15 Executive Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from an executive, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

executive interview questions

What do you hope to accomplish within the first 90 days of your new position?

This question is a great way to show the interviewer that you have goals and are ready to get started. It also gives them an idea of what your priorities will be as soon as you start the job. When answering this question, make sure to include specific details about what you plan to do and how you plan to achieve it.

Example: “I hope to learn more about the company culture and meet my new team members within the first 90 days. I want to understand their strengths and weaknesses so I can help support them in reaching their professional goals. I also plan to develop a strategic plan for the next six months by conducting research on our current processes and identifying areas where we can improve.”

What are some ways in which you have improved yourself over the past year?

This question can give the interviewer insight into how you approach your own professional development. Highlight a skill or quality that you have been working on and explain how it has helped you in your career.

Example: “I’ve always had an interest in technology, so I decided to take some coding classes this past year. It was challenging at first, but I stuck with it and eventually learned enough to create my own website. This project gave me the opportunity to learn more about web design and marketing, which has helped me understand what clients are looking for when they hire us.”

How do you keep up with industry news and developments?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you stay current with industry trends and news. It can also show them your ability to learn new things, which is an important skill for executives who need to be able to adapt quickly to changing business environments.

Example: “I subscribe to several trade publications and newsletters that I read regularly. I also have a few websites that I visit daily to see what’s happening in my industry. I find this helps me stay informed about changes and developments so I can prepare myself to react appropriately when they happen.”

What would you say are the most important skills for an executive to have?

This question is a great way to show the interviewer that you have an understanding of what it takes to be successful in your role. When answering this question, think about which skills you feel are most important for success and why.

Example: “I believe communication and problem-solving skills are two of the most important skills for executives to have. In my last position as director of marketing, I had to communicate with many different departments on a daily basis. This included communicating with sales teams, customer service representatives and other marketing professionals. Having strong communication skills helped me build relationships with these individuals and allowed us to work together more effectively.

Another skill that’s important for executives is problem-solving. As an executive, you’re often tasked with solving complex problems. For example, when I was working at my previous company, we were having issues with our website. The site wasn’t loading properly for some customers, so I worked with my team to find a solution. We ended up hiring a new web developer who fixed all of the issues.”

What led you to become an executive?

This question can help the interviewer understand your motivations for becoming an executive. It can also give them insight into what you value in a career and how you view yourself as a leader. When answering this question, it can be helpful to discuss a specific experience that led you to pursue a leadership role.

Example: “I became an executive because I wanted to make a difference in my company. In my previous position, I noticed we were losing clients due to our customer service. I decided to take action by creating a new training program for all of our employees on how to provide excellent customer service. After implementing these changes, we saw a significant increase in client retention.”

What were your major accomplishments at your previous jobs?

This question is a great way to learn more about your potential employer and how they value accomplishments. When answering this question, it can be helpful to list the most recent major accomplishments you’ve made in your career.

Example: “At my previous job, I was promoted from senior manager to director of operations. This promotion came with a raise in salary and new responsibilities. In my role as director, I helped create an employee training program that increased productivity by 20%. The company also saw a decrease in turnover rates after implementing the training program.”

How many employees did you manage at your last job?

This question can help the interviewer understand your management style and how you might fit into their company. If you’ve never managed anyone, consider describing a time when you helped someone else or led a project that required teamwork.

Example: “At my last job, I had five direct reports who were all salespeople. In this role, I was responsible for helping them develop strategies to meet their quotas while also ensuring they understood our company’s goals. I would regularly check in with each of them to see how they were doing and offer advice on how to improve their performance.”

How do you delegate tasks and responsibilities?

As an executive, you may need to delegate tasks and responsibilities to your team members. Your hiring manager may ask this question to learn more about how you share these duties with others. In your answer, try to explain the steps you take when delegating a task or project to someone else. Explain that you want to make sure everyone on your team has clear expectations for their work.

