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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.

Most of us have heard the famous quip attributed to Peter Drucker, "Culture eats strategy for breakfast." It's become so commonly repeated that it's almost a cliché at this point. But what does the statement really mean? It essentially means that strategy is null without a culture that can support it.

The values and behaviors that contribute to an organization's social and psychological environment also fundamentally impact the performance of that organization. An organizational strategy without the right culture to drive it will not be successful. Organizations have gotten the message and have thus placed much more emphasis on culture over the past decade.

One of the most difficult challenges faced by job seekers during a sustained job search is maintaining the motivation to commit time and effort to the search. One of the best ways to reignite your job search can be to re-strategize and critically assess which activities are yielding results and which activities can be retired.

If your job search is in need of a boost, see below for our top tips on activities that can propel your efforts to the next level:

 

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:

What is the most difficult question during the interview process? It’s not “Why are you the best candidate for the job?” “Tell me about yourself,” or even “What is your greatest weakness?” The hardest question during the interview process is “What is Your Salary History?” The question is challenging because it can have a major impact on your earnings and, sometimes, even the likelihood of being hired. If your current salary is lower than what the standard salary for the role is or what you are truly worth, you may end up getting an offer than is lower than you deserve.

So you aced the interview!

It’s no wonder, really. You thoroughly researched the company, its challenges, and its competitors. You anticipated interview questions and tackled them with ease. You knew the core message you wanted to convey and you did so— effectively. You researched your interviewers carefully and were armed with excellent questions to ask. And, let’s be honest, you couldn’t possibly have looked sharper than in that dapper new suit. 

A strong relationship with executive recruiters is a key part of an executive career management strategy, although for many catching their attention seems like a daunting task. But, there are a number of steps job seekers can take to greatly increase their chances of success. In this two-part series, I will share the most effective ways I have come to learn as a professional career advisor and executive search consultant. Here in part one, I focus on 8 tips to catch a recruiter’s attention via your email, cover letter, and resume. 

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!