We Interview Candidates for Top Positions


Topgrading, Inc., literally “wrote the book” on the most accurate, valid assessment approach. Topgrading (3rd edition) is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best seller.  We train managers to conduct Topgrading Interviews lower in the organization, but Topgrading Professionals spend most of their time interviewing candidates for senior positions, where a mis-hire could seriously hurt the company.  Every client knows our assessments have enabled them to avoid very costly mis-hires.

Topgrading Assessment

Our in-depth assessments begin with a discussion of exactly what accountabilities are required for a person to perform at the A Player level. We conduct 3 – 4 hour Topgrading Interviews with finalist candidates. To further insure against a costly mis-hire, we encourage the hiring manager, frequently the CEO, to be our interview partner. They get the opportunity to observe us, improving their own interviewing skills and gaining deep insights into candidates’ strengths and weaker points. They also ask penetrating follow up questions, given their keen insights into the industry, their company, the job, and their leadership style.

High performers thoroughly enjoy this “walk down memory lane,” though C Players, who almost always have been screened out before our interview, are not comfortable being “found out.” Typical search reports highlight candidate strengths but are viewed by most CEOs as a “whitewash.”   Our reports include candidate strengths, but also their shortcomings.  All A Players have some weaker points, and by asking the right questions we learn them, alert clients to every potential weaker point we discover, and suggest steps the hiring manager and newly hired A Player can take to render those weaker points insignificant.

The report has a recommendation to hire or not, executive summary, lists of strengths and weaker points, and an interpretive career summary.  The entire report assesses the candidate in relation to the Job Scorecard for the position.  After you receive the report we talk on the phone, so you receive the “color commentary,” and all your questions can be answered.

Our Topgrading Interview is designed to be a thorough and enjoyable process for senior candidates, and our report is a powerful tool for helping you improve your company’s performance by picking the right people.