Example: “I find it important to meet with my team members before I delegate any projects or tasks to them. During our meeting, I discuss what they’ve been working on recently and what they hope to accomplish in the future. Then, I can decide which projects would be best suited for each person based on their skills and interests. After deciding who will do the work, I provide plenty of details so they know exactly what is expected of them.”

What is your management style?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you would fit into their company culture. It is important to be honest about your management style and what type of team members you prefer working with. You may also want to mention any leadership training or certifications that helped develop your management skills.

Example: “I believe in being a hands-on manager who is available for my employees at all times. I think it’s important to have regular meetings with my team members to discuss their progress, goals and concerns. I am always looking for ways to improve our processes and procedures so we can work more efficiently as a team. I also like to delegate tasks to my team members so they feel empowered to make decisions on their own.”

How do you handle disagreements among members of your leadership team?

As an executive, you may need to resolve disagreements among your team members. The interviewer wants to know how you handle these situations and whether you can do so in a way that maintains the respect of your colleagues. Your answer should show that you are able to lead with confidence and encourage collaboration.

Example: “I believe it’s important for leaders to be open to hearing different perspectives from their teams. I try to make sure my leadership team knows they can approach me at any time about anything. When there is disagreement among team members, I ask each person involved to explain their perspective on the situation. Then, I try to find common ground between them by asking questions and listening carefully.”

What is one mistake you made in your career and what did you learn from it?

This question is a great way to learn more about the candidate’s personality and how they handle mistakes. It also shows that you are willing to be honest with your past actions, which can help employers feel more comfortable hiring you. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think of a mistake that was not too serious but still taught you something important.

Example: “I once made an error in my calculations when preparing for a presentation at work. I had been working on the presentation all day and forgot to double-check my math before presenting it to my team. Luckily, I realized my mistake before I presented it to our client. I apologized to my team and spent some extra time making sure my numbers were correct before presenting again.”

How do you handle underperforming employees?

This question can help interviewers understand how you handle challenging situations at work. Use your answer to highlight your leadership skills and ability to motivate others.

Example: “I recently had an employee who was consistently late for work, which affected their performance in other areas of the job. I met with them privately to discuss the issue and learned that they were having transportation issues getting to work. I offered to pay for a taxi service until they could find a more permanent solution. This helped improve their attendance while also helping them get to work on time.”

What are some strategies you use to motivate your employees?

Motivation is an important skill for any leader to have. Employers ask this question to see if you can motivate their team members and help them achieve goals. In your answer, explain a few ways you’ve motivated others in the past. Explain how these strategies helped employees feel more confident and perform better at work.

Example: “I find that one of the best ways to motivate my employees is by showing them I care about them as people. When I get to know each person on my team, they feel valued and appreciated. This motivates them to do their best work because they want to impress me. Another strategy I use is setting clear expectations. If employees know what’s expected of them, it helps them understand what they need to do to succeed. It also gives them confidence when they meet those expectations.”

How do you communicate with the board of directors?

The board of directors is a group of individuals who oversee the operations of a company. They are typically responsible for making important decisions and ensuring that the organization operates within its legal framework. As an executive, you may need to communicate with them on a regular basis about your progress in achieving goals or objectives. Your answer should show that you understand how to work with this group effectively.

Example: “I have worked with boards of directors before, so I know that they can be quite demanding. However, I also know that they want to see results as quickly as possible. To balance these two factors, I always make sure to provide regular updates on my progress. This helps me avoid having to explain why something hasn’t been done yet. It also allows me to get feedback from the board members so I can adjust my plans if necessary.”

What is your vision for this company?

This question is a great way to see how you plan for the future and what your goals are. It’s important that you show the interviewer that you have a clear vision of where you want this company to go, but also that you’re willing to listen to their ideas as well.

Example: “I believe that our company should be focusing on expanding internationally. I’ve noticed that we have a lot of customers in other countries who would love our products, so I think it would be beneficial to hire someone who can help us with translating our website into different languages. This will allow us to reach more people and grow our business.”


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