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Advice and tips on how to prepare and excel in your executive interviews. 

Leading video conference tools (SKYPE, GoToMeeting and others) are becoming ubiquitous tools for recruiting.  You can make video and audio calls, exchange chat messages (using Skype’s software) on your computer and/or mobile device just over the internet. Many of the services are even available for free, or you can of course pay for added features. All of these tools use your computer’s webcam or an external web cam for quick video calls.

More and more companies have begun using these tools recently. The do's and don’ts list for a video interview is different from both in-person and phone interviews. Here’s a good start if you are prepping for a video interview.

The following is an excerpt from BlueSteps' webinar Executive Interviews: Preparation Performing and Following Up. If you are a BlueSteps member, access your full recording here. If you are interested in becoming a BlueSteps to access our webinar archive, along with other career management solutions, learn more here.

 

Executive interviews can be a juggling act. Balancing your responses to demonstrate you meet the criteria, whilst also showcasing your unique value, relevant skills, cultural fit and professional capabilities can be a bit of a challenge.

The interview is the best opportunity to show off why you are the right candidate for the role and to find out if the opportunity is the right fit for you and your executive career goals. Make sure you're ready for important conversations with executive recruiters and hiring managers about past experience, culture-fit, core skills and other factors.

This guide will help you:

You have probably accepted at least a few job offers by this point in your career, but how often have you negotiated for a higher salary before taking the job? If your answer is “not often” or “never,” you’re not alone. Negotiating is tricky, and how much difference can that extra few thousand dollars make, anyway? The answer is, a hefty difference. According to one study, assuming an average annual pay increase of 5 percent, an employee whose starting yearly salary was $55,000 rather than $50,000 would earn an additional $600,000 or more over the course of a forty-year career. So clearly, it’s worth negotiating, every time—even when you’re switching careers.

What does it require to advance from a management position to an executive role? When you’re a manager, you do the hands-on work of ensuring that your team’s day-to-day operations run smoothly. You’re a team super-user, versed in the systems and operations that enable your unit’s daily efforts. You oversee that work and keep those who execute it motivated, engaged and fully operational. It’s a complex undertaking and handling it well can be the ideal preparation for new challenges. 

You are really in big trouble if you come across a job interviewer who just keeps talking.

What the interviewer really should be doing instead was asking questions, then listening to what you have to say about yourself and your work experience. You came for a job interview not to listen to a marketing presentation.

Technically speaking, we say such a person has got logorrhea, an actual illness and pathological inability to stop talking. Sometimes, and less serious, you see a word like loquacious, for people who talk a lot and often about stuff they think we should all know.

An ideal interview is like a tennis match: Interviewer serves. He speaks. Candidate returns. She speaks. Both exhibit poise, talent and knowledge of the game. Both sides learn. Both earn benefits that are independent of the outcome.

A successful interview fosters meaningful, productive conversation for both parties. It may yield a job offer, ideal for everyone involved, but it’s unlikely to reach that point unless the meeting flows well.

Perhaps the most important thing you must get right, to leave a good first impression, is to get your greetings right. Whether you are a candidate coming for an interview or a sales manager trying to impress a prospect customer.

But which one I may ask? It could be a wai if you are Thai, a bow if you are Japanese, la bise (cheek kiss) to good friends if you are French, or a firm handshake if you are American.

Screw it up and not getting your handshake, wai or bow correct, spells trouble ahead.

Handshake, wai or both?

Interviews…interesting topic, isn’t it? I get asked very often….how to crack an interview! For starters, an interview is a view of each other (the company & the candidate getting to know each other)…it is NOT a one-sided conversation…often, one sees very senior folks sitting in interviews like timid rabbits waiting for permission to eat cabbage rather than playing offense!