If you are applying for an executive position like the CEO or CFO and have been scheduled for an interview, there are some key questions you need to prepare for to improve your chances of passing the interview and getting the job.
This post has provided exhaustive list of sample executive interview questions that you can use in preparing for your next interview for an executive position.
What Do Interviewers look for in an Executive?
When hiring for an executive position, interviewers generally look for candidates that are articulate, thoughtful, and well-prepared.
It is important for executives to be able to draw connections between the questions asked by an interviewer and the experience of their background.
10 Most Common Executive Interview Questions and Answers
Here are some of the most common executive interview questions you can practice with (with suggested answers):
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
I would say my strengths are my broad business knowledge, work ethic, interpersonal skills, and responsiveness.
2. What are the two or three accomplishments that best demonstrate your strengths?
One of the things I am most proud of is the number of people we have hired, trained and developed over my 25 years in business. We have a large and growing team of engineers, who are a huge asset to the company.
We frequently receive unsolicited calls from our customers asking to speak with one of our senior engineers because they like his or her work so much.
That’s why I feel this accomplishment is important.
3. What would your references say about you?
I believe my references will confirm that I am a highly motivated and results-oriented professional with outstanding leadership, analytical, communication, and interpersonal skills.
4. What experiences have shaped your life and how did they help you develop?
I was born in New York City, but we moved to the suburbs of New Jersey when I was five years old. Growing up in a family business gave me an understanding of the challenges and rewards that come with owning your own business.
5. What is the finest piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
“Don’t be afraid to show your emotion.”
6. How would you react if someone treated a colleague with disrespect?
I would expect the person receiving that treatment to call me immediately, this is not an acceptable behavior.
7. What makes you angry? What causes you stress?
I get angry when I am disrespected and/or when I believe people are disobeying my instructions or not doing their job well enough.
8. What makes you unhappy?
I despise losing, therefore, this definitely makes me unhappy.
9. What are the qualities you most respect in others? How do they make you feel?
People who are honest and loyal have very important qualities that I admire and respect. Honesty is key to building trust with customers and colleagues.
10. How do you feel about change? What’s your attitude toward it?
I am a firm believer in change and I welcome it with open arms.
More Sample Interview Questions for Executive Position
Here are addition samples of executive interview questions to boost your preparation for your upcoming interview:
Sample Behavioral Interview Questions for Executive Position
1. How do you see yourself fitting into the role of a leader at this company?
2. Give an example of a time when you have been called upon to lead a team in their work. How did you approach that situation and what did it teach you about leadership in general?
3. What does success look like to you and how would your organization measure that for each new employee?
4. Have you ever successfully mentored others who have already started working with your company, or even other companies?
5. Tell me about a time when you have faced a challenge in leadership?
Sample Case Interview Questions for Executive Position
1. What was your first year of employment like?
2. What are the distinctions between a strategic plan and a planning process?
3. What do you feel are the benefits of working for a startup versus an established company?
4. What are some things you would do if given more resources? If less resources, what would you do differently?
5. In your opinion, what are the key elements of a successful product launch?
Sample Competency Interview Questions for Executives Position
1. While most people can see that you have been successful, can you share an example of a time when you’ve had to overcome failure or adversity to get where you are today?
2. What motivates you at work and why?
3. Describe an instance where something didn’t go quite as planned but the outcome was positive.
4. Have you ever been faced with a situation that challenged your values, and how did you respond?
5. How would you manage a team member who has underperformed and does not seem to want to improve?
Sample Problem-solving Interview Questions for Executive Position
1. How can you improve your customer service?
2. How can you solve the problem if you were not able to deliver on time?
3. How can you increase market share?
4. How can you get a better response rate from your customers?
5. How can you ensure that your products are always available in the market during peak season of demand?
Sample Situational Interview Questions for Executive Position
1. What is the likelihood of your competitors trying to acquire you?
2. How will this acquisition affect your daily operations?
3. What risks would be involved in an acquisition?
4. How important is it for you to preserve the culture of this company after an acquisition?
5. What will be your position after the acquisition?
Sample Communication Skills Interview Questions for Executive Position
1. What are some areas of the project where you feel like your communication skills could use improvement?
2. What are the most important qualities a leader should have?
3. Are you a good judge of character? Tell me about a time when you trusted the wrong person. What happened?
4. If you’ve had to train new employees for your job, what was your training style?
5. How would you handle it if an employee continually made mistakes that could potentially hurt your company’s reputation or bottom line (for example, sending out defective orders)?
Sample Interpersonal Skills Interview Questions for Executive Position
1. How are you able to maintain composure under challenging circumstances?
2. What would your ideal boss be like?
3. Describe to me your best skill at dealing with conflict in the workplace?
4. What is a professional challenge that you have faced that has made you grow professionally and personally?
5. What advice would you give to people who are thinking about going into your profession, or who already work in it but want to improve their skills further?
Sample Company Culture Interview Questions for Executive Position
1. What’s the company’s mission?
2. What is the relationship like between management and employees in this company?
3. Is there a sense of ownership and accountability or does hierarchy dominate?
4. What do you like or dislike about the company’s culture?
5. What are your thoughts on employee-driven incentives?
Sample Leadership Interview Questions for Executive Position
1. What are the key skills or behaviors that would be required for you to perform well in a particular role?
2. What are the key skills or behaviors that you have that help you perform in a position like this one?
3. How would you describe your leadership style?
4. Can you tell me about a time you had to deal with an employee who was not performing well?
5. How do you define success?
Sample Management Interview Questions for Executive Position
1. Why were you attracted to the job opening in this company?
2. What is your major achievement in your previous position?
3. How do you go about preparing for a work day?
4. What type of person would you not work well with on a team?
5. What is the one thing that makes it hard for you to stay focused when at work or when carrying out a task at home?”
Executives Interview Success Tips
Here are valuable tips to use in preparing for and taking an interview for an executive role:
- Keep the Interview Questions on Track
Interviewers are nice people and really want to help you get the job. You need to make them feel at ease by staying on track, so take notes (with pen / pencil) throughout the interview.
If they ask a question and you skip a step, they won’t know where to go next because they won’t have an example of what you’re supposed to do next.
2. Answer all Questions
During an interview, there are certain questions that everyone asks all candidates. These questions are not open to negotiation and can be used as a benchmark for how the interviewer evaluates your answers.
Even if you don’t like the question, answer it anyway. If you get too upset and start to get tongue-tied, you won’t be able to articulate your thoughts.
3. Prepare in Advance
Most interviewers will ask questions that they commonly ask candidates in an effort to see if they have any common qualities that applicants have.
You need to be prepared for these questions. Know the answers before you are asked, so that you can answer them with confidence and not make your interviewer work too hard.
4. Maintain Eye Contact
Eye contact is a common way to show interest in the interviewer’s comments and to build rapport.
Strong eye contact also demonstrates respect and will help make you appear more confident and professional.
Use eye contact to demonstrate sincerity and follow-up on any particularly strong points in your response with more detail or explanation.
5. Ask Questions of the Interviewer
Remember, you’re not alone in this. The employer also wants you to succeed, so ask them questions. They will appreciate the fact that you care enough to ensure that they are a good fit as well.
If you are preparing for an executive interview and wants to excel in it, it is important to prepare beforehand for the questions that will be asked and prepare your responses.
This post has provided lots of sample interview questions for executive job position that you can apply in preparing for your next interview.