Choosing a new member for your executive team can be, frankly, a little nerve-wracking. Hire the right person and you have help moving your company forward. Hire the wrong person and you could undermine decades of progress and exemplary customer service.
A well-conducted interview is a key step in the executive hiring process. Aim for questions that go beyond the basic what, when, and where. Use the following interview tips to craft questions that will reveal the candidate’s prowess, professionalism, and personality.
Ask questions that require the candidate to respond with a list. “What were your three greatest accomplishments at your previous job?” “Tell me four elements that are important in strategic planning.” Well-articulated responses let you know that the candidate can organize thoughts and think beyond the surface.
Ask procedural questions. Have the candidate describe a process. “How would you evaluate the need for increasing your workforce?” If the candidate replies with a step-by-step plan, you will see their aptitude for logical analysis.
Expand on the resume. When you are interviewing at the executive level, you expect to have an exceptional resume in front of you. Select two or three key points and ask the candidate to expand. “According to your resume, you increased sales by 115% in six months. How did you do that?” A qualified candidate will have extensive information to share beyond what’s on the page.
Discuss the downside. Naturally, candidates are presenting the best elements of their work histories. You also want to know how they handle adversity. “What went wrong when you handled a major project? How did you recover?”
Consider how they treat people. When you ask about leadership style, listen for the underlying message. Does the description of their leadership style conform to your company culture? Leadership has many different meanings. Be sure their definition meshes with yours.
Find out if they did their research. Did the candidate study your company? The ideal candidate will know more than simply what your company does and how many people you employ. They will also have gained information about your strengths, weaknesses, competitors, and long-range strategy.
Work with a recruiting firm. A reputable executive search firm like Prime-Core will not only seek out and screen candidates. The firm will also help you design the best interview process for the position.