Most global companies are looking for leaders who can easily move between countries and cultures, take on assignments abroad, understand disparate markets, and manage diverse teams. But these leaders aren’t always easy to find. Start by looking at the candidates in your applicant pool who have lived abroad, and ask them about their backgrounds. Prompt them to assess and discuss the knowledge and skills they acquired through their experience. Did they launch a business or turn a struggling initiative around? What was the nature and depth of the contact they had with the culture and the people? Did they travel there, live and work alone, manage a team and family? Asking these questions will give you a clearer sense of the candidate’s knowledge of different cultural practices and their ability to understand and communicate with people whose backgrounds differ from their own.
Adapted from “What the Best Cross-Cultural Managers Have in Common,” by Linda Brimm