There are interviews and then there are INTERVIEWS. Anytime you are pursuing a senior or executive level job, preparation will be key. Think about it, when you are looking for an organization to put a large piece of the pie-chart in your hands, you must demonstrate the capability to do the job. It’s not enough to show it on paper – i.e., a resume or LinkedIn profile. It’s more important to show it in your interactions during an interview.
Most senior and executive level interviews are multi-layered meaning you may have to prepare a presentation, interview several times, and even complete an assignment like one our clients had to do. And they can come in multiples, 2nd, 3rd, and even 4th and 5th interviews.
The idea of even landing an interview for a senior role speaks volumes of you as a candidate. It means you have what it takes to do the job. Now, it’s show time. Here are seven tips to get you ready.
· 1. Do your research. Not the basics of a cursory review of the company and what they do as lower-level interviews expect. For a senior role, you must go a little further. Focus on building your business acumen about the company – financials, short-long term goals, recent initiatives that succeeded (and those that failed), and the company culture including their alignment with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (and not B – for belonging). These will help you determine if the company is poised for success or if it’s a company that is poised for destruction. If the latter, you may opt not to make sure your answers highlight how you can use your skills and talents to get the organization back on track.
· 2. Be able to articulate your leadership style. This is necessary for organization so be ready for a question or two about you as an individual, a leader, and peer. They want to see if you are one who can lead through ambiguity and stay the course without leaving dead bodies behind. And besides, who wants a co-leader in the executive staff meeting no one wants to be around? Work on preparing how you will answer these questions, be succinct and use examples when possible.
· 3. Create a “success” picture for them with you at the center. Visualization is powerful. Your answers to their questions must make it clear that their future includes you in it. Give them the why and back it up with results – both quantitative and qualitative. You need to demonstrate that you are the missing link and are poised to take the organization to the next level.
· 4. Use the “Storytelling” technique. Let’s face it, everyone loves a good story. So, tell a great one! Use your experiences and successes as storylines. You may need to write them out and tailor them, so they flow from your mouth and not sound rehearsed. Having a well-written resume and LinkedIn profile can give you the base to author your stories. Enlist friends, mentors, and even a career coach to help you polish your stories, so you are ready. The bonus to this. By telling stories of your career successes, you will feel more comfortable in the interview.
· 5. Leverage past interviews to drive home key accomplishments. Again, most senior, and executive level interviews come in multiples. You should not stress about having to say the same thing again. Instead, reference past conversations during your other interviews, to restate a point.
Overall, when you rise to this level, much more is required. There is no winging it at this stage. Proper preparation is key. Organizations at this level pay $350K and above with signing bonuses and if you are not prepared, you are taking a chance on saying goodbye to increasing your wealth and landing your dream job.
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