Want to Be a CIO? Be Prepared to Answer These Questions

CEOs want to learn how much a potential CIO is focused on business strategy and market growth. If you want the job, be ready to answer these questions.

Chris Patrick, global CIO practice leader with executive recruiter Egon Zehnder International, advises CEOs to ask potential CIOs questions that elicit their knowledge of business strategy, customers and their industries. CIO candidates should be ready to answer these questions designed to gauge their strategic orientation.

  • How many external customers have you met with in the past 12 months and in what ­context? If none, explain why.
  • Describe how and where a company’s IT strategy supports and enables its business strategy.
  • What’s the most significant change initiative that you have delivered? How did you justify the investment and measure the benefit to the business?
  • What business metrics do you incorporate into your IT scorecard?
  • Who are the top three competitors to your current company, and what are their competitive advantages or differentiations?
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