About 40% of C-level leaders said the stress from their work is so immense that they’ll likely quit in the next 12 months. If you’re struggling to hire C-level executives, thoroughly assessing your candidates is essential. Otherwise, you could fail to evaluate their skills, experience, and expertise.
Here are four interview questions to ask before hiring executives for your company. Asking these questions will help drive your company’s future success.
Start interviewing candidates today!
1. What’s Your Leadership Style?
Each C-suite position is about leadership. The best executives know how to inspire the talents and skills of the employees working under them. Before choosing between C-level executives for your business, assess their leadership qualities. One way to assess their leadership qualities is through team leadership training.
Determine if their leadership qualities align with your company’s culture and style.
An executive’s leadership style refers to the behaviors and methods used to motivate and manage a team. Each style determines how leaders strategize, implement plans, and respond to challenges. Understanding an executive’s style also defines their strengths and weaknesses.
A few different leadership styles include:
- Transformational leadership
- Delegative leadership
- Servant leadership
- Transactional leadership
- Authoritative leadership
- Participative leadership
A transformative leader looks to develop bonds, create unity, and instill passion in a team. They emphasize transformation, inspiring employees to achieve more than they thought possible. Someone with a transformative style can help an entire organization tap into unforeseen potential.
Delegative leadership is less intrusive. It’s a very hands-off approach. These leaders trust and rely on their employees to do their jobs.
Delegative leaders don’t micromanage. They also don’t provide too much feedback or guidance. This strategy is only successful if team leaders are competent.
Servant leadership puts the needs of others first. These leaders create strong bonds with their teams to help employees reach their full potential.
Transactional leaders rely on rewards and punishments to motivate their teams. They develop routines and procedures for employees.
Authoritative leaders emphasize a “follow me” approach. They encourage those around them to follow them. This approach requires leaders to learn about their team members.
Participative or democratic leadership involves listening to employees and involving them in decision-making processes. These leaders have good communication and critical-thinking skills.
How Do You Get the Most Out of Your Teams?
You can also learn more about each executive’s leadership style by asking how they would encourage their employees. Try to learn more about the day-to-day policies they would enact. Encourage the executive to share details about their past experiences.
For example, you can ask how they motivated their employees in the past. Ask which techniques worked and which didn’t.
If a specific strategy didn’t work, ask the executive what they did to course-correct.
It’s important to find leaders who can encourage and motivate their teams. Otherwise, team morale can drop, affecting productivity.
What Traits Do You Admire in a Leader?
Ask each executive about the traits they admire in managers who led them in the past. This question can provide some insight into the executive’s personality. Learning about the traits they admire can help you learn about who they want to become.
You’ll also get insight into their potential.
Ask each executive why they admire those traits. How did a leader with those qualities benefit the executive as a team member? You can learn about their path of development and how they might motivate their own team in the future.
2. What’s Missing in Our Company Right Now?
Before choosing between C-suite executives, it helps to learn how they’ll fit into your company. Company culture is key to any company’s operations. If an executive doesn’t fit into the company culture, they likely won’t stay long.
A strong company culture can improve a company’s productivity, productivity, and growth.
A leader who understands a company’s culture can also infuse those values into their team.
Ask executives what’s missing from the company’s existing culture and how they’ll further the company culture. Look for executives with bold plans that can benefit your operations over time.
Asking this question can give you a glimpse into their thought process. It can also help you determine who is the right fit for your organization.
How Would You Support a Better Workplace Culture?
Fostering a positive workplace culture can encourage collaboration and engagement. This question can help you learn more about leadership styles. It can also demonstrate that the executive has experience supporting their teams.
3. What’s Your Greatest Failure?
Ask about each executive’s past successes and failures. Learning about their past failures can help you determine how they respond to challenges. Ask how they overcame that challenge.
This question will give you insight into their problem-solving skills. It can also help you determine how they respond to stress.
Need help finding the best C-suite executives for your organization? Explore the best job searches for executives here to get started.
4. How Do You Define Success?
Each leader has their own definition of success. Understanding an executive’s definition will determine if they match your company’s values.
This question can also give you further insight into their leadership style. An executive’s version of success will determine their priorities and goals. If their goals don’t align with the company’s, keep searching for candidates.
What’s the Biggest Change You Led?
In order to become successful, an executive needs to know how to navigate challenging situations. Ask each candidate how they’ve faced and overcome challenges. Determine how they helped their team in that situation, too.
The candidate should highlight the positive results of the change they lead. They should also mention how their actions benefited the company’s bottom line.
Hire the Right C-Level Executives for Your Business Today
Hiring the right C-level executives for your organization shouldn’t feel stressful. Instead, ask these interview questions to streamline your search. These hiring strategies will help you build the best C-suite team for your business.
Their leadership style can set your entire organization up for success and growth.
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