You have gone through the entire interview process and made it to the final round. Congratulations! The final step is to meet with the CEO – maybe in a social setting like lunch or dinner. Makes sense – right? You will probably hear more of the same types of questions and a chance for the CEO to test your social skills over a meal. My friend Gwen Darling ranted about this when she first joined this blog.
The meal comes to an ending and the CEO turns to you and asks “So, do you have any questions for me”? Guess what the wrong answer is every time? If you guessed NO – you are our grand prize winner! You should always have a few questions at the end of an interview. If you don’t it may convey a completely different perception of you. Even if you think all of your questions have been answered you can always use this time to ask a new question OR ask the CEO where you are in the process.
Many times the CEO is looking to test your energy level in this last and final session before making a hiring decision. Two or three well thought out questions can mean the difference in getting an offer - or not. Here are a few questions you may want to modify slightly for your final meeting with the decision maker:
1. What are the key characteristics you are looking for in the person you select for this role?
2. How often do you meet with the leadership team?
3. What is your preferred method of communicating If I need to reach you i.e. in person, e-mail or cell phone?
4. If I am selected for this position and we move forward what are the most important items you want me to accomplish in the first 90 – 180 days?
5. Tell me about the make-up and dynamics at the Board level?
6. Based on everything we have discussed so far, what are your thoughts about my background and skill set in joining your organization?
Whatever line of questioning you decide to take – make sure your questions are well thought out - in advance. Your questions should engage your audience, highlight your communication skills and showcase you as THE candidate of choice!
Finally, if this is your dream job - make sure you wrap up your meeting by articulating that you want to be a part of their organization. You have to declare your interest – or they will draw their own conclusions. By all means make sure you follow-up with a personal Thank You note to the CEO. Good luck!