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Executive Interview Process

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!

Executive interview success doesn’t happen by chance. It requires careful research, strategic planning and a plethora of preparation. There are proactive steps that candidates can take at every step of the process to increase their chances of success: from pre-interview research and perfecting their first impressions to learning how to expertly navigate challenging questions and knowing how to conduct post-interview follow-up.

There are many interview pitfalls that executive candidates can succumb to, so for those with interviews on the horizon, BlueSteps presents this checklist of do’s and don’ts for prospective executive interview candidates:

I find it interesting how many senior executives still develop cold feet, when it comes to the executive interview process, despite several years of experience of being on the other side of the fence! A casual conversation on the topic with a couple of friends at the club led to conversations with others, research… and, lo and behold, I have a treatise ready on the process! 

Peter Tulau, Director at AltoPartners, shares his “insider’s view” on the preparation good executive search consultants do to optimize the 60-minute interview time and get the most pertinent information from candidates during the executive search interview. As you prepare for your next executive interview, consider the crucial questions executive search consultants will ask themselves as they evaluate candidates’ suitability for the position.

The Executive Search Interview – a Search Consultant’s Perspective

At the outset, let me clarify that this post articulates a maverick approach to the executive interview follow-up! While most of you would have read articles aplenty about polite thank you notes, a frequency which is not annoying et al, my experience suggests that the approach needs to be completely revamped!

During the executive job search process, the executive interview is often the final step between you and your new role. But before you can move forward, you must master your interview and convince all parties, search firm and hiring organization, that you are the perfect fit.

But how is this done successfully at executive level? 

 

For many executives, running into age discrimination is a unfortunate reality, especially since it’s partly about health and money. How do you turn your years of experience into an advantage?

Be prepared for those inappropriate questions. There’s nothing that exudes confidence and professionalism better than being prepared for those awkward and sometimes illegal questions that come out in an interview.

Don’t…be defensive. Recruiters and hiring managers look at a defensive behavior and try to read between the lines.

The majority of interview questions will focus on experiences from your past, but at the executive level, interview questions are more than likely to go beyond that level of difficulty. By asking non-traditional interview questions, hiring executives and search consultants can find out how you will perform in the position, uncover your problem-solving skills, see how you react to unpredictable circumstances, and numerous other traits that could make you successful or unsuccessful in the role.