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Interview Questions From Self-Made Billionaires 2008-09-22 08:00:38

Interview Questions From Self-Made Billionaires, Part I

It's obvious Forbes had a good time playing 20 questions with 17 self-made members of the Forbes 400 — you know, the list of the 400 richest Americans. One question all of the billionaires were asked was "What are the first and last questions you ask in any job interview?" The answers range from practical to paranoid, and I've shared part one of the 16 answers with you here (Ron Perelman had no answer for this question). Listed below are the questions they typically ask at the beginning of an interview: Which of these questions would you have the most fun answering, and which would be most challenging for you?

  1. John Catsimiditis — What do you like to do?
  2. Leon Charney — How did you feel when you walked in?
  3. John Paul DeJoria — Welcome, would you please sit down?
  4. Tom Golisano — What can you do for the company?
  5. Michael Heisley — Why are you seeking this position?
  6. R.J. Kirk — Why are you here?
  7. Ted Lerner — Questions to elicit and evaluate integrity and character.
  8. Rob Maguire — Why are you here?

See eight more billionaires' first interview questions when you

  1. Seth Merrin — What are you passionate about?
  2. Jorge Perez — What are your strengths?
  3. Wilbur Ross — Why do you want to work here?
  4. Alexander Rovt — Do you like to work?
  5. Phil Ruffin — How much are you going to sue me for?
  6. Tom Secunda — If I gave you the answer to this, I'd lose my ability to interview. Everyone would be prepared.
  7. Patrick Soon-Shiong — What brought you to us?
  8. Allen Stanford — Tell me about yourself and why you are suited for the job.


Join The Conversation
gigill gigill 8 years
I just had an interview the other day and the first person I got was "So tell me about yourself, who are you?"
baybug baybug 8 years
Do you like to work? Who really likes to work?!?!?!
thelorax thelorax 8 years
#2 is interesting -- "How did you feel when you walked in here?" and could elicit some creative responses. It would also be the most challenging to answer, but I think that if someone answered this question really well, they'd get the job offer.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
ok phil keeps asking the same question - go figure. i think that it's a sign of the time when suing someone is a viable option...or thing to expect when people are 'wronged'. i think that for myself - i love the question 'how did you feel when you walked in here'. a lot of times people are either overly nervous or they are overly confident/cocky and it's something that the interviewer can pick up on so you can't really BS about that one :)
SDTransplant SDTransplant 8 years
"How much are you going to sue me for?" I like that! I think being asked "Why are you here?" right off the bat would catch me off guard and make me even more nervous than I would already be during an interview.
lawchick lawchick 8 years
gosh bella, you make me feel bad! I would be excited to get an interview and get to work for a certain type of employer. I would enjoy my work, but I don't know that that is the same as just plain "liking to work." I mean, my mom is one of those people who didn't enjoy being a stay at home mom and doesn't plan to retire because she genuinely likes to work. I, on the other hand, dream of being able to do those things (and yes I know being a SAHM is work, but it seems different). I think I could make a fine employee even though if I had a choice, I'd be home with the (future) kids.
Beauty Beauty 8 years
I think they're standard, too, but I like the "Do you like to work?" question. I would want to hire someone passionate about what she would be doing, so yeah, I'd hope they'd like to work. And like Popgoestheworld says, these are for high-level positions. Every candidate should be able to explain what he or she can bring to the table.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
"Phil Ruffin — How much are you going to sue me for?" ROFL. I agree most of them seem pretty standard. I think that something like "why are you here" could throw people off guard and it would draw a more varied response than something more benign. I also think that asking someone what they can do for a company up front is great. These guys are only interviewing people for top positions. If the candidates haven't fully researched the company and thought about what their talents could tangibly bring to the company, then I'd toss 'em out too.
gabiushka gabiushka 8 years
I get nervous just from reading those...
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 8 years
These seeem pretty run-of-the-mill to me. Except for the "how much are you going to sue me for?"
syako syako 8 years
I kind of love the "why are you here?" question. I mean, talk about getting to the meat of it right at the start. I wonder if they prefer nontraditional answers or if they want the standard ones?
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
"What can you do for the company? " It's hard when you never worked for the company! And (same as Lawchick) "Do you like to work?" oh yea, all the time!
lawchick lawchick 8 years
"Do you like to work?" -- man, I hope I never get asked that question!!!
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