Categories: Project Management

Top 25 Executive Interview Questions & Answers

1) Mention what are the key responsibilities of a manager?

The key responsibilities of a manager are,

  • Envisioning the future and developing strategic plans
  • Handling multidisciplinary teams and their linkages for effective communication
  • Understanding outcomes at different levels – financial, process, etc.
  • Coordinating effectively and securing outcomes
  • Dealing with risks and uncertainty
  • Marketing and negotiating effectively
  • Using resources in a way to get optimal outcomes in tight scenarios

2) Mention what is the first thing you would do if hired?

I would go through company existing process, then I will analyze & initiate to add my skills to ongoing project to meet the client requirement with 100% accuracy.

3) Mention what you think I could do better as the CEO of my company?

  • Tell your employees that your door is always open, that you want to hear their honest feedback.
  • Develop the skills of an employee by utilizing the talents of the employees you already have
  • Practice open and transparent communication regularly

4) What’s your plan to make our organization better?

Ask not what the company can do for you, ask what you can do for the company. For example, you can say my high energy and quick learning abilities enable me to hit the ground running and size up and solve problems rapidly. You can show your readiness by describing how your experience, career progression, qualities and achievements have made you an asset to any company that you have worked for in the past.

5) What are the biggest challenges that someone in this position would face?

The employer want to test your problem solving skills, including the actions you took and your thought process. For example,

  • During challenging financial period, I was able to negotiate repayment schedules satisfactorily with multiple vendors. I developed a mutually beneficial payment plan and barter program that worked with both my company’s revenue flow and project schedule.
  • Mention how you were successful in retaining client who was about to take business to a competitor. You can tell them that how you met with the customer and was able to convince them, in order to keep the business.

6) What is your biggest setback as an executive?

Not everyone is good at everything. Mention only one setback and describe the steps you’ve taken to correct it.

7) Mention a project where you needed to involve input from key stakeholders? How did you manage those relationships?

Stakeholder management is critical to the success of every project in every organization. You have to demonstrate what approach you have taken to win them and support your project. Tell interviewer that you become a deliberate communicator by communicating with them honestly, openly and frequently.  You can also say that you engage stakeholders by following approach,

  • Partnership
  • Participation
  • Consultation
  • Push communications
  • Pull communications

8) Mention how would your co-worker describe you?

My co-workers will describe me as a team player and a colleague that is ready to help others in any circumstances.

9) Mention how do you react to problems?

Responding to a problem haphazardly may cause a panic situation and make the problem worst. Accepts the situation gracefully and then focuses on a problem. It will help to find the solution.

10) Mention the types of decision making practiced in an organization?

In an organization, executive can take three approaches,

  1. Command Decision Making: Command decisions are fast and can demonstrate expertise and power. In this style, the leader makes a decision alone, but they are less practiced in an organization. This technique can lead to low levels of buy-in, and a team relies heavily on direction from the leader before taking action.
  1. Consulting Decision Making: Consulting is less efficient, but offers more buy-in. The leader makes the decision, but first seeks input from others. Resulting decisions are based on dialogue and input of higher quality. This approach works best when leaders show readiness to outside information and persuaded by others expertise.
  1. Consensus Decisions: This decision style is low on efficiency, but very high on the buy-in. In this case, the leader is not involved in the process, delegating decision-making to a group or team. These decisions need a high level of participation and are typically tailored to the team itself. The leader may suggest ideas, but the end decision belongs to the team.

11) Mention what are the key points executive must consider before making a decision?

Making a decision takes 4 steps,

Steps Questions before making decisions
1) You begin with gathering facts. Wrong data means wrong decision.
  • What are the facts, and can they be verified?
  • How did this situation develop?
2) Based on these facts you brainstorm ideas.
  • What insights can be obtained from this situation?
  • What other avenues can we explore?
3) Once you have a number of options, you engage in decision-making process. It allows you to examine the alternatives in an objective way, to determine which might be the best choice.
  • What are the benefits and costs associated with each option?
  • Which option provides the most sensible strategy.
4) Before the final decision is made, you analyze the feeling function. You will consider the impact on people of each of the possible options.
  • How does the result affect people?
  • What values are behind each option?

12) Mention what should be the approach of a manager for a project risk management?

