7 Key Points to Succeed in Executive Job Interviews
Success in an interview is the final hurdle between you and securing your next position. To rein in the nerves associated with this high-stress event, use this 7-point checklist to gain confidence and ace the interview.
Research the Company. Gather intel by searching online for the organization’s digital footprint. Visit their website and review press releases to learn more about the company’s past successes and future direction. LinkedIn and Glassdoor are great resources to find out more information about your next potential employer.
- By taking the time to learn more about the company, you will be better prepared to answer questions, including:
- “Why are you interested in our company?”
- “How has your past career prepared you for this role?”
- “What do you know about ____Corp and/or the products/services we provide?”
Pre-Define Job-Related Strengths. Re-familiarize yourself with the skills and stories on your executive resume and prepare to share specifics that will resonate with the employer. Remember, the main purpose of an executive interview is to determine if the opportunity is a right fit for both parties and alignment is a key component for a successful interview.
- Always strive to understand the employer’s needs and then offer insights on similar challenges and outcomes attained in past roles.
- Convey experiences that showcase skills and other attributes such as leadership style that are directly related to the question being asked.
Know Your Weaknesses. We all have areas of weakness and by acknowledging where we need to make improvements, we demonstrate a willingness to learn and grow. Think of instances where you’ve stayed mindful of your shortcomings and taken the necessary precautions to prevent ‘your’ weakness from creating an issue.
- Honest self-reflection and preparation will help you confidently communicate how you’ve taken steps to shift a weakness into a strength.
Build Your Executive Narrative. Prior to your executive interview, master the story of your career and practice the retelling of it. Prepare stories to share that demonstrate your leadership style, challenges you’ve faced, and results you’ve delivered.
- Have your elevator pitch (promise of value) memorized. Know who you are and the value you offer.
- Stories are memorable so provide context when answering questions.
- Be ready to share a few outside interests but avoid sharing opinions on hot button issues (religious or political beliefs).
Prepare Your Own Questions. Have a few job-related questions of your own prepared. Choose questions that open the door for further discussion about your role, the team you will be steering, or the company in general. Here the goal is to convey your interest in helping the company achieve their goals.
- Do not include salary and benefits in your list of questions.
Practice. Practice. Practice. Even at the highest executive levels, you need to be able to confidently relate how you are a match for the skills and qualifications being sought. Your answers need to be straightforward but come across as arrogant.
- Know why you are seeking a new executive role and do not speak poorly of your current or previous employers.
- Your resume is the foundation for this meeting. During the executive interview, you will want to build upon the information already provided not repeat it.
Dress for the Interview. Know the culture and dress accordingly. A good rule of thumb is to overdress rather than underdress. Make sure your clothes are wrinkle-free, your hair is styled, and your shoes look nice. From head to toe you want to make a great first impression.
To review questions asked at the senior-level, refer to these 10 leadership interview questions.
If you have questions or would like us to help you with your interview preparation, please contact us at 321-704-7209.