6 Insightful CIO Interview Questions

“Are you currently in the process of looking for or hiring a CIO?” We asked CIOs and business leaders this question for their best CIO interview questions. From questions about innovation to questions about virtual connections, there are several different directions that you can take your questions to find your next CIO.

How Do You Stay Current on Innovations and Trends? 

A CIO is a senior executive who advises organizational strategy through their understanding of technology. This has been a new position that has developed and evolved over the last 20 years as technology has become more prevalent in business practices. A great question to ask someone interviewing for this position is, “How do you stay current on innovations and trends?”

This person should be a visionary and someone who is strategically planning for the future. They should be in the know of the newest trends and latest technological innovations. Knowing how they can keep your company one step ahead is vital to be successful in this position.

Ryan Nouis, TruPath

How Can Our Company Better Leverage AI? 

CIOs need to be strategic thinkers that bridge the gap between technology and business. Interview questions should explore the ideas that a CIO candidate has in bringing and building new technologies into an organization. For example, what are some thoughts you have on how our company can better leverage AI? How would you measure success? A good CIO candidate should be able to identify opportunities for advancements and have a finite way of measuring the impact of implementation.

Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

Can You Describe a Time When You Used Data to Create Change?

The key to long-term business success always relies on accurate data tracking. But it isn’t enough to just track the numbers. You also need to get meaningful insights that lead to change in the organization. This is actually one of the most challenging aspects of data science and AI. You can rely on data to tell you that some actions lead to specific outcomes, but understanding why is different. It’s important for a CIO to not only come up with data and reports but also to explain how they should be used.

Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

How Long Have You Worked for Us? 

This should be the first question that is asked of any executive-level hire. All organizations should be getting away from hiring outsiders to come into their company and run major parts of their organization. Your CIO should know your company inside and out, so they should be someone that has been working for the organization for some time. This person needs to know what you have, how it works, and why it is like that right now. The only way you can find someone like this is to hire them from inside the organization.

Mark Smith, University of Advancing Technology

How Are You Planning to Disrupt My Industry? 

It will help me understand if they are knowledgeable of the industry they will be targeting while handling our operation, alongside their awareness related to IT trends. A CIO must prepare well and should be able to answer innovatively during the hiring interview. Besides this, I would like to know their preferred IT metrics they would like to use for my business and industry.

Caroline Lee, CocoSign

How Would You Create Virtual Connections With the Team?

It can be difficult to integrate new employees into a remote team while building the sense of community that your company culture is based on. You will want to hire people who can overcome these virtual boundaries, make connections with their peers, management, and those on their team. The right candidate should go the extra mile when communicating virtually with people at work. Having video conferences is a big key to staying connected with others because you can still see their face and read their body language, which is an important part of human interaction. This can also help employees feel less isolated, which in turn can promote a healthier work environment.

Melissa Haws, The Furnace Outlet

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