Home

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

Most job seekers struggle during interviews because their answers are not clear, concise, or memorable. Interview responses frequently veer off course, are too long, or contain extraneous information that dilutes the candidate’s original message.

A hiring manager takes a significant risk when they hire a new person – that you’re an investment that will pay off. The best way for your hiring manager to see you as a good investment is by demonstrating how you’ve already built shareholder value at past employers, by solving similar problems or meeting similar goals to your target company’s specific situation.

Most candidates don’t put themselves in the hiring manager’s shoes, writing a resume that focuses on what they themselves want or a resume that describes how they spend their workday.

Here’s 6 ways to demonstrate that you can provide value to your hiring manager:

Interviews are are two-way conversations to determine if you are the right person for the position. It isn’t so scary when you look at it like that, but that doesn’t stop the nerves, a raised heartbeat and your mind going blank at the ‘So tell me about yourself’ moment.

In our recent Expert Interviewing webinar, Louise Kursmark discussed the best way to combat those nerves and make a lasting, positive impression on your interviewers.
 
Establish an agenda

No one is perfect. Yet many candidates stumble when asked, ‘tell me about a project that did not go to plan?’

The struggle with this key interview question is often because we focus on (and remember) what is going well and what we like, while failing to work on areas we perhaps don’t enjoy or struggle at. However, it is extremely important as a job candidate to get this question right.

When an executive recruiter or hiring manager asks about your weaknesses or examples of failure, they are looking to understand your process for self-development and continual learning.
 

This is an all too common problem, as companies have become more and more reluctant to provide references. Let’s start by first understanding why some companies have adopted non-reference friendly policies.

There are two basic types of non-references policies employed by companies today:

Limited references Only: This type of company policy forbids employees or managers from providing references, so that all reference requests are directed back to the HR department. The HR department then manages reference information given, limiting it to name, dates, and sometimes salary. More and more often, this is becoming an offshore, online, or fax function to limit interaction with company employees

Candidates self destruct in many ways during interviews. But I’ve heard – and seen – more candidates kill their chances during interviews this one way than all others combined. This mayhem doesn’t just kill interviews, the poison can extend to phone interviews and written communication also.
It’s a deal killer … and it happens a lot. Many candidates just can’t seem to stop themselves.

As an observer or listener, it’s like seeing a train wreck that’s about to happen – it hasn’t happened yet, you can see that it’s inevitable, yet you’re powerless to stop the wreck from happening.

Ever get all excited for an interview, only to be frustrated that it didn’t go as well as planned? Maybe your experience wasn’t portrayed in its best light, or your many accomplishments weren’t valued.

It is very common to hear career coaches, hiring managers or executive recruiters advising candidates to use the CAR interview technique – in fact, I first heard about it from an AESC member search consultant at Russell Reynolds. But why is this particular interview technique so popular?

Recently I came across a frustrated executive job seeker, who had experienced some hiring brick walls due to lack of industry experience. The job seeker in question wished to switch industry and pointed out the number of transferable skills he had obtained throughout his career – asking why executive recruiters and hiring managers are pre-occupied with experience?

It is ironic how one can write a dynamite resume, prepare for interview questions, practice salary negotiation, and do thorough research to uncover companies hiring your type of talent, but not be prepared to clearly evaluate the offers when they come in.