A couple of days ago I had a conversation with a client about how difficult it is to assess genuine leadership talent and whether someone is a real “go getter” or not.
We talked about how candidates tend to know the “right” answers to typical questions that assess such talent and that it is difficult to really measure it until you actually put someone in the role.
Since many of us have started to travel again, an idea popped into my head:
Ask them where they wait at Baggage Claim if they checked their luggage for a flight!
My client looked at me quizzically. “What are you talking about, Michael? What do you mean by where they wait?”
I have often thought about this. I don’t check my luggage very often. But when I do and I arrive in the Baggage Claim area, I immediately look for where the bags will come out. This is not always obvious, especially if the luggage carousel is completely empty and not moving. Sometimes the luggage comes onto the carousel from above, coming down through a conveyor belt reaching down from the ceiling. Sometimes there is a closed roll-up shutter in the wall that opens when the luggage is about to come out, usually right after you heard the truck arriving with the luggage behind the wall. Sometimes it’s not immediately obvious which way the carousel is going to start moving.
But no matter the setup, I always move right to where the luggage will come out and wait there. Then I pick up my bags right when they come out. And I am out of there!
I usually marvel at my fellow passengers who are standing at the other end of the slow moving belt, patiently waiting for their luggage to slowly make its way to them. Truthfully, I find that incredibly strange. Why would you wait at the other end of the carousel? Don’t you want to get out of the airport and move onto the next thing in your day? Am I just an incredibly impatient human being?
Clearly, there are many people who have all the time in the world, who hate to be rushed, or simply prefer to wait in an area that is less crowded. And I completely respect that.
But I have found that when I travel with other CEOs or with “go getters” who undoubtedly will take on senior leadership roles at their companies someday, they tend to go right to where the luggage will come out.
I have not actually used this question in an interview setting, but I plan to.
What do you think? And where do you wait at baggage claim?