9 Fresh Interview Questions to Reveal Culture Fit When Hiring C-Level / CxO Leadership Roles

Every role in a company must be a culture fit. This is especially important the higher up you get in an organization as leaders set the tone for the organization. When hiring for a CxO leader, here are 9 helpful interview questions that will assist in determining their fit — both in skillset and core values — and these might look a bit different than what you’re used to:

  1. Thinking back on your career, what experience would you say shaped your approach to the way you treat your co-workers, candidates, and the organization’s other stakeholders? How do you apply that to your communications and interactions with candidates? How has that manifested itself in your last organization in the way you lived the brand?

  2. Do you have a leadership philosophy? How does your leadership philosophy guide your leadership style? Tell us about a specific time when you put this style into practice? Why did you decide to? What was the outcome? What would you do differently? How does your team respond to your leadership style? How would they describe you as a leader? Have there been times when this style hasn’t worked as well for you? What are the limitations of this style – when it’s been less effective? How did your leadership style align with the rest of the company?

  3. Tell me about how you’ve set goals for your team that achieved business and personal development objectives. What do you do to keep people on track – and how do you address the disparity in ability and/or commitment as the business needs evolve? What has been your biggest “ah-ha” leading a team? How has that changed your approach?

  4. Tell me about the last time you worked furiously.

  5. Overall, what do you feel are the most critical KPIs for a business in this space to be evaluating? What metrics do you expect your agency partners to provide to you? How do you currently manage and track all the data that is available? How do balance what is most important today with all the data details that may hide trends for tomorrow?

  6. Tell me about a time when you had to document and codify a process or system within the business. Who do you partner with to start the process? How often did you re-evaluate the documentation? How do you train others on the process?

  7. What does being precise mean to you? Tell me about the last time your work failed to achieve your definition of precision – what allowed the defect to happen? What did you learn from the experience? How have you improved to prevent that from happening again in the future?

  8. Thinking about your current team – did you hire/promote all of them, or were they in place when you took over your current role? What have you done to develop your team? What is the team’s greatest accomplishment to date? Why was this possible? Is there anyone on your current team who can take your place if you leave?

  9. Share with us a time when you successfully coached an employee through a performance shortfall. What was your approach to the challenge? How did you track their progress? What was the long-term outcome of your coaching/mentoring? Given what you know now, is there anything you would do differently today?

What are some interview questions that have been successful for you to find your new top-level leadership rockstar? We’d love to hear from you! Join our Leadership Community to share tips and tricks with fellow leaders, and sign up to receive our weekly newsletter chock full of hiring articles, leadership development methodologies, industry updates, and all of the things you need most in the recruiting world.

Happy hiring!

Jennifer Schissel

Jennifer Schissel

As one of the few Arizona-natives, my background started by wearing the Xavier gator plaid skirt, then off to the University of Arizona as a wildcat (bear down!). I got my ‘accountancy’ feet wet in the Audit department of the Deloitte (and Touche at the time) Phoenix office. I recently spent 6.5 years at Keap (formerly Infusionsoft), ending as the Manager of Commissions and Accounts Receivable. When I became a people leader, that is when I found fulfillment and a deeper “why” of what I can bring to a team. I must care; it’s just in my bones. Y Scouts has felt like home since day one. Our purpose of connecting people to work that matters speaks to me on a personal level, as I truly believe one can be happy in their job if you find the right mutual fit that goes deeper than a skill set and job description. I am tickled that a role in finance and people exists. As the Director of Finance and People, I work diligently to lead the Growth Enablement efforts of Y Scouts. I support our fearless crew members to crush goals in a delightful, positive, trusting environment, so our people don’t have to worry about the finances. I strive for a smooth, hiccup-free experience during each search, while building upon the already influential culture that is deeply rooted in our four core values. I feel genuinely blessed, honored, and humbled to work alongside such intelligent, eager to learn, fun individuals. It brings me great joy to know we are helping top-quality leaders find their home in a purpose-driven workplace, just as I have.