Top 7 Questions to Ask in an Executive Interview

Compared to interviews for entry-level positions or mid-level managerial positions, executive interviews are more involved, demanding, and time-consuming. You are responsible for evaluating each candidate’s management style, leadership abilities, compatibility with your company’s goals and values, and more.

In an executive interview, every question you pose should advance your understanding of the candidate. Here are some of the most important questions to ask:

1. Do You Enjoy Winning or Hate Losing?

This question should always be asked in an executive interview because candidates never know what the interviewer anticipates. We are all aware that a leader’s disposition greatly influences the team as a whole.

Therefore, you should be able to infer from your candidate’s response what kind of work environment they would foster for the team. Will they value openness and the lessons that come with failure or favor winning at all costs, regardless of how it affects the team?

Generally speaking, there is no correct response here. It depends on the leadership style of each individual. Therefore, the right response is the one that aligns with the objectives and culture of your business.

2. Do You Consider Yourself Lucky?

This question is intended to compel your candidate to demonstrate their character and way of life. A person who believes they are lucky may be appreciative and humble despite working hard. However, it may also signify that they lack confidence.

If your applicant responds negatively to this inquiry, they may be overly haughty. Nevertheless, they may recognize the quantity of effort, and the minimal role luck had in their success. This question helps you to find out how the applicant feels about their own worth. That might then affect how they engage and value the work of their teams.

The ideal response from your candidate would be to express gratitude and wish you luck. However, they will also firmly demonstrate to you that their talents and skills played a significant role in their achievement and that luck did not bring them all of their success.

3. How Do Your Life Goals Fit With Working for Our Company?

It’s not easy to hire a senior leader. Therefore, you must ensure that the applicant can commit to working for your organization long-term. Ask them if they agree with your core principles, feel at home in your workplace, and can see a future for themselves working with you. You could also inquire why the applicant wants to work for your business.

4. What Does Your Leadership Style Lack?

You can learn a lot about a candidate’s self-awareness by asking them to describe their flaws. Excellent leaders are great at evaluating themselves. They must be aware of, accept, and talk about their flaws in order to improve.

Candidates have an opportunity to talk about the training and classes they’ve attended to strengthen their weak areas in response to this question. As a result, they might transform this difficult question into a fruitful one. Therefore, this can teach you more about their problem-solving methods and strategies.

As a rule, you don’t need the kind of executive who can’t think of any shortcomings. Here, your candidate should ideally discuss an area of leadership where they fall short and then provide examples

5. How Can You Strengthen Your Areas Of Professional Weakness?

Finding your areas of weakness is one thing. However, knowing how to work on them is a quite different matter. Therefore, in executive interviews, pose this question to find out how adept your candidate is at approaching problems head-on with practical solutions. An executive who is proactive and addresses problems before they become serious ones is what you need. In addition, the best applicant will be truthful in their response. Furthermore, they will show how their improved efforts have yielded benefits.

6. Did You Have a Question You Wanted Me to Ask?

While this query might not appear crucial, it can provide you with some insightful information. You can use it to determine whether the candidate can empathize with others, which is a crucial leadership quality.

The applicant might feel uneasy because the inquiry is a little strange. However, you can discover some of the information the interviewee wants you to know. Furthermore, you may determine if a candidate is confident and at ease talking about subjects that can worry them based on their response.  Additionally, it enables the candidate to clarify anything they could not address in your questioning.

7. What Alterations Would You Make to the Business in the First Three Months if Hired?

This CEO interview query is excellent for determining how well the applicant did their research on your business. It also reveals their pragmatism and enthusiasm. You want an executive who can analyze an issue from all angles and come up with a workable solution. Being ambitious is excellent. However, it won’t mean much if you lack the ability to think strategically and carry out your goals.

By this question, you can determine the candidate’s level of enthusiasm for the launch of your business. Find out if they actually have a plan to implement the great improvements they promise. It would be excellent if the applicant could give some examples of how they overcame difficulties akin to those your business is currently experiencing.