13 Questions to Ask When Interviewing Executive Candidates
According to some reports, about 40% of executives who change jobs or get promoted fail in the first 18 months. That’s a startling statistic for companies looking to hire new leaders. With so much at stake, recruiting the right individual the first time is vital – and it all starts with the interview.
When interviewing executive level candidates, it’s important to focus on two primary areas:
- Interpersonal skills – Good interpersonal skills (such as communication, problem solving and conflict resolution) are vital to success in management. Leaders must understand how to effectively deal with other people.
- Ability to deliver positive results – Strong executives have a track record of success (e.g. leading teams that increase sales, streamline processes, cut expenses and achieve organizations goals); their capabilities have already been demonstrated with previous employers.
As an executive placement firm in Rancho Cordova, CA, Pacific Staffing knows some management candidates are able to sell themselves so well during the interview that it’s a surprise when they fail to thrive on the job. You can minimize the likelihood of this happening when you keep the above attributes in mind during the interview and ask questions that enable you to screen for them, such as the following:
- Describe a time you faced an unforeseen issue on the job and how you diffused and resolved the situation.
- Tell me about a time when you and your team faced challenging odds. How did you keep them engaged and motivated to overcome the situation and succeed?
- Explain a time when you had to promote an idea or project to a group. How did you go about persuading them?
- In your last position, what was your strategy for building relationships with your team members and peers?
- Describe a time when you had to deal with conflict with another person in your department. How did you handle it?
- How would you describe your management style with direct reports and why do you think it’s successful?
- What would former subordinates say about working with you?
- Have you ever had to terminate an employee?
- What is the one best method you use for dealing with difficult customers?
- What professional accomplishment are you most proud of? Why?
- What is the worst criticism that you’ve gotten over the course of your management career?
- Why do you think you’re a good fit for this opportunity?
- What’s your plan for making our organization better?
If you’d like expert help finding the right candidate for an important leadership role at your company, call Pacific Staffing. As an executive placement firm in Rancho Cordova, CA, we have extensive experience in sourcing, evaluating and helping companies hire mission critical professionals for executive level positions