Candidates To Look For
- Value matches: Your candidate could be with your company for a long time. Look for people with career goals that match your companyâs.
- They dig into experience: The right exec will have a ton of experience, so expect to hear about it. Bonus points if they talk openly about difficult situations.
- Great culture fit: The ideal candidate will fit in with your company culture but wonât be afraid to pitch new ideas.
- They have it all: Look for candidates who combine industry know-how with soft skills like team management, communication and decision-making.
- Bonus tip: Diversity is key for a thriving workplace. Keep an eye out for executive-level candidates from varying backgrounds and aim to eliminate bias from your hiring process.
Senior Executive Interview Questions And Answers
Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a senior executive, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.
Landing a job as a senior executive is no easy task. These professionals are responsible for the strategic planning and execution of an organizations goals. They often work with the board of directors and are in charge of a wide range of departments.
Before you can even be considered for a senior executive job, youll need to go through a rigorous interview process. This includes answering questions that assess your skills, experience, and knowledge. To help you prepare, weve gathered some of the most common senior executive interview questions and provided sample answers.
Are you comfortable with public speaking?
As a senior executive, you may need to give presentations or speeches at company events. Employers ask this question to make sure you feel confident in your public speaking abilities. In your answer, share that you have experience with public speaking and include an example of a speech you gave.
Example:Ive given several presentations in my career, so I am comfortable with public speaking. At my last job, I spoke at our annual conference about the companys goals for the next year. It was nerve-wracking at first, but once I got started, it became easier. Now, I enjoy giving presentations because I like sharing information with others.
What are your greatest strengths as a leader?
Tell Me About A Time You Had A Significant Impact On A Team Or Project
There are many ways in which leaders make an impact, including delegating tasks, motivating team members, and resolving conflict. Think about a time when you experienced a particular success as a result of your leadership. It could be completing a project ahead of schedule or under budget, helping a team member grow in a significant way, or proactively recognizing a potential problem and working to avoid it.
Executive Interview Questions To Evaluate Experience
When evaluating executives and leaders for your company, its important to not just look for the candidate with the best resume, but also one who has experienced relevant challenges and worked through different mistakes.
How Do You Motivate An Under
Under-performers usually suffer from many mental blocks and professional challenges that stop them from giving their best. As a leader, tell your interviewer how you would address these underlying issues by designing solid plans for your employees to train them on effective self-management to attain their full potential.
Please Introduce Yourself To The Board
Do not rely on the fact that everyone in the interviewing panel have read your resume. Some people may actually know nothing about you at this point. Aim for short yet powerful introduction. You can name the principal managerial and leadership roles youve had in the last ten years, name of organizations, number of people you managed, and of course a few key achievements from your resume.
No need to elaborate on your experience at this point, because you will discuss your roles in-detail with them later in the interviews. But you should add something from your personal life as well, whether you have a family, one or two hobbies you enjoy to do in your leisure time, etc. Job interview is a serious meeting, but they also want to know you as a person, so it is good to start this meeting in an authentic and friendly way.
How Can You Improve Your Professional Weaknesses
Identifying your weak points is one thing. But knowing how to work on them is a different ball game.
You should ask this question in executive interviews to check how good your candidate is at taking practical steps to tackle challenges from the start. You need an executive whos proactive and fixes issues before they become major problems.
The answer to this question should show critical thinking and self-analysis both important qualities for a leader. Their approach to improving themselves might also translate to how they work on job-related challenges.
You want a candidate whos already working on improving their skills. And not someone who only plans on doing something well after narrowing down their limitations.
The ideal candidate will be honest about their answer. And will demonstrate how their efforts for improvement have generated results.
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How Do You Make Sure Projects And Tasks Stay On Schedule
You have a responsibility as a leader to effectively communicate the goals of your team and to make sure that your team meets deadlines while still turning in quality work. You can use this question to demonstrate your time management and organization skills. Consider outlining what your task management process is, including how you communicate expectations, set goals and track progress. Be sure to describe the results of your process to show you can lead a team in completing important tasks.
