Killer Interview Questions – What Every CEO Should Know

In recent years it has become increasingly important that senior leadership teams adopt effective recruitment strategies to ensure that they beat their competition to the very best talent.

A survey conducted by the CIPD last year found that 75% of HR professionals had experienced recruitment difficulties. This is a trend which will continue, and candidates with skills in leadership (58%), digital (54%) and commercial awareness skills (51%) are the most likely to increase in demand.

One of the key elements to a successful Board level appointment is asking questions which will draw out the candidate’s traits that are critical to the role. However, in many cases the tried and tested traditional interview questions don’t get the desired result, resulting in less than satisfactory answers which can leave the interviewer none the wiser as to whether the candidate is a good fit for the role, or not.


What’s the solution?

We are seeing a departure from the more traditional interview questions, and a rise in “killer questions” which better serve the senior level recruitment process and can provide real insight into the candidate’s soft skills.

A “killer question” is designed to make the candidate stop and think before they answer, rather than just giving a well-rehearsed answer to a question that they have been asked at every other interview they’ve ever attended.

While it may seem rather counter-productive to catch an interviewee off guard, by testing their mindset and mentality in this way you are more likely to see the real person rather than the highly polished interview version of themselves. In short, the use of “killer questions” can actually give a much better insight into how a candidate would deal with the day-to-day stressors which come with a senior position.

For example, questions could be, “Would you rather be liked, respected or feared?”, “What’s your biggest goal in life?”, “What are you looking for from this role?”, or “Who did you want to be growing up and why?”.

When considering which “killer questions” you might use in an interview, it is important to look at the position that you are recruiting for and identify the differentiators that you want in a prospective candidate, be that a particular management style, personality trait, or commercial outlook.

You know the candidate has the basic skills to perform in the role, but what you want to test is the ‘how’ they will achieve for the business. What style will they adopt? Does that work for your business?

Next time you are recruiting a Board Director, why not talk to Moon Consulting and we can work with you to identify those killer questions that will better serve your Board, your business, and ultimately, help you beat your competitors to the very best talent?

Of course, every set of questions should be tailor-made to each recruitment project, so we look forward to demonstrating how we can add value to your process when you are next looking to make that crucial leadership appointment.

© Moon Consulting 2018

Proven & Trusted Advisors in Senior & Board Level Appointments. We build long-term relationships with businesses to secure high-performance candidates by identifying needs, finding the right talent and integrating leaders into organisations. Moon Consulting has extensive expertise and knowledge of the market, with a proven and impressive track record of delivery even in niche markets.