Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Three Interview Questions You Need to Hire a Senior Executive

Entrusting responsibilities to new hires requires mutual understanding


At lunch recently, my friend shared a story about how he was “selected” as a construction manager for a large project years ago.

He prepared well for what he thought would be a tough interview. When he arrived, the hiring executive had him wait in the bar. When the executive arrived for the interview, he began with, “What do you want to drink?” my friend said, “What are you having?” Smart answer (they had a beer).

The second question was, “How much do you need to make?” My friend hadn’t prepared for this and shot low.

The third was, “When can you start?”

That’s it. A three-question interview for a significant job.

I laughed so hard I almost passed my kung pao chicken through my nose.

Getting the team right is critical and probably deserved more thought, even when you’re desperate. But even with the luxury of time, too often executives are hired without clear thought on what’s needed.

If you had to limit yourself to three interview questions to hire a senior executive, what would they be (assuming technical competence, e.g., in my friend’s case, he’d built many buildings)?

Here are mine:

  1. What are three situations in your past that exemplify how you’d execute our strategy (better have a clear strategy!)?
  2. Given our culture (you need to have a clearly defined culture!), can you tell me about three situations where you acted in concert with our desired behaviors?
  3. What has been your most successful experience in building a strong team? Be specific.

Perhaps as a fourth: "What would you like to drink? (IPAs, Brunello di Montalicino, a dry martini, you're good to go. White zinfandels, keep looking!)

Edit Module

Get more content like this: Subscribe to the magazine | Sign up for our Free e-newsletter

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

Bank of America Supports Art Exhibitions and Free Admission

Bank of America's commitment to philanthropy in the arts, including sponsoring major exhibits at the Denver Art Museum, grants for arts conservation and their Museums on Us program earned the organization a 2019 Colorado Business for the Arts award.

CBCA Honors 10 at Annual Awards Luncheon

On Tuesday, March 12, the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) celebrated 10 honorees at the 2019 Business for the Arts Awards Luncheon, as part of the 2019 Business for the Arts Awards.

At Snooze, You Don't Lose

Best for Colorado is a program led by the Alliance Center that encourages Colorado companies to measure and improve their social and environmental impact using the B Impact Assessment.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags