Complete Story


What to Ask Executive Finalists

Seek out agility, risk and sustainability

You are about to interview three finalists for a senior position in your enterprise. The candidates have all worked for the company for years, and your search committee believes all are qualified. What questions should you ask in the final interview to help you decide who is best qualified to lead one of your premier divisions or functions?

Let’s first consider just how indicative those questions can really be. Plenty, the research suggests. Because of inadequate vettings, including final-stage interviewing, any number of companies have promoted the wrong executive to the top rung, as seen in failed successions at General Electric, Hewlett Packard and Wells Fargo, and they have paid dearly. Elevating a suboptimal candidate into the corner office can cost you as much as 30 percent of your financial results over the next three years. And that difference becomes especially pronounced in an era of uncertainty and change, like now.

You will certainly want to query your candidates about their vision for the company, their strategy for getting there, and their understanding of the business, but you’ll also want to get at their leadership capabilities.

Please select this link to read the complete article from Knowledge from Wharton at University of Pennsylvania.

Printer-Friendly Version