CTO Wannabe - Sample Interview Questions


A friend recently went on a CTO interview and asked me to quiz her on some questions. So, I dug up a few questions that I'd collected some time ago and shared via my Wikispaces wiki. What questions would you add to this collection? Leave them in the comments! 

Some general resources:

  • Essential CTO Skills
  • what you are paid to cause, as opposed to what you are paid to do.
  • The effective educator in this age of hyper-connectivity is the educator that collapses the distance between children and meaningful contribution...Meaningfulnes is the product of connectedness, of sharing, of contribution. (Tim Tyson)
  • With a traditional instructional use of computers, the emphasis is placed on having students use tech for the reinforcement and remediation of skills.
  • For a constructivist instructional use of computers the emphasis is on having students use technology as a tool for communication, collaboration, and accessing, analyzing and organizing information.



1. What is it that you monitor or assess to determine your effectiveness in the organization?(Joel Adkins)

2. What are your top 3 priorities for what you must do well in the first 100 days of this position to be an effective leader?(Joel Adkins)
  • Visit every school and make contact with the key stakeholders.
  • Assess the school district, establishing
3. Please describe an issue in the past 12 months that has tested your ethical being?
  • Use of one's own personal learning network to share announcements about the organization
  • Restraint to use social media with people who I'm not "officially allowed to talk to" outside of work.
  • Access to confidential information that is critical of the organization.
4. Describe yourself in the context of being a reflective leader. (Joel Adkins)
  • Reflection on the work we do is important to leadership. Not only is it important that we reflect on the new and different, but also that we reflect on how we've failed in what we've done, what we haven't done, or what we need to do to get ready for what we're going to do as an organization.
  • Individually, it's about blogging and reflecting on my work as a professional, seeking to be transparent and open about what I need to learn and how I can build a network of learners within my organization...encourage more to become star followers rather than sheep, yes-people, etc.
5. Describe how you see "technology" in the broader context of the school's core mission of teaching and learning

(Joel Adkins)
  • The fundamental mission of technology is to enhance the human experience, to enable a depth and/or breadth not possible without it.
  • Communications and collaboration tools are changing what we can do but fear of that potential also paralyzes us. How can we begin conversations to achieve level of teaching innovation that is of benefit to all?
6. What accomplishments are you most proud of and why?
  • I am most proud of professional learning initiatives that impact large numbers of teachers. (Joel Adkins)
  • Through my blogs, wikis and speaking engagements, I've reached thousands of educators over the years.
  • In the school districts I've been able to serve, I've found
7. How important do you think the role of libraries fits in with technology? (Carolyn Foote)

8. Do you have any experience in curriculum development? (Dan Rezac)
9. How do you determine if a teacher is effectively integrating technology? (Joel Adkins)
10. Describe your last experience in a classroom as 1) an instructor and 2) as a learner. What would you change about each experience? (Joel Adkins)


11. Have you ever heard of: NETS A , TA TEKS, NETS T, NETS S, SBEC standards for new teachers...how would you support these? (Tim Holt)
12. How do you incorporate new ideas from the grass roots level? (Carolyn Foote)
  • Introduce them to others
13. What technology ideas worry you right now? (Joel Adkins)
  • Online learning for adults and K-12 students.
14. What is more important: a pencil or internet access? (Tim Holt)
15. What is your BHAG - Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal? (Joel Adkins)


  • Have every student and educator in the District taking advantage of online learning opportunities and building a virtual professional learning community.
16. How will you operate as a support for teachers? (Carolyn Foote)
17. How do you stay current with technology issues, apps, innovations? How do you stay current with educational research, reforms, etc.? (Judith Epcke)
18. Who do they percieve as the most important clients? (GDahlby)
19. Why do you want 2 work in K12 public schools? (GDahlby)
20. How would you direct/handle/deploy a new district wide initiative? (Amber Teamann)
  • Use Our Iceberg is Melting approach
21. Is learning w/technology appropriate 4 everyone? (Is teaching w/technology appropriate 4 everyone?) (Andrew Forgrave)


22. What are you passionate about? (Gail Lovely)
23. In your opinion, what single technology holds greatest potential to significantly enhance learning? (Andrew Forgrave)
24. Discuss where you believe we need to look to identify our "pace" for technology integration. (Andrew Forgrave)
25. Discuss how frequently and how comfortable you would be asking, "How can I help? What can I do?" (Andrew Forgrave)


26. How will you integrate technology without treating teachers and students like felons? (Shawn McGirr)
27. What is your vision of a 21st Century Learning environment? (Jennifer Spille)
28. What is your vision around mobile learning in K-12? (Jennifer Spille)
29. May we see what stocks you own? (Tim Holt)
30. How do you balance providing the electronic resources needed for the classroom environment while securing the network and related technology that you are responsible for? (Patricia Holub)






Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


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