Example: When my team is assigned a collaborative project, I always begin by discussing the projects objective and purpose. Then, I assign each team member individual tasks and deadlines. I find that when the team knows the goals of the overall project, they can better see how their role impacts the projects success.
When we work on a project, I hold full team meetings to allow individual team members to share their progress. I try to celebrate the teams hard work to keep them motivated. I also check with each team member to see their progress, address any risks or deadline issues and provide additional clarity. Checking in outside of the group meeting can make team members feel more comfortable sharing if they need extra help. I find that the process of remaining available to my team and encouraging their success allows them to stay focused and feel supported.
Related: What Makes a Leader at Work?
Best Practices For Acing Executive Interview Questions
When youre using examples in your answers, always quantify them if possible. You can tell your interviewer youre a fast runner but it paints a different picture about your dedication and skill level if you tell them you run a 4-minute mile.
Also, keep your answers to a maximum of 90 seconds. Failing to be concise in your answers can cost you the job. This is the second biggest reason, just behind lack of preparation, that hiring authorities cite for cutting candidates.
While its important to fully answer the question, if your response goes on more than about a minute its usually too long. Ensure youre monitoring the body language of your interviewer as well theyll usually start giving you clues if youre rambling or speaking too quickly.
Have an interview coming up? Work 1-on-1 with a Kirby Partners executive interview coach to ensure you ace your interviews and beat out other candidates for the offer. Our Fast Track Interview Prep package includes an hour mock interview and feedback session with an experienced career coach. Learn more: kirbypartners.com/executive-career-coaching
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Are You And Your Managers Having 1 On 1s With Your Staff
1 on 1s are an essential tool to fix problems, coach people, build relationships, and talk about all the things that no one gets around to otherwise. It’s why we write about 1 on 1s so often on the Lighthouse blog and built a product to help you have awesome 1 on 1 meetings.
When a company is in its early days, it’s easy to think that getting beers, social outings, and a tight-knit team is enough. Unfortunately, it’s not. As investor and former serial entrepreneur Jason Lemkin writes:
If you have more than 5 employees and don’t have them, you’re on your way to trouble. It’s only a matter of time.
Don’t have time? Can you afford to lose your best people? Remember: by the time people are frustrated and go get a job offer, it’s too late.
What Will Happen In An Executive
You will likely meet a panel of high executives from the company. Or, in some other cases, you will shake your hand with the head of the HR department, or with the CEO. One way or another, you cannot expect to meet some HR Generalists or external recruiters at this point.
Before you get a chance to talk to these people, however, you will have to pass several rounds of interviews. Typically a screening interview , a face to face interview . If you havent passed them yet, refer to respective articles on our website. If you have passed them already, lets have a look at 15 questions you may face in your interview with the decision makers.
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Have You Encouraged The Learning And Professional Development Of Your Employees
This is a great question to see if the candidate can demonstrate being an effective leader that helps develop their employees. A good leader that offers development opportunities to their employees shows that they have the best interests of the company going forward. This allows for more employees to gain key skills in their jobs and add more value to the company growth as a whole.
How To Prepare For An Executive
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed’s data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Related: Interview Question: Why Should We Hire You?
In this video, Holl, a career coach at Indeed, explains how to best answer the tricky interview question, Why should we hire you?
The interview process for an executive-level position is much more elaborate and intense than for an entry-level job. Knowing how to successfully prepare for an executive interview can help you convey to the employer you’re the best candidate for the position and set you apart from other interviewees.
In this article, we discuss what makes executive interviews unique, eight steps you can take to prepare for your executive-level interview and tips for acing your next interview.
Common Interview Questions On Leadership
While every interview will be different depending on your job title and industry, here are some leadership questions you should expect to address during your next interview:
The most effective answers to these questions incorporate grounded examples of your leadership potential and skills that qualify you for the position. Use the to describe a situation where you exhibited quality leadership and identify the task you needed to complete. Outline the action you took to achieve results. This strategy can help you clearly show the interviewer how you put leadership into action.
