Anyone who’s ever applied for a job has been there: on the hot seat, facing potential employers, wracking our brain to answer the kind of abstract question that can show how we think — and how we’ll do on the job.
For former City Councilmember Derek Green — the first mayoral candidate to participate in our Ultimate Job Interview — the question that stumped him came from Michael Haugen, partner at ghSMART, an international leadership advisory and analytics firm: When did you change your mind about something? (After a few minutes, Green mentioned deciding to encourage fellow Councilmembers to introduce legislation that he’d been planning to do himself.)
To his credit, that question came up about halfway through Green’s “job interview” at Fitler Club, in front of nearly 150 people and a live radio audience on WURD. The candidate fielded questions before and after about his experience collaborating with others, building a team, managing budgets, dealing with failure and inspiring change.
All were aimed at determining how well Green fit the qualifications laid out in a mayoral job description crowd-sourced by hundreds of residents in every corner of the city over the last few months.
For The Citizen’s first-of-its-kind mayoral job interview, Green was interviewed by a strategically-curated panel: Haugen; Jim Langston, managing director at global recruiting authority Diversified Search Group, a sponsor of the series; Loree D. Jones Brown, CEO of Philabundance; and former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, who opened the event with the definitive announcement that — contrary to recent media reports — he will not be running for Mayor of Philadelphia. WURD anchor Andrea Lawful Sanders also asked Green several questions submitted by audience members.
The series has been in planning stages for months, starting with The Citizen’s soliciting feedback from residents to create an official job description for the role of Mayor, to which all candidates will be held. (You can read the full, publicly-created job description here.)
The series will conclude in January 2025, when we submit the winner — our Mayor — to a one-year review. Green agreed to participate if he is elected mayor; stay tuned to all of our event recaps to find out who’s on board for the challenge.
Be sure to join us at the future events in the series. Next up: Maria Quiñones Sánchez and Jeff Brown on Tuesday, January 31, from 6:30-8:30pm at Fitler Club. The events are free, but you must register in advance. We hope to see you there.
We’ll post the videos of all the interviews when they are completed at the end of February.
In the meantime, here are some photos from Tuesday’s event here:
The Ultimate Job Interview is a part of Every Voice, Every Vote, a collaborative project managed by The Lenfest Institute for Journalism. Lead support is provided by the William Penn Foundation with additional funding from The Lenfest Institute, the Wyncote Foundation, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, among others. To learn more about the project and view a full list of supporters, visit www.everyvoice-everyvote.org. Editorial content is created independently of the project’s donors.
This project is also made possible by the support of Diversified Search Group.