The approach of a manager for a project risk management should be,

  • Avoid: Try to avoid circumstance that can hurt your project
  • Mitigate: If avoiding risk is inevitable, then take some action that cause little damage to your project
  • Transfer: Pay someone else to accept it for you. Buy insurance to be on safer side.
  • Accept: When nothing works accept a risk, at least you’ve looked at the alternatives, and you are well prepared for the outcomes.

13) Mention how would you train different people on your team?

The interviewer wants to test your motivational skill. Present your answer like,

  • You customize your approach to each individual.
  • You will motivate your team with reasonable incentives and appropriate rewards.
  • You will prepare your employees for promotion opportunities.

14) Talk about how you feel about risk-taking.

This question is asked to the executive job seeker to understand the candidate’s tolerance for risk. This may lead to a discussion of the risks the employer’s business principles. What you will do when faced with the similar type of risk in the past. Moreover, your attitude toward taking the risk can also reveal how cautious or adventurous you are as a person.

15) How long are you willing to fail in your job before you succeed?

This interview question is frequently asked to know how managers and executives react.

You should give smart answer like

“I will do everything it takes for as long as it takes to see results.” This quickly shows you have endurance and commitment to do this job.

16) Why do you think that you are the best person for this position?

My analytical skill sets me apart from other candidates. For example, anyone can create robust financial models. However, I can also find other insights like the business story behind the different influential decision-making factors.

17) Do You think yourself as a strategic thinker?

I think no one person can be good in skill as broad as strategic thinking. In my earlier roles, I have relied on a formidable team of diverse individuals who brings in their unique perspective on a topic. I process all the information as well as my individual opinion and draft a strategy. So yes, I am good.

You could be asked multiple questions on these lines based on skill sets for the job. Its advised you to consider the job description for the requisite skill sets and prepare an answer.

18) How would you describe what best management style is?

The best management style is when executive leads employees by example and not by command. Managing people is an important skill. This can be learned from listening, explaining and working with team members.

19) What is the most difficult thing about being an executive?

Here you need to mention planning, execution, and cost-control. However, the most difficult job is to motivate and manage a team to get work completed on specific time and budget.

20) What is the most used way to Increase Revenue’?

There are many ways to increase business like adding more number of customers, increasing transaction size or frequency of transactions per customer can helpful for increasing revenue of any company.

21) Discuss a successful work project involving multiple teams. Discuss your role?

Able to work effectively with a team is an important thing for an executive position. By asking this question, employers want to know that you can not only work well with others, but you can lead the group by taking the initiative. You can say that when your former project manager was not present, you had performed the role of leader and co-ordinated the other employees.

22) Are you happy with your career-to-date?

This question is asked to find your confidence level and career goals. The answer must be yes,’. It should follow by a small explanation as for why you are happy with your career.

23) Can you tell me about any you were involved with that was not successful?
Interviewers ask this question to find that you can

  1. Have the courage to admit your flaw
  2. Take total responsibility for your actions and failures
  3. Ready to learn and from your mistakes.

While answering this question, never say falsehood like, “You had never associated with an unsuccessful campaign!”

You will create a negative impact as interviewer saw you as a dishonest person, which surely dampens your chance to get the job.

Instead, you just need to explain what is not right at that time briefly and finally, tell how you have bounced back and what you learned from that experience.

24) Describe what you will do when you confronted an employee whose results were inadequate?

In my previous company, when such type of situation arises:

  • I had long chat with the person to understand their concerns and issues
  • Tell him what things he or she needs to change to do better work
  • Give tips about what are changes he or she can do to his working style.
  • If there is no improvement in the performance of the employee, then I just warn him that management will not tolerate such a thing.

25) What the best strategies do you use to motivate a team?

Every team members have their work styles, personalities, and performance levels, meaning how they respond to motivation is also differs. So, one approach for all will surely not help. That’s why you can simply tell them that “I will conduct the regular meeting and find out the hidden potential of the team members.”

Here, you should explain that you always take the time to get to know your team members to know how they work. You can also discuss how you can utilize a variety of techniques.

26) Do you worry?
I think stress is of 2 kinds

  • Things I can control
  • Things I cannot

I your are taking about # 1, Yes, I worry a lot.

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