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Lets take a look at each of the above questions in more detail with examples of how you might answer them.
Operational And Situational Questions
- What do you think our companys mission and vision are?
- What changes would you implement during your first year in the company? How would you build a 5-year plan?
- What would you do in your first 30 days as CEO of our organization?
- Who do you believe are our biggest competitors? How do we differ from them?
- What do you think are the biggest challenges our industry will face in the next 5 years?
- What are the most helpful technological platforms and tools you have used? Would you implement them in our organization?
- What is the most innovative product or service youve worked on at a previous company?
- Describe your rationale before you make a big financial decision. What criteria do you use to decide which products or services to invest in?
- In 5 minutes, prepare a small pitch to present our company to a potential investor.
- Imagine that a product or service we launched recently failed our expectations. What are your next steps?
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Five Popular Leadership Interview Questions And Answers
Leadership interview questions are often discussion-based. There is no one right answer. Hiring managers are looking for strong individuals with a strategic, problem-solving mindset. Also, companies are not only looking for employees with hard skills but also for brand custodians with the right soft skills, especially communication.
How Do You Encourage Employee Development
Many companies invest in their employees by offering professional development in the hopes that they can foster and retain talent. Leaders can provide a good deal of support for this goal by identifying their teamâs strengthsâand weaknessesâso they can recommend courses, conferences, or other opportunities to keep growing.
Sample answer: On my current team, our marketing specialist expressed an interest in learning graphic design since she was increasingly responsible for providing feedback on design-related deliverables. I encouraged her to find and enroll in a part-time course to learn the fundamentals of design, and Iâve scheduled monthly check-ins so we can discuss what sheâs learning.
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How Do You Reward Your Employees For Doing Good Work
Rewards are important for the efficiency, productivity, and happiness of employees. If your employees are not satisfied with their job and the benefits they get, your company will suffer.
That is why this is one of the most important executive interview questions, as you want to hire a candidate that shares the same values as you when it comes to rewarding employees.
If We Hire You What Goals Will You Set For Yourself For The First Three Months In The Job
You will get this question especially if you get onboard in the midst of some crisis, which is often the case, because as Ive already said, organizations do not hire new executive directors when things go according to the plan .
If this is the case, think about one or two critical issues you have to address first, to help them overcome the crisis. It can be related to hiring/firing people, overseeing a throughout audit of the entire organization, pacifying a PR crisis, or anything else. The key is to clearly explain why you want to do what you want to do, and to actually come up with some goals, because they expect leadership from you.
If you happen to apply for an executive director job in an organization that is doing well, you can dedicate the first three months to fully understanding the organization, meeting each important employee in person, understanding the challenges and setting up goals
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What Areas Do You Believe You Could Improve In
Recruiters ask this question to learn more about your leadership qualities and also shows your honesty.
Example: “I know I can improve in active listening, which is why I completed a course on communication and management a few months ago. I find I am more aware of my non-verbal cues and how they can affect other people. I can apply an autocratic leadership style if needed, but I want to listen to every party involved in a business process.”
Ask Now Before It’s Too Late
A CEO I met once remarked, “every company is a mess” unfortunately, they saw that as the end of the conversation instead of the start of one on how to get better. That mindset led to them losing wave after wave of staff until their own departure after they had turned over almost the entire staff.
No company is perfect. Even the best company with a great culture will still have some work to do in some of the above areas.
The point of all of this is to make sure leaders are thinking about these things and doing something about it. Making positive progress in these areas is meaningful to their employees and the health of their company’s culture.
If you’re a CEO growing your company, get out in front of this. Start asking yourself these tough questions and get help making some of these needed habits a reality.
If you’re an investor, advisor, friend, or mentor, help the leaders you’re working with by being proactive about these questions. Don’t wait for them to come to you. Get them thinking about it so they catch the issue sooner. Even if they don’t buy in now, they will down the line when things get worse.
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