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

No matter how much experience you have accumulated as a senior level executive, attending an interview can be a daunting task. Like with any major career step, the key to a successful interview is preparation. It is universally known that those who prepare for a variety of interview questions perform better than those who do not. Therefore, to assist you on your way to career success, BlueSteps has prepared a list of ten commonly asked senior-level interview questions for you to familiarize yourself with.

BlueSteps recently hosted an #ExecCareer Chat on the topic of executive interviews, featuring John Ryan, from TRANSEARCH USA, and Lisa Thompson, from Pearson Partners International.

Some of the questions asked included:

The key to executive interview success is preparation. Interviewing methods differ between companies and people. Are you prepared for a non-traditional interview?

Phone Interview

A phone interview is often one of the first interviews an executive will encounter. Some call this a pre-screen interview when an executive recruiter picks up the phone and calls a candidate – typically to screen them out. This unexpected call can throw some candidates off.

I find it interesting that the majority of folks—from C-suite executives down to young professionals—are convinced that they handle interviews great. “If I can just get the interview, I can overcome any objections the company may have about hiring me” they say. The reality is far from it for most candidates. In fact, the adeptness with which candidates tanked interviews in a state of blissful ignorance is what drew me away from the corporate world and to the career services industry more than a decade ago.

Age discrimination is a reality that can show up during the executive interview process. Through the Internet, this information is visible—a LinkedIn profile picture can reveal your age; a Google search can uncover your age; and filling out a job application can give away your age by the length of your career and date of a college degree.

While the interviewer may be the one asking the questions, you will need to change your approach. Avoid giving the interviewer something to discriminate against. Here are a few examples:

Executive interviews offer you the opportunity to showcase your talents to your potential employer, and can be a pivotal point in any career. With the stakes so high, even the most confident and accomplished executives can feel daunted or uncertain before a crucial interview. To assist executives with their career progression, BlueSteps is offering a complimentary webinar to share insider secrets on successful interviewing techniques.  

BlueSteps recently hosted an #ExecCareer Chat on the topic of executive interviewing, featuring Barbara Safani, BlueSteps Executive Career Services.

Some of the questions asked included:

Executive interviews can be challenging, even for the most experienced professionals. Once you have secured your interview, it is important to take the right steps to prepare for every situation and question that you could face. Below is a breakdown of helpful ways to prepare, success-enhancing behaviour and what to avoid.

Everyone knows that good communication skills are important, and if you’re a successful executive, you’ve probably already mastered activities such as meeting leadership and public speaking. If you have looked for a new position in recent years, you’re likely to also be aware of the importance of clear and compelling communication in an interview.
However, presenting yourself well verbally is only one part of the equation for a successful interview. If you focus your attention exclusively or even primarily on that aspect, you could experience frustration and an occasional unpleasant surprise when an interview doesn’t turn out the way you hope or expect it to.
To quote a couple of wise men:

To excel at executive interviews, you must have a clear understanding of the purpose, be invested in the process, and give your very best performance in a high-pressure situation. Don’t fall for the myths and preconceptions that have sprung up about this experience. For example:

MYTH #1: Once I get the interview, I’ll be fine. Countless executives have said something like this to me over the years—meaning that they can hold their own in the interview and are only worried about getting the interview in the first place. These executives usually fall into two camps:

1) agile and eloquent speakers who are confident they can talk their way through any situation;