Will your new CIO job be a dream come true or a career cul-de-sac? Asking the right questions before you sign is the best way to ensure an IT leadership role is right.
IT leaders seeking a new job must be prepared to answer plenty of questions on various technology, business and personal topics. Yet before any employment meeting ends, it’s always a good idea to toss a few decisive questions back to the interviewer. After all, as the potential employer seeks to ensure that you’ll be able to perform professionally and productively, you’ll be risking nothing less than your reputation and future career path on commitments made during the interview.
Here are 7 carefully crafted questions you should consider asking before accepting any new IT leadership role.
What are the attributes you valued most in your previous CIO?
It can be a telling sign — a red flag — if the interviewer has trouble defining what he or she most liked about their enterprise’s last IT chief.
“They may have legitimately never worked with a qualified CIO, but there should be some level of realistic expectations,” says Joe Olson, vice president of the technology and financial practices executive search firm ON Partners.
If the interviewer simply parrots a series of bland CIO attributes, such as “reliability,” “knowledge” and “frugality,” while omitting more salient characteristics such as “leadership” and “innovation,” it may be an indication that the organization is resistant to change and views its CIO as little more than an IT administrator.
“Any [CIO] is going to need advocates within the broader organization to ultimately be successful,” Olson says. “This [question] is a great way to flesh out those biases.”
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ON Partners propels an organization’s mission by building C-level and board leadership teams. Founded in 2006 by like-minded consultants as a values-driven alternative to the multi-service global firms they were leaving behind, ON delivers a better executive search experience. The firm has been named to the Inc. 500/5000 Lists six times, was named to the Inc. 5000 Hall of Fame in 2018 and is consistently ranked among the top 20 retained executive search firms in the U.S. For more information, visit onpartners.com.