An executive-level interview often serves as the final step in securing your ideal position and/or launching a new career. They are also arguably, this is the most subjective part of the hiring process. This interview’s purpose is to provide key insight into how a candidate’s competency and personality aligns with the job and the company, giving an organization confidence in their hiring decision.
Successful interviews are the result of the three “Ps:” preparing, practicing and providing impressive answers to tough questions. Here are several tips on how to “hit the bullseye” during these high-level interviews:
Research The Company
Executive level job interviews involve more professionalism and motivation than other job interviews. Demonstrate this by Familiarize yourself with company information, such as past performance and future plans. Find and analyze industry information on the industry as a whole, as well as main competitors. Armed with this information, you will be able to intelligently answer questions around how you can help the company achieve its future goals, as well as about why you want the position.
You need to understand the full job description, required qualifications and skill sets needed to successfully fulfill the role. See where your personal and professional experience aligns with these; clearly communicate how you would demonstrate what you have to offer for each piece of this puzzle.
The First Impression
Making a great first impression on your interviewer is an important step in this process; it begins when you walk through the door. A friendly smile and warm greeting always make a positive impression. Receptionists, other managers and office staff with whom you interact may share with senior management a bit about their experience with you. Ensure you maintain a professional appearance and attitude from the very beginning; every interaction is important.
Negative first impressions are almost impossible to overcome. Key players at a company do not always have significant titles. Remember to give a firm handshake, make consistent eye contact, and remain courteous at all times.
Confidence is a Difference Maker
Organizations seeking executive candidates desire candidates who demonstrate clear confidence and proven capability needed for successful leadership. Use clear communication to convey how your self- motivation, passion, and plan execution in previous jobs has propelled your career.
You may encounter questions that test your self-awareness and delve into prior job challenges. Answer honestly about how you’ve learned from past experiences and the impact they have had on your professional growth as a leader.
Ask Thought Provoking Questions
The interview is a two-way discussion. Great candidates ask tough, insightful questions that also assess whether the company is a good fit for them. Be willing to ask why the position is open and what the long-term growth looks like at the company. Companies want candidates who reflect interest in both the current opportunity and upward mobility.
Practice Proper Interview Etiquette
A common problem for many interviewees, especially younger ones, is the lack of interview etiquette. While you want to ask questions and challenge positions to a certain extent, you must it is always important to recognize that your interviewer holds the authority position. Always follow the train of thought of your interviewer and strike a balance between listening and speaking. While you are there to summarize your experience and share your track record, you also need to demonstrate your ability to listen and engage as a team player.
The interview gives employers insight into both the strengths and weaknesses of you as a candidate. It is also an opportunity to assess if you have the technical acumen and soft skills needed for the position. With practice and preparation, you can leverage your skills to stand out among other candidates as the best fit to benefit their company.
Working With A Recruiter
Winning the interview may be one of the last steps in the hiring process, but getting to the interview is a crucial first step. Often candidates find working with a recruiter provides the best approach to accelerate their long-term career goals. At Plumlee and Associates, we review each candidate’s individual skills and abilities. This helps us uncover specific career objectives; this comprehensive approach will deliver a great position to you that is an ideal fit for long-term growth.
If you are ready for the next step in your executive career, contact us today.