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CIOs are unique in the leadership panel of a business. Few other roles have such a wide view across the organisation. Therefore interviewing and selecting the right CIO is critical. Unlike some other leadership roles, those interviewing a perspective CIO need to find a great business leader who also has a strong vision for what technology can do for your organisation and therefore a good understanding of technology. (Also read: 49 tough CIO interview questions)

The following sets include questions is intended to help hiring executives assess the capabilities of CIO candidates in the critical categories of leadership, strategy and planning, technical expertise, financial management, and operational excellence. Use them as a starting point to plan your interview process.

A CIO must not only lead the IT department, but also be a key part of the organisation's leadership team. As a part of the leadership team the CIO must play a crucial role in defining, communicating and implementing the organisation's strategy.

These questions assess a candidate's leadership views, accomplishments, and likelihood of leadership success. Interviewers should focus on the candidate's ability to communicate in business terms, articulate measurable business outcomes, motivate people and handle leadership challenges.

1. What significant contribution did you make at your last company? How did you achieve it?
2. What is your understanding of return on investment and how it applies to IT?
3. Can you articulate your understanding of risk and how it applies to IT? Provide an example of how you applied this knowledge to mitigate risk.
4. Can you explain how you saw a business problem and applied technology to solve it? What was the outcome?
5. Can you give an example of when you improved a business process? What was the outcome? What role did you play?
6. What is your current reporting line?
7. Describe your leadership style? Give an example that illustrates it.
8. What is the most difficult decision you had to make as a leader? Why was it difficult? What was the outcome?
9. How would you define the role of CIO?
10. What determines whether a CIO succeeds or fails?
11. Describe a situation in which you succeeded. What did you do specifically to make it successful?
12. Describe a situation in which you failed. What did you do specifically that had an impact on failure, and what did you learn or do as a result?
13. How do you lead your direct reports? Give an example of when you ¬resolved a conflict among team members or improved their performance as a team.
14. Explain how you've supported and developed your senior leadership team to support your overall objectives and vision?