Top 20 information technology director interview questions

Image courtesy of celebrityabc from the movie Pursuit of Happiness where Chris Gardner goes in for an unforgettable interview.

A technology director wears multiple hats and is a strategic role within every organization, as the marketplace and world becomes increasingly automated, tailored, and complex. Use this regularly updated resource to stay on top of the key questions executives and business leaders are asking their technology chiefs.

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20 interview questions for Information Technology Directors

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What is your approach to hiring/growing a technology team?

Key themes to touch on:

  • Identify strategic objectives of the business
  • Understand the skillsets that will enable attainment
  • Discuss hiring versus grooming of skillset required

How do you balance between getting into technical details versus delegating?

Themes to focus on:

  • Identifying patterns where staff need more support and coaching them to handle exceptions
  • Being available to team members on core competencies
  • Providing training and development opportunities for skillset outside of the organization

What is the most crucial thing you’ve learned, when transitioning from a do-er to a manager?

  • Demonstrating technical expertise to garner trust with team members and clients
  • Positioning others for success
  • Identify opportunities that are unspoken and organizing resources/ team members

What is your approach to prioritizing projects?

Themes to focus on:

  • Discuss the need to balance projects that are innovative versus scaling or structuring enterprise processes
  • Utilize business case and how to determine big technology bets to drive innovation

What is the role you feel technology plays in our industry?

Themes to focus on depending on industry:

  • Healthcare: privacy, security, interconnectivity, and patient outcomes
  • Mining: safety and environmental management
  • Finance: regulatory compliance, availability, and performance
  • Manufacturing: driving automation excellence, minimizing material waste, reducing in-flight inventory

What would you bring to this role that others wouldn’t?

Things to think about:

  • Technology directors find their way into the role from a variety of disciplines, the two most common are either deep technical expertise or insightful understanding of a business or industry
  • Utilize one of these themes and share story and accomplishments that demonstrate either technical or business prowess

Note: This question was purportedly asked by interviewers from RSA

Why did you apply for this position?

Themes to consider:

  • We’ll leave this one to you =)

Note: This question was purportedly asked by interviewers from CIBC

Give an example of your leadership style?

Themes to consider:

  • We’ll leave this one to you =)

Note: This question was purportedly asked by interviewers from Agrium

Can you provide an example where you’ve had an difficult employee. How did you handle them and what would you do differently?

Themes to consider:

  • Consider when there were communication issues and how they were resolved
  • Share an instance where an employee was coached from poor to better performance

Note: This question was purportedly asked by interviewers from Scotiabank

What do you know about our company?

Themes to consider:

  • Research the history of the organization and discuss highlights/events
  • Verify how that has reinforced  or changed values over time
  • Discuss key imperatives facing the organization and how you could support/lead undertakings

Note: This question was purportedly asked by interviewers from Halsall Associates Limited

What is your experience working with vendors?

Themes to consider:

  • Discuss need to validate claimed expertise
  • Provide examples on how to manage but not hamper outside consultants

What is your approach to stakeholder relationship building?

Themes to consider:

  • Effective strategies in understanding stakeholder’s needs
  • Walk through deal making approaches to move business or technology forward

How do you manage triple constraints?

Themes to consider:

  • Provide examples on managing cost, schedule, scope

What is your experience with cloud enablement?

Themes to consider:

  • Discuss the common pathways to cloud including low risk back office systems to production environments
  • Identify the need to negotiate licensing and subscription agreements

What is your track record for innovation for scale and efficiency?

Themes to consider:

  • Share relevant projects
  • Discuss how to baseline current performance and post-project outcomes

What is your experience with four 9’s (99.99%) uptime systems

Themes to consider:

  • Discuss key components to four 9’s systems
  • Identify situations and use cases
  • Discuss experience implementing, advising, and operating thee types of systems

Discuss key challenges and approaches to PCI compliance

Themes to consider:

  • Data destruction, privacy, and regulatory standards
  • Discuss due diligence work and designing systems that limit the exposure of the organization

Share insights on how to improve IT call centre efficiency

Themes to consider:

  • Discuss optimal investment of hiring more staff versus meeting SLAs
  • Identify key use cases where self serve offerings were impactful
  • Approaches to engaging end-users in documentation and support

What are your approaches to managing technology change?

Themes to consider:

  • Ask stakeholders how they want change to happen
  • Negotiate with stakeholders on competing priorities
  • Tell them change is happening
  • Prepare them for the change
  • Make the change happen
  • Communicate that change has ocurred

What do you feel is most important for IT, enablement or innovation?

Themes to consider:

  • Depending on the industry this will differ
  • Enablement: helping organizations do their core business better
  • Innovation: helping organization lead with their technology

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Mindfield has a history of vetting, executing, and operationalizing bold technology visions. Our team enables the right technology and people to work together to help organizations lead in their industry. Contact Mindfield consulting for support in vetting technology candidates or preparing for future leadership interviews.


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