When looking for an executive job, passing executive interviews is a crucial step in getting that executive position you desire.
Refining your interview strategy is very important as it enables you to better demonstrate your skills to others in executive interviews. It also brings focus to your search as well as remind you of your strong points and otherwise weak points.
In order to secure an interview you must have a strong resume. Read more about how to craft the perfect resume: here’s why most resumes fail.
1. Importance of research
To stand out in your executive job interview, it is important to do a thorough background check on the company or organization you wish to work for. You can start by going online and finding out as much information as you can about the company, position you are interviewing for and the people who will be interviewing you. Recruiters are always attracted to people who know the company, know the product or service the company deals in, know the niche or industry, know the competition, know the company executives, quote valid facts and statistics, know the company’s revenue numbers and recent press statements made by the company if applicable.
2. Cover strengths and weaknesses
You should try and predict the kind of questions that the recruiters may ask you during the executive interview. The questions may be posed with the aim of gauging your strengths and weaknesses in previous job positions and how you use your strengths and/or overcome your weaknesses in the new position. Consider questions such as what’s your favorite job, what’s your most stressful job, where you’ve participated in leadership roles before, your most difficult work assignment, where you envision yourself in the next 2 to 5 years, etc. Take some time to come up with strong and valid answers to all types of questions that you may be asked in an executive interview. You never want to find yourself in a situation where you are unable to answer a specific question posed by the recruiters.
Tip: Have a good resume in hand on the actual day of the interview.
3. Introduction and presentation
When introducing yourself to the interviewers, it’s very important to be your natural self as well as sufficiently confident. Maintain eye contact as much as you can and when shaking hands – match the pressure of the person that’s shaking your hand. Also, give your first and last name when introducing yourself. You should also mind your body language. Sit up straight, and stay alert. Interviewers are easily offended by candidates who appear disinterested or tired.
4. Biggest challenges? What can I bring to the table?
Ask the recruiters what are some of the biggest challenges associated with the position you are interviewing for. Take note of the challenges they tell you and consider how you would overcome them. Focus on what you can do for the company, not what the company can do for you. What can you bring to the company, department or project?
5. Know what to say if you were fired or laid off from your previous job
If you were fired or laid off from your previous job, it may be awkward when an interview asks to explain what happened. It’s highly recommended that you state the facts as is. If you can’t prevent this being seen then provide all relevant information that may clear up any assumption that the interviewers may have about your performance or character. Explain that there were other reasons such as your previous company restructuring or the product you worked on being discontinued or the company relocating that led to your termination.
6. Conclude by asking about the next steps
You can seal the deal by inquiring about the next steps. Say something like, “I’m really excited about this opportunity. Where do we go from here?”. Even if you are not sure if you will fit in to the new position, express your eagerness to the interviewers in the best way you can. You should do this preferably at the end of the interview. The interviewers will definitely notice your enthusiasm for the job and this might as well be the determining factor for you securing the job.