Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

10 Essential Questions to Ask Your CEO

A conversation with the CEO can be daunting, especially for a new intern.

Some tend to overthink and be so fearful of saying something wrong that they end up saying nothing much at all while others make it all too obvious that they are just trying to show off and sound smart.

To help you make the most out of the valuable time with your CEO, I have compiled ten thoughtful questions that will effortlessly move the conversation forward and allow you to make a positive impression.

1. What would you do differently if you could do it all over again?

2. What is your finish line?

3. How has your company vision evolved from Day 1 to Today?

4. What have you learned this year so far that will be game changing in the next year?

5. What is the greatest challenge you’ve faced with the company?

6. What can employees do to help drive long-term growth besides just doing a good job day to day?

7. What keeps you up at night?

8. What have you learned this year that was a surprise?

9. What specifically is your priority for the next year?

10. Where were you before this company?

Let the conversation flow from each question, ask for specifics and clarify points. These questions serve as inspiration and should be inserted casually into the course of the conversation. Make sure not to turn the conversation into an interview, and not to push topics your CEO has purposely not elaborated on. Keep a relaxed tone, and your CEO will reciprocate.

Priscilla Ning ’19 is an undergraduate student at Babson College. This blog was written during her summer as a Corporate Sales Intern at NatureBox, a company co-founded by Babson alumni Ken Chen ’06 and Gautam Gupta ’07. Priscilla is one of many students who has taken advantage of Babson’s Centers for Career Development, where teams of experienced advisors provide undergraduate and graduate students with advice and resources to recognize and pursue career opportunities they’re passionate about. Learn more about career development at Babson »