Hiring for executive candidates can be a real challenge in today’s business world, particularly because there is fierce competition among these career seekers and an influx of resumes coming in. According to most recent reports from the US Department of Labor and Statistics, there are usually on average 200 resumes coming in for every single job opening, and nearly 7 unemployed people per job opening, so that means there are a large number of folks looking for work these days.
Asking Outside of the Box Questions
An effective way to identify the best candidates for executive level management and consultant positions, the recruiter must think of unique interviewing questions. Interview questions should be geared towards the experience and knowledge of each industry as well as the general tasks and duties that an executive can expect in a new role.
Try these 8 interview questions to ask executive candidates.
1. Tell me about the last time you encountered a problem in your department and how you dealt with it? This is a behavioral interview question that gets to the heart of the candidate’s problem-solving skills and reasoning ability. All executive level candidates should be effective problem solvers and think their way through potential issues with tact.
2. How many and what types of networks are you a part of and why? Today’s business executive needs to be tapped into something greater than just the four-walls of their office. Social connectivity and involvement with community causes is a key indicator of a candidate who is passionate about their role and wants to be a bigger influencer.
3. What methodology do you use to evaluate the financial success of a business? Candidates who are well-suited for executive-level assignments are astute in matters of finance. They are able to glean information quickly from financial reports and take the appropriate actions to ensure profitability for the business.
4. Do you have experience working with a board of directors and how do you foster relationships at this level? In many companies, there will be a board to content with, made up of investors and partners. Developing positive rapport and relationships can help to ensure the future success and growth of a company. Therefore it’s critical to ask candidates how they balance their roles with the goals of a board of directors.
5. Have you ever had to terminate an employee? If so, why and how did you handle it? Being a manager means making tough decisions sometimes, for the betterment of the company as a whole. An executive level candidate should be comfortable making hiring and firing decisions, and doing so in a legal and ethical manner.
6. What one best method would you recommend for dealing with difficult clients? In addition to being effective manager of employees, an executive candidate should also be good at facilitating great relationships with clients. When there is a difficult client situation, and there will be often, they must be able to demonstrate the ability to smooth things over and create positive experiences for repeat customers.
7. What are some important trends in our industry and how do they affect us? Any executive candidate worth his salt will be in touch with the changes in the industry and any upcoming legislation that could change things. This demonstrates passion for the field and a commitment to staying ahead of the curve – two traits that make great leaders.
8. If you knew that another member of the management team was committing fraud, how would you handle this? Candidates at the executive level must be able to perform their jobs with the highest regard to ethical behavior at all times. Sometimes, this means being a whistle-blower. Look for a candidate who holds to high standards and shows a knack for handling a scenario like this with tactfulness and respect for the company.
A most effective way to locate the best executive candidates is to take advantage of a seasoned team of recruiters, who can create a bridge between your company and the future leaders of your industry. Consider working with the professionals at ContractRecruiter today!
Andrew Greenberg’s roots in recruiting date back to 1996. He has experience both on the agency-side and corporate-side of the staffing business, with a focus in the financial services space at companies like Bloomberg and UBS. He also has core experience with information technology staffing, and has worked for major software companies such as SAP Business Objects and IBM/Informix Software. To get in touch with Andrew, you can reach him by email or by phone at (800) 797-6160.