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22 Amazing Executive Interview Questions

by | Feb 7, 2018 | Recruiter Training, Top Echelon Blog

If you want to become a top executive recruiter, you need to know how to pick the best candidates to send your clients. And to do that, you need to ask the best executive interview questions. But with thousands of executive interview questions available, how can you pick the right ones?

Interviewing executive candidates doesn’t have to be intimidating. Use the tips below and sample interview questions for executive positions to get started.

How to interview an executive candidate

Preparing for each interview is essential. Interviewing an executive candidate is similar to interviewing any other candidate. But, you might ask different and more in-depth questions, such as questions about management techniques.

When you’re preparing for an executive interview, review the job order and the position qualifications. Choose questions for executive interviews that will help you discover if the candidate is qualified.

Also, consider your client and what they value. You can ask personality and workplace culture questions to find out how well the candidate might fit in the client company.

Common executive interview questions

When you choose executive job interview questions, you will likely have a mix of experience, management, position-specific, and behavioral interview questions.

Below are the top executive interview questions. You can use these exact questions during your interview, or use these suggestions to create your own questions. If your client wants help preparing to interview the candidate, you can also pass these executive-level interview questions on to them.

  1. What is your greatest professional achievement?
  2. What makes you a good fit for this position?
  3. Why are you interested in leading the company?
  4. What do you think the company is doing well? What would you change?
  5. What do you think is the most difficult part of being an executive?
  6. What parts of this position will be the biggest challenges for you?
  7. How would you describe your management style?
  8. If you got this job, what would your priorities be within the first six months?
  9. Tell me about a time you dealt with challenging staffing issues. How did you handle it?
  10. How would you boost staff morale?
  11. In the past, how have you evaluated an employee’s job performance? Do you think this is still a good way to evaluate performance?
  12. Has there been a time when you had to confront an employee who was producing inadequate results? What did you do?
  13. Have you ever had to terminate an employee? How did you handle it?
  14. What is your experience in reading and interpreting financial reports?
  15. Has there ever been a time you had to handle difficult financial issues? What did you do?
  16. How would you handle shakey sales after a merger (or another big event)?
  17. If an employee came to you with a complaint, what would you do?
  18. Tell me about a time when you disagreed with other executives. What did you do?
  19. Tell me about a time you experienced resistance to one of your ideas or projects. How did you handle it?
  20. How do you prefer to communicate?
  21. What leaders do you look up to?
  22. What is one professional mistake you’ve made that you wish you could go back and fix?

Taking notes

During the interview, you should take notes about the candidate’s responses. You might use an interview scorecard to help you do this.

After the interview, add your notes to your applicant tracking system for staffing agencies. Your notes can help you easily compare candidates. And, the digital notes can help you remember what you liked about a candidate so you can talk them up to your client.

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