CIO Skills

CIO skills
What should be the most important skills of a CIO, and what questions should I ask in an interview?

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Hi, I’m Rachel Lebeaux, the associate editor at While each organization should have its own criteria for evaluating and ultimately selecting a CIO, there are some general guidelines to following as far as job skills and interview questions.

Please check out the following an articles to get a good idea of CIO job responsibilities and corresponding skills, so that you can craft your interview questions accordingly: senior news writer Linda Tucci talks about careers in this podcast with CIO recruiter Shawn Banerji, managing director of technology and business services at Russell Reynolds Associates Inc. in New York. Banerji says the most able CIOs bring four “core competencies” to the job: strategy, execution, team leadership and the ability to influence. senior news writer Linda Tucci continues her discussion about careers with CIO recruiter Shawn Banerji. In this installment, Banerji talks about common mistakes CIOs make when interviewing.

How many years have the pundits harangued IT to get in touch with the business? Lesson learned, according to respondents in our 2007 salary survey.

Veteran CIO Jim Noble talks about the changing role of the enterprise CIO.

FInd out more about CIO salaries, staff development and retention.

There will be many hard skills and soft skills requirements in a CIO. Few very important could be:

  1. Business Knowledge: The person in question should have good amount of business knowledge that he is going to handle. Because it is not the IT, it is IT plus business that he is going to drive.
  2. Technical Knowledge: May be a separate board (technical) can assess his depth in the subject in all technical areas in which the company is into. Say for example if he is having 10 years of SQL Server knowledge and no Oracle Server knowledge, and you want that company to manage Oracle Server for your critical applications, it could be risky. By ‘managing’ I don’t mean that he himself has to handle the Oracle Server, but he should be knowledgeable enough to act fast in case of a crisis and should have good understanding that the person he appoints to handle Oracle server is not befooling him.
  3. Past Experience: Do ask him about his past experience, achievements – what/how and what benefit did it give to his organization, crisis handled – what/how and what impact it had on the business. This discussion is surely going to tell about his confidence, his level of achievements, and his level of crisis handling.
  4. Aspirations: What are his goals and motives. What he plans to achieve in this organization, how and what benefits will be derived out of this.
  5. Case Study: discuss with him about your own IT crisis that happened in the past and how he would have handled it? Then tell him how you people handled it – and assess your handling vs his proposed handling.
  6. Team Size and Projects he has handled will tell about his limitations and capabilities. Larger and multiple the teams he has been exposed to, the better it will be for you. Similarly the more the projects (total count and simultaneous projects) he has handled, better it is.
  7. Check with his resume if he has been a job hopper or settler. The more hoppings will reflect a personality that runs away in case of a crisis.
  8. Verify his credentials (or get verified through some agency) what he claims in his resume. A little extra effort at this juncture could pay higher to the organization rather than crying later on false claims.

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