16: Interview for a city leader

This is part 2 of my previous idea, 15th: Running a country is the same to running a big corporation

The more I think about it, the more puzzled I become:

Why can’t a city elect a leader in the way like a company hires a new chief officer?

Let’s assume we have a city called: Domino, where it needs a new mayor.

Step 1: Job Posting

The HR department posts a new advertisement, something like

Mayor Needed

Job Description

  • normal mayor stuff
  • stressful
  • deal with multiple city departments
  • deal with residence
  • make city Domino great!


  • minimum: bachelor degree
  • must have over at least 5 years of work experiences
  • must have been a lead in a team
  • outstanding public speaking
  • must have experienced different fields
  • never feel tired

I don’t know, I just make those things up.

But here is what I think it’s important: a city leader should have least had some experiences in different fields, like working in an industry or a school or technology field, etc.. This person should not have a single source of experience, say, have been solely worked in an insurance company. Then it is very hard to convince me this person understand people in all other fields.

One exception may be someone who is a journalist, especially field journalists, who must go to different sites to interview all sorts of people, write stories about real life, and see everything happening in different places.

Step 2: Screening

I have done a few hiring events in couple companies. After job posting, normally recruiters will gather hiring manager and the team, present all the candidates, select a group of them, and then move to phone screens.

In this case, the hiring manager will probably be the city council, and then some key members of the city government. They arrange some time to conduct a phone screen with candidates. Those candidates could be recommended by the recruiters or nominated by the city members, as long as they have enough qualification, any resident of city Domino can apply too.

Once the screening (including background check) is completed, the best candidates will be invited for onsite interview.

Step 3: Onsite Interview

This will be interesting process. I suspect there will be no more than 3 or 5 candidates in this step. They will all come to city building on the same day to have a full day interview with minimum 5 rounds of interviews.

The interview could have:

  • behavioral questions
  • scenario questions
  • simulation, like going to a scene with some actors playing a story, then asking the candidate how to respond. It’s like behavioral/scenario question, but more realistic
  • knowledge-based questions: to verify the candidate’s background/degree/knowledge, e.g. if a candidate claims to know budgeting, we should verify it’s true.

Of course, there will be a question about what you will do after you are selected.

Each round of interview will be recorded.

Step 4: Decision

The decision is based on the interview, qualification of the candidate, and references provided by the candidate. Once the final decision is made, the recorded interview videos will be public on all TV channels. It is a way to show the selection process is fair and justified.

That is it. This is how city Domino finds its next Mayor.

Most public companies elect their CEO through board of directors. Only a small subset let all shareholders vote, even when that happens, the candidates are nominated by a group of major shareholders.

The key is, the candidates have a proven history of experiences in some fields, to demonstrate she or he can be qualified for running the mayor. If after the onsite interview, the hiring manager(s) and the team do not agree, then try again with another set of candidates.

Once a perfect candidate is hired, this person will stay in position and continue working as a mayor, until she or he decides to step down (or look for other challenges), or city decides to let her/him go. The city will provide help and training to make this person a better mayor, while this new mayor will have a sense of responsibility building a better city for the residents.

This is more important compared to must have one candidate from each party, and then everyone must be able to vote.

Honestly, who cares? When normal people don’t have food, when people don’t have a place to live, when a city can’t have roads, we need a strong leader to make it right, not everyone arguing what to do. Think about any team projects you have worked in. However, I cannot emphasize enough, this is NOT equal to saying: no one should raise their voice; this is ONLY saying: any group needs a strong leader to make the right/determined decision.