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Interview prep for CROs: topics, sample questions and audio quality

I want you to stand out during the interview.  To help you prepare, below is a list of sample questions I focus on. Keep in mind the conversation often jumps around a little, and we likely won't get to all of these!
But, if you give these questions and topic areas some thought beforehand, the interview will be a total breeze and the audience will remember you as thoughtful and compelling, interesting and amazing.
I encourage you to think about stories, anecdotes, and learnings others might be surprised and/or entertained by. This will make our discussion come alive and engage our listeners.

Sample questions


  • If I was a CISO, how would you answer the question, “what does YOUR COMPANY do”?
    • are you open to me doing some live coaching on how you answered?
  • Who buys this?  Whose budget does it come out of?
  • What problem do you solve for them?
  • What's the big, unique Point of View of the company?


  • Tell me about your sales team right now.
  • At what stage did you come on board? In hindsight, was it the right time for a CRO... too early or too late? 
  • What did you accomplish in the first 90 days?
  • What roles did you hire for first? Why?
  • What have you learned about pipeline generation at YOUR COMPANY?  What's working for you?
  • What role do partners play for you? Why?
  • What’s the biggest challenge for the GTM team right now?
  • Getting attention in the market is hard; how do you do it at YOUR COMPANY?
  • Differentiating is tough; what are you doing so people understand and remember why you are different to your close competitors?

Sales topics (pick one or two for us to discuss in the interview)

  • Comp: what's your philosophy on early stage comp plans .. quotas / PCR / guarantees / MBOs / ACV vs TCV
  • Is the SDR role dieing? Generally, this specialist role is not producing the results it used to ... do you agree?  Why is this happening? What happens over the next few years? Should it be in sales or marketing? Insource vs outsource?
  • Your Board: how do you interact with them? What value do you get from them? 
  • Enablement: when is the best time to hire for this role?  Why not sooner / later? What do you need them to do? What experience level do you look for?
  • Hiring: what's your philosophy on the profile to hire for at early stage? How do you test for your ideal profile? What hiring process do you run? 
  • Channel: when is the right time to build a channel? How does that role vary with the company stage?
  • Your passion topics: do you have interesting opinions on other topics? Is there something you have been working on recently that would be interesting to share? Do you have a controversial contrarian view on something?  Let's talk about that!!

Audio Quality

Audio quality is super important.  People don't listen to crappy audio! 

Ideally, you will be in a quiet location with great wifi.  Even better if you have a wired connection, the room has soft furnishings, and some 70s shag pile carpet on the walls (have you been to Graceland?!)

Airpods, built-in laptop mics, and the microphone on your phone are not good for podcasts. 

Please let me know if you want me to send you a good microphone. I will send you one at no charge (if you are in the US), and you can keep it.  No need to go through the hassle of sending it back.  It will upgrade your audio on zoom calls.

Or, if you want to buy your own, these microphones are great too...

Audio-Technica ATR2100 USB

Audio-Technica AT2020 USB

Jlab Talk USB