Recently we have been helping our clients fill key leadership roles within their Construction and Real Estate Development firms also known as “C Level”. These roles are the roles directly connected to the CEO/President of the company assisting the CEO with the day to day financial and operations management of the company. In construction, they often do not get the title COO or CFO. Commonly we see the closest role to the CEO or President on the Operations side to be VP of Operations, Director of Operations or Operations Manager. On the financial side, we often see the title of Controller used even if they require a CPA credential and very often for the smaller firms the closest titles to the President or Owners may be Office/Accounting Manager and Director of Construction as the President is wearing CEO, CFO and COO hats. Below we have attached the job description templates for a CEO, CFO and COO roles.

Recently we were asked to share the process we use to source and prescreen C level roles and what makes us successful. A good share of our success is from working the Construction and Real Estate Development industry in Florida for 25 years now. So much of the progress in finding the right match for a candidate is in listening and verifying. We listen to the client needs, past challenges, business plan and communication style. When we have a baseline, we work to find candidates that are not only qualified with the skill needed to do the job, they have a desire to work in the culture and current structure our client is providing. We also verify they understand the client’s vision for this role, what is scheduled to change after they arrive and what their responsibility will be in leading that charge.

We assist our candidates in being prepared for the interview process with an interview agenda and questions to help them listen for any areas that they may need further verification on or just bothered them with the answer.

Here are a few questions for an interview to help define cultural and behavioral fit:

To envelope conversation and uncover preparation:

  • How long have you been with your current company?
  • Why is the timing right for you to make a move?
  • What is your interest in the position at our company?
  • What do you know about the job so far?
  • Do you have a list of questions you would like addressed?

After the above questions, you may ask them to wait on their list or only cover the structure of the department at this time so you can focus on behavioral and communication-related questions.

  • What do you do consistently every workday?
  • What has been your career progression?
  • What are your career goals moving forward?
  • How would you describe your management style?
  • What’s your communication style?
  • What is your preferred method of communication with your supervisor? (in person, by phone, email, text etc.) With your staff?
  • What do you value about your leadership style? (communication, working long hours, leading projects, being a technical leader, etc.)
  • Tell me about a time in which you brought productive change to a company. How did you implement this change?
  • Describe a time when you had to deal with difficult or unmotivated staff.
  • Describe your experience with finance and accounting (P& L etc.)? What has been your direct responsibility and what has been the responsibility of others from a preparation and oversight standpoint?
  • What is the most challenging thing about being an executive or manager?
  • What are the methods you typically use to evaluate an employee’s job performance?

At the second interview, you may dig deeper and ask questions that confirm the cultural fit and how well you and the others will relate to this person if you offer them the job and they accept.   Before you start with those questions, ask them these two questions to ensure they want the job and are still interested in working for you at your company.

  • What do you still need more clarification on?
  • On a scale of 1-10, what is your interest level in this position?

Once you are an 8 or above, ask them for permission to find out a little more about their experience.

  • What do you look for in an employee? What behaviors and performances do you expect of an ideal employee?
  • Tell me how you have created a shared purpose among people who initially differed in opinions or objectives?
  • Describe a time when you confronted an employee whose results were inadequate?
  • How would you handle an unforeseen obstacle or a situation that resulted through a third-party, that affects the company bottom-line?
  • What did you do to increase company revenues at your current company?
  • If you accept this job, what would be your priorities in your first three to six months on the job?
  • What are two things you believe our company is doing well? What’s one thing that you think we should change?
  • What is one thing you can’t tolerate from other peers or your employer?

Although right now it is an employee market to some extent you still do not want to settle when hiring a pivotal role within your organization.   We hope this list will help you and we are always honored to be able to help you with finding the right talent to grow your business or allowing us to help you as an individual advance your career.


Suzanne Breistol on behalf of the FLCC Team!


Job Description Templates for CEO, COO and CFO

Click to download CEO Job Description

Click to download COO Job Description

Click to download CFO Job Description


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