4 Types of Executive Interview Questions to Prepare For

Executive interviews can be intimidating, to say the least. Demonstrating integrity and building trust between the interviewer and interviewee are key components, as well as balancing a conversational ebb and flow throughout the discussion. Ultimately, an executive interview is stressful because it is an emotional experience for all stakeholders, with the goal of finding the right fit between the candidate and the organization (check out our executive interview guide for tips on creating a successful CXO interview experience).

Something to keep in mind prior to a c-level interview is that the questions you will be asked are rarely selected randomly. Most companies will strategically choose executive interview questions to gather specific information. As a CEO, COO, CDO, CFO, CMO, CIO, CTO, or other CxO executive interviewing for your next executive-level role, you may encounter the following types of executive interview questions.

Common Executive Interview Questions

  1. Performance Questions. These questions aim to gain information on how a candidate performs in a role. Examples include: How do you set goals, and what steps do you take to meet them? What makes you effective in your job?
  2. Interpersonal Questions. Top-notch interpersonal and communication skills are paramount in any executive leadership role. Examples include: How do you communicate bad news to a client or employee? How do you adapt your approach when interacting with diverse stakeholders?
  3. Behavioral Questions. They say one of the best ways to predict future behavior is to examine past behavior. Behavioral questions often begin with “tell me about a time when…” Examples include: Tell me about the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced at work and how you overcame it. Describe the most challenging decision you have ever had to make at work.
  4. Opinion Questions. Opinion questions are often unexpected and can throw you off your game because it feels like a wrong answer may disqualify you. Plan how you want to answer possible opinion questions ahead of time. Examples include: What would you do in X situation? What is your dream job and company to work for?

To find out how we can help you prepare for your next executive interview, book a complimentary and confidential call with us here.

Mary Elizabeth Bradford is the Founder and Executive Director of CEOresumewriter.com and Maryelizabethbradford.com and a past executive recruiter. A thought leader in the career services industry for over 20 years, she holds 5 distinct advanced certifications for senior-level resume writing, online branding and executive-level job search coaching (CERM, CMRW, CARW, MCD, NCOPE). She has been seen and heard in major media including Forbes, Time, WSJ, Newsweek and NBC affiliate stations. She holds 2 CDI TORI awards and is a top tier judge for the elite CDI TORI awards for four consecutive years. Mary Elizabeth Bradford’s elite team of award-winning, certified, top executive resume writers, former top executive recruiters, and global HR executives help many of the world’s premier C-suite, board members and thought leaders secure the transitions and compensation packages they want. She works with clients all over the globe.

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