Interview Questions for a Leader on the importance of Quality
I'm preparing to do video interviews with our C-suite and other key leaders to discuss why quality is important. This will be used in a variety of communications in the next quarter, including training.

I'd love to hear what questions you think should be asked?
10 Replies
The 3 most important questions for any leader are

What do you need to change?
What do you need to change to?
How are you going to accomplish it?

They should also be able to answer Why? for each of their responses.
Hello Jeremiah,

Ask them about Cost of Quality ... Cost of Non Quality.
  • What do they think of CoQ ?
  • Are they using it ?
  • If yes, what kind of actions have they initiated ?
  • If not, why ?
  • Are they only relying on their financial statements from accountants ?

Quebec City, Quebec,
There’s an old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Tell me how that relates to quality. [i.e. requirements, nonconformances, rework, scrap, MRB, RTV, etc]
I would ask them if they feel the company has a strong Quality Culture or if they would consider their organization Quality Centric?... Why or Why Not?

Good luck, hopefully you get some good dialogue.

John Ross
11 Posts
I'd ask them "What Quality means to them", "How do they contribute to Quality in the Organization", "Do they work for Quality".

I would ask how the leader and the leadership team walk the talk, and model quality for the rest of the organization.
Norm Howe
51 Posts
Workers are faced every day with choices between quality, safety, profit, people, and environment. How do the managers want the average employee to deal with those conflicts? Give concrete examples.
Lu Gan
5 Posts
What is their definition for "Quality"? How do the company's goals align with the quality goals/objectives?
Here are a few questions for your consideration:
How do they demonstrate the commitment to Quality?
How do they establish quality-related strategies?
How quality outcomes and personnel performances are aligned?
How do they influence management personnel to drive customer-centred decision making?
How Business goals, quality policy and objectives are aligned throughout the organization?

Hope the info helps,

I think most of these questions are not very useful. They assume that CEO's buy into what the quality community thinks is important and that the answers to these questions are going to be somehow meaningful. Most of these questions need to be answered in the context of managing the business, not an interview for a video. When I interviewed Rod Canion, CEO and Founder of Compaq, I had just three questions - if your video goes over 5 minutes, nobody will pay attention anyhow. The three questions that I asked him were:

1. What does quality mean to you personally and how do you exhibit it to the organization?

2. What are the expectations that you have for quality outcomes in the organization and how will you judge that they have been fulfilled?

3. How do you believe quality should be embedded in the culture and daily work of the people in this organization? What would represent role model behaviors in your mind?

If they can answer these questions "on the record" then you can have a good basis for building upon this video as a cornerstone of the corporate quality culture!

Best regards,