Gearing up for an interview is never a simple thing. There are one or two moments where you get nervy. A part of the reason could be because you do not know what to expect. You wonder about several scenarios and questions.
If you give in to the panic, that’s all you will see; the panic and all the things that could go wrong. Not a good way to plan for an executive interview. I’m sure you will agree. Preparing for an executive interview is very much the same as any interview out there. The key selling point remains that you portray confidence and that you know what you are about.
There is a way to bypass those nervy moments before the interview. In this article, we have gathered the top 20 questions with the highest probability of being asked, outstanding right?
If you know the questions to be asked, you can prepare excellent answers beforehand, and practice them, increasing your chances of success.
Before we dive into these top interview questions, let us first look at the core qualities of a top executive in any firm.
The Core Qualities of an Executive
Every position or role in an organization requires a set of skills to successfully carry out the duties expected.
There are four core qualities that every executive and aspiring executive should possess, these qualities are:
This point here cannot be overemphasized. Every executive must, in fact, have exceptional leadership skills. They must be able to successfully lead projects, changes, and the surrounding people. If you lack this quality, how else do you plan on leading your firm to greater heights?
2. Result and Goal-oriented
Surely when leading a group of people united under a common goal, there must be results. The results speak for the success of that group. As such, an exec has to be result-driven, an exec must provide positive results.
3. Business Acumen
This core qualification assesses the executive’s knowledge and understanding of human, financial, and technology management.
Accountability is an individual’s ability to hold themselves and others answerable for the delivery of results. The ideal candidate will be proficient in identifying and prioritizing objectives and delegating work to people based on their strengths and capabilities. When mistakes occur, the leader must take responsibility and create systems to minimize risk and improve efficiency.
Lastly, recruiters look for a candidate who not only understands their organization’s vision and long-term plan but buys into it as well. If you know your vision clashes with the organization’s, then there is no need to apply because you will be rejected. Successful candidates who enter a new role with a game plan achieve more immediate and long-term results.
Before anything else, be sure to assess yourself for these 5 core qualities.
Top 20 Executive Interview Questions
1. What are your strongest traits?
The interviewer asks this question primarily to see how you view yourself and to see if you can give honest assessments of your capabilities.
2. What makes you effective
The interviewer would want to know if you possess any innovative qualities that might improve the company. Simply think about your unique qualities that helped you improve your current or past company.
3. How would you describe our company?
This is one of the executive interview questions aimed at determining how well you have done your research about the company and your professional assessment of it.
4. Why do you want to be an executive in our firm?
Perhaps you have some grand idea about how to improve the firm. You want to use those genius ideas to make the company realize its grand potential. Do not be shy to express those ideas, but be sure to carry out extensive research so as not to be caught off-guard by unexpected questions that might throw you off balance.
5. What is your code of conduct
This question finds what your way of life is. What ethics do you stick to and your general outlook on life as an individual and a leader?
6. What aspects of your work would like to develop?
Having excellent and nearly impeccable qualities is always a huge selling point for any job interview and not just an executive interview. That being said, the interviewer would like to know if you have even higher goals and standards for yourself. Is there room for improvement
If so, what would you like to improve?
7. What is your management style?
All leaders are not the same. What works for leader A might not work for leader B. that being said, having a firm grip on your own style of management always comes in handy. It gives your employees is a deeper insight into what type of leader you are.
Learn how to answer questions about your management style properly. Check out: Best Answers to “what is your management style?” Questions
8. What are your goals within the next 6 months of employment?
This question here is aimed at ascertaining if you can create short-term goals. Remember, part of the core qualities of an executive is being goal-oriented. Be sure to prepare for this question and deliver convincing answers.
9. How do you plan to improve this company?
Of course, the primary goal of every executive is to ensure the betterment of their respective firms through diligent work and well-orchestrated plans. Thus, this is one of the most important executive interview questions.
10. What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of this company?
Remember question 3? This is its variant. You cannot assess what the strengths and weaknesses of a company are without carrying out proper research. A top executive must have the ability to detect the selling points and flaws within their organization.
11. If one of your employees is underperforming, how would you address the problem?
This is where your management style shines its brightest. How would you manage the situation? How would you help the employee improve? What approach will you take?
12. Do you have a reward system for top performers?
This question finds out how you motivate your employees to perform at optimal levels. The reward system is put in place as an incentive for hard work and positive results. It doesn’t have to be any complex. It could be as simple as allowing them to leave early or a treat to lunch.
13. How do you keep your team focused?
This question measures your motivational and leadership personality. An executive should have a carefully laid out plan or system that keeps their employees focused on the tasks at hand, as well as the short-term and long-term goals.
14. Describe the toughest decision you ever made in your job?
As a leader, there are definitely moments where you had to make one or two hard choices for many reasons. This question is aimed at determining if you have the resolve to make tough choices when the time arises. Maybe the tough choice you have to make saves the company.
15. What do you think is the biggest challenge of being an executive?
Simply put, this question allows you to explain how you overcome the challenges of leadership.
16. How do you plan to improve the inter-departmental relationship?
Your answer to this question helps an interviewer learn more about how you handle specific incidents that contribute to company productivity.
17. What is the most fulfilling thing about being an executive?
This question is straightforward. The interviewer simply wants to know what it is about the leadership role that makes you happy.
18. How would you address employee complaints about company policies and procedures?
This is another situation that calls upon your management skills. An executive must be able to resolve employee issues efficiently using professional discretion.
19. Describe yourself in one word
When an interviewer asks this question, they want to know your strengths, and above all else, your perception of self.
20. What is the most interesting thing about you that isn’t stated in your resume?
This question finds out what your personal values and interests are outside of the workplace. This creates a deeper understanding of the type of person you are.
You’re mostly interested in things you’re passionate about. Check out: 10 Best Answers to “What are you passionate about?
So there you have it; the top 20 executive interview questions. When you thoroughly go through these questions, you notice they aren’t questions out of the ordinary, considering the role you applied for.
These are questions that you have the answers to. So relax and construct perfectly professional answers that will leave an excellent lasting impression on your interviewer.
The secret has been and will always be confident. One sure-fire way of developing such confidence is to practice the answers to these questions and try to perfect your mannerisms as you talk.
How do I prepare for an executive-level interview?
You can prepare for an executive-level interview position by first doing your research. Dress appropriately for the interview. If you are unsure about the company’s dress code, check it online or ask someone. You should also study the above 20 questions. Also, while you’re in the interview don’t forget to ask questions. It shows you know what you are doing. Make sure you stay confident all through.
What are the toughest interview questions?
Some of the toughest interview questions to answer include;
- What is your greatest weakness?
- Why should we hire you?
- What’s something that you didn’t like about your last job?
- Why do you want this job?
- How do you deal with conflict with a co-worker?