When I completed the NHS Leadership Academy Aspiring Directors programme in 2018, a list of potential “director-level” interview questions were shared as part of the final module. They are repeated here without edit or explanation.
1. Why did you apply/why do you want the job?
2. Adapting to different organisations is sometimes difficult. Describe a time when you were most successful in assimilating into an organisational culture.
3. How do you inspire and motivate others. Do you have an example where you have successfully done this?
4. Have you accommodated and encouraged a creative and innovative work environment in a previous position?
5. How have you dealt effectively with underperforming individuals or teams?
6. What competencies in your own skill-set do you view as most valuable in capitalising on the opportunities and addressing the challenges of this appointment. In which areas do you consider you will need to develop?
7. Can you give an example whereby you have created or contributed to an organisation’s vision or strategy?
8. What are the levers available to you as a leader i.e. what are the ways in which you yield power? Which of these do you deploy and which make you nervous?
9. What is the most difficult/painful feedback that you have received from a peer or a direct report?
10. Can you demonstrate how your own values align with [org] values?
11. What three things would you hope to accomplish at XXX in your first 6 months?
12. What feedback have you had on your management style and how have you responded to this?
13. Can you provide an example of having inspired and motivated others to keep both focused and aligned to the broader vision and purpose of an organisation?
14. Describe a time when you have led behavioural change. What are some of the lessons you have learned in doing so?
15. What is your approach to facilitating staff development?
16. When have you seen through a strategy from conception through implementation?
17. Describe an example of having taken a contentious issue through your current organisation with particular reference to tactic deployed in winning over doubters and opponents?
18. What is your definition of [role]? What distinguishes a great XXXX team from an average XXX team?
19. In your own words, what is the ideal relationship between [role] and the CEO?
20. How will what you plan to do align with the Trust’s Strategy?