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12 questions CEOs should want to be asked when interviewing

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As a question it leaves the candidate with no where to hide. If they say “No, I think we’ve covered everything”, then it tells me straight away that they’ve either not bothered to research the company, or they’re not interested enough to want to know more. Either way, it’s a response that rarely results in a good news phone call.

When preparing to conduct a series of interviews, its common for employers to invest time in thinking through the questions that they’re going to ask the candidates, but how often do you think about what questions you’d like to be asked, and what they might say about the candidate?

I’m always impressed by any candidate that’s taken the time to do their research and then prepare some questions, as it provides another way for me to see what they are about. Here are twelve questions that I’m always hoping to be asked, when interviewing:

(1) How does this role contribute to the larger company goals?

This question demonstrates an understanding of how important each role is to the success of the company as a whole. Being able to see the big picture is a good trait in an employee.

(2) If I’m offer the job, what would my first month look like?

What this tells me is that the candidate is keen to get off to a good start. I’ve interview many people who on paper have everything I’m looking for, but in person I’ve not felt that they really wanted the job.

(3) Will there be any metrics used specifically to measure the success of this role?

Every business should be benchmarking progress and success by setting targets and KPIs, so in asking this question it tells me that they understand and accept that the onus is on them to be successful.

(4) What is the biggest challenge the team is facing at the moment?

This questions reflects a certain level of maturity and realism in the candidate and an understanding that the job might not always be rainbows and unicorns.

(5) Something which shows they’ve done their research 

I like it when candidates ask me something specific about the organisation that could only come up through research. Like reading our website and asking questions like “How’s the new London office going?”, “How did it feel to win the award?”, or “When does the new product launch?” 

Continue to find out which question would only be appreciated if the interview is going smoothly. 

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