9 Chief Information Officer Interview Questions

November 16, 2016
November 16, 2016 TruPath

9 Chief Information Officer Interview Questions

Hiring a successful chief information officer is no simple task—and it takes a solid interview process to whittle down the candidate pool. These chief information officer interview questions will steer you in the right direction when hiring.

Top 9 Chief Information Officer Interview Questions

Describe an instance where you saw a business problem and utilized technology to solve it. What was the end result?

The CIO must have a firm grasp of technology that can be applied to his or her role. What’s more, the candidate must solve problems in this position using technological tools. You might even follow up with, “What tools would you need at your disposal if you entered this role today?”

What is one significant contribution you made in your last role? How did you achieve it?

Ask the candidate to discuss a time when he or she contributed something successful and significant in a former role. This is one of the top chief information officer interview questions because it leaves the door open for a conversation around the candidate’s perception of success.

Discuss a situation at work where you failed. What did you do that had an impact on that failure, and what did you learn as a result (and then what did you do differently)?

Learning from failure is a crucial trait of a chief information officer. How did he or she fail at something, and then proceed to spin it into an educational experience? A great CIO candidate would describe how failure shaped his or her future actions in the role.

How do you stay up-to-date with current technology news & trends?

Technology is always evolving. This is one of the best chief information officer interview questions because you can discover how the CIO will be able to keep up with the work. How closely does the candidate follow industry news? This can demonstrate how he or she might employ innovative ideas at your company.

What would you put into play during your first 90 days in this CIO role?

The first three months are groundbreaking for a brand new chief information officer. A great candidate would evaluate the various areas of IT (such as applications, technology and communication) and then determine key priorities. Finally, he or she would work with the team to formulate a road map in order to achieve those established goals.

How do you decide what to outsource and what to keep in-house?

A CIO would need to differentiate between what work needs to stay in-house and what can be outsourced.

Tell us what we do, in your own words.

This question immediately shows how much research the candidate has put into your company. Expect a truly thoughtful answer about your business’s purpose and mission. If the candidate has not researched thoroughly, how much interest does he or she really have in this role?

Discuss a time when you helped cut costs by using IT. How did you approach this and how much money did you save?

Much like the first question, this will help you pinpoint how the CIO candidate embraces technology in this role. Knowing how to save money by using technology for your business would be a major trait to seek out in a chief information officer.

What is the biggest IT-related initiative you were responsible for? How did you gauge its success? (Frame this question in terms of cost, time, scope and team size.)

Focus this topic on how the candidate worked with a team to accomplish this initiative. If the candidate has had positive experiences on a major project collaborating with a team, that’s a good sign. How was success measured? How would you approach a similar initiative at our company either similarly or differently?

So, what chief information officer interview questions would you add to this list?

For all your hiring needs, contact the professionals at TruPath to find the right fit for your team.


As a trusted recruitment source for more than a decade, TruPath has the industry knowledge and a proven model to help our partners feel comfortable in their search for a candidate.

Through our TruProcess, we are able to consistently deliver exceptional candidates that help organizations continue down successful paths. Contact TruPath today to tell us about your staffing needs.