Executive Role: How to nail that interview and get your dream Job.

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As an executive, your interview approach must be specific and strategic. It is a test of your demeanor, soft skills, of how you influence as a leader and decision-maker, and of how profitable you will be for the company.

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Photo credit: Enisha Digital

A job interview for a C-level executive position is much more intricate and extensive than the average interview process. From an outsider's point of view, an experienced executive should have no problem nailing interviews and landing any job they want. As dreamy as it sounds, this is not usually the case.  

According to a study conducted by Korn Ferry, the average tenure for a C-level position is about 4.9 years. Of course, this varies from industry to industry. But, based on this number, one can assume that the average executive has not participated in job interviews—where the executive is the interviewee—in almost five years.  

Regardless of one's competency or walk of life, interviews will always be intimidating. And this does not exempt executives looking for work and are more out of practice in the recruitment process compared to entry-level applicants.  

After 5 years, their resumé drafting and interviewing skills are already out of practice, and these are the two essential factors to landing a job during a recruitment process. Thankfully, there are plenty of executive resumé samples to get you started, and we’ve also got you covered with interview tips for a C-level position.  

Before anything else, ask yourself this question:

Why should they hire you over the next candidate?  

A short question that holds a heavy answer, this is the essence of any job interview, but it is even weightier for executive candidates. If you cannot answer this for yourself, then how will you convince the interviewer that you are the executive for the job? 

Find out who is interviewing you 

This is basic yet one that takes diligence to complete. While it's a given to research extensively the organization you are applying to, it's just as important to know who is conducting the interview. 

Whether it's the first round of the interview or the last, identifying your interviewer provides an advantage in terms of how to approach the process. This enables you to anticipate the discussion and how to sway the interview in your favor. It's also just basic etiquette to know the background of the person deciding whether or not you pass this round. 

It's not about what you can do, but how you do it 

When you have landed an interview, trust that the organization is already sold on your skills and qualifications. An interview is a test of your demeanor, soft skills, of how you influence as a leader and decision-maker, and of how profitable you will be for the company. As an executive, your interview approach must be specific and strategic. 

They are fully aware of your skills as this is reflected in your resumé. It's now essential to effectively articulate details about your skills list during your interview.  

When asked about your accomplishments, structure your response in a way that illustrates the solution you created.  

A general response might be, “Yes, I helped minimize expenses and increase revenue.” Instead, restructure your answer to be more specific and stirring. For example, you might say, “In my last position, I reduced the operating expense from 80% to 63% by switching to LED and solar-powered lights, by recycling water for operations that did not require potable water use, and by incorporating a natural-light approach for offices and other applicable areas.” 

“Tell me about yourself.” 

This is the million-dollar statement. It is usually the first inquiry on the list, and how you deliver your response will set the tone for the rest of the interview. It is both tricky and revealing, and you need to ensure your answer is coherent and does not ramble on needlessly.  

Your answer should offer a mix of personal and professional insight into your characteristics, priorities, work ethics, goals, and leadership style to subordinates. 

Drafting content that effectively highlights the above points will prepare you to express how these qualities manifest in you. Practice all the time. Whether it's in front of a mirror, with your partner, or with your dog, speaking out loud will help you prepare better for the actual event. Be articulate and engaging.  

The past, present, future 

Frame your past career achievements as advantages for your prospective employer. Every organization's goal is to increase profits. So whenever you are asked about your accomplishments and contributions, they should be specific and result-focused. 

Include in your pitch how you can immensely contribute to the company's growth. Get them excited about having you onboard. Have your portfolio handy to showcase your previous projects and achievements. When time is limited, a visual presentation is the ideal way to offer a quick sample of your expertise. 

Prepare for real scenario-based questions 

Presenting real issues to solve is often the company’s deciding factor in whether to hire you, especially if the decision-makers themselves interview you. A company is never without problems, and one of the ways to consider whether you will fit with the company's culture is to present a real-life problem for you to solve on the spot.   

There are no pre-made questions or answers for executive positions. And because these are coveted, high-level positions with cut-throat competition, interviewers expect well-thought-out and tactical responses, delivered with clarity and discernment.  


About the author. 

Aubrey Lacuna, a passionate writer and a contributor to contentcampfire.com. She keeps on top of job search and career trends to provide helpful tips on career development. 

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    Ben | October 29, 2020 01:50

    Such a nice one

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