CTOs are responsible for outlining the technological vision of a company. The executive role tasks them with implementing technology strategies, heading the Research and Development branch and ensuring that technological resources meet the company's short and long-term needs.
The best CTOs demonstrate both extensive business and technological expertise, are able to ruminate on technology's future role in business and are effective communicators. Be wary of candidates who are experts in only one domain, lack a compelling vision of technology in the near-future and struggle to communicate their ideas.
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Interview Questions for CTOs
1. What is the technological implementation you are most proud of and why?
This question affords candidates the opportunity to demonstrate their former successes. Look out for a focus on identifying a problem and finding an innovative solution to address it.
2. Which technological innovation will drastically change businesses in the next 5-10 years?
A CTO's technological vision for a company should be future-centric. Candidates should show an awareness of the dynamic nature of technology and should be able to talk about technology's role in the company's future.
3. What is your favorite book on the topic of technology? Why?
In order to vie with the ever-changing technological landscape, CTOs need to be perpetual self-educators. Being well-read in their field helps achieve this goal and indicates that a candidate is able to broaden his/her thinking about technological futures.
4. Describe a situation where your management played a role in diffusing a dispute. How did you overcome it?
A candidate's ability to be a business manager should be equally scrutinized. Allow them to demonstrate their capacity to play both roles.
5. Which would you prioritize: investing in our current use of technology to make it more efficient, or investing in research and development to introduce new ways of doing things?
Being an executive role, decision-making at the highest level is a key responsibility. Look out for the variables candidates consider most important when making these kinds of decisions and whether they've adequately weighed the advantages and drawbacks of each decision.