Which questions should you ask your next CTO when hiring?

In order to make your company stand out, be prepared to explain what makes your business unique. Who does your business serve, and how do you affect people’s lives? Be prepared to give honest, enthusiastic answers to these questions if asked. Even if you know what you’re looking for in a candidate, finding a chief technology officer can be intimidating. These are those questions which I will definitely recommend to ask while interviewing your next startup CTO.

How do you measure your success?

Everyone has a different idea of what it means to be successful. If the candidate’s vision of success is similar to ours, we’ll all feel satisfied when a project is finished.

Pitch what we do?

Every executive employee should be able to represent the business in public. If the candidate can create a sales pitch for your company during the interview, you’ll find out if they can handle speaking on your company’s behalf.

Tell me what we do in your own words?

How easily a candidate can sum up the company’s purpose and impact shows me how much they already know about the organization. The best candidates we’ve hired have done research on our company, our goals, and our impact and gave this question a thoughtful answer during their interview.

Ask questions to determine cultural fit?

It’s not enough to hire someone talented; they have to fit in with the company’s culture, too. It’s important ask questions that reflect the company’s culture and purpose. That way, I can tell if a candidate shares the same goals as the company.

Explain your decision-making process when it comes to technology implementation and use?

I would look for some means by which a number of viewpoints are sought and balanced. “We” should be the personal pronoun, not “I” heard most often.

What is one thing you would want to change about the company right now?

This question shows me how much the candidate has thought about my business and how much research they did before the interview. I’m looking for a thoughtful answer, not just something they think I want to hear.

Teach me something I don’t already know?

One of my friends says Google executives ask this question a lot during interviews. It makes the candidate think on their feet and give a unusual, creative answer.

CTO has to be willing and able to talk to customers and really listen. It’s not always what they say out loud, the skill is to read between the lines and aggregate feedback from all customers to derive future of products and services. Direct feedback is absolutely paramount to success! Ultimately, they have to be able to bridge technology and business.

Shared purpose is an important attribute to look for in a chief technology officer. However, a CTO needs to have a variety of skills in order to be successful.

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