone up. In our neighborhood, her name is Mary Beth. She even had our kids over for dinner. Thank you!

The industrialist—You know the type. They use the snow day to get caught up on cleaning the house, washing the laundry, finishing that scrapbooking project from three years ago—whatever loose end they need to tie up.

The stir crazy—Eventually, we all get to this point. The question is when—day 1, 2, 3? This is why we all love North Carolina. Normally, it doesn’t last much longer than that.

The bottom line? Next time you conduct an interview, ask the candidate what is your favorite thing to do on a snow day. The response will give you a lot of insight into the personality of the candidate and you won’t have to pay for a fancy test or wait for the results to be tabulated!

Personally, I am a blend of kid at heart, the content, and the nurturer. How about you?

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