By John S. McClenahen As the May 12 celebration of Mother's Day approaches in the U.S., 57% of the executives responding to a poll by Christian & Timbers, an executive search firm, say their mothers have been the most influential people in their lives. Some 36% cite their fathers as most influential and 7% name their bosses. "I have found the most successful people were heavily influenced by their mother or father. Yet few hiring managers question the influences of a candidate in an interview," asserts Jeffrey E. Christian, chairman and CEO of the executive search firm. "Understanding the human qualities of a candidate before you hire him or her is more important than knowing about his or her business background in determining whether a candidate will fit with the culture of a company." The survey involved 411 executives of large firms and was conducted between April 22 and April 30.