Preparing for an interview for an executive position can be challenging. While you can find plenty of interview tips for lower-level positions, people interviewing for the top spots at a company are often left to fend for themselves.
To get this far you need a professional resume, but when you do, you can follow the tips below. According to Irene McConnell from Arielle Executive, the eight strategies below will help you ace your next interview for an executive or leadership position.
1. Don’t pretend to be something that you are not. Most companies want people at the top who are authentic. Letting your genuine personality shine is the best way to set yourself apart from other applicants.
2. Demonstrate your knowledge of the company. Research what has been going on at the company in the recent past. Incorporate what you learn into your interview in a way that is natural and unforced. Just avoid sounding like a carbon copy of the company’s own publications.
3. This is one situation where being opinionated is a good thing. Interviewers are always on the lookout for executives who have well-formed opinions. They want to know what you think about a variety of different topics, ranging from the state of the industry to the challenges that the business is facing. Be prepared to discuss the company’s close competitors and any regulations that are impacting the business. Don’t be afraid to state your opinions with confidence. It is okay to take an unpopular stance as long as you base your opinion on factual information.
4. Know where you want to go. Interviews for top-level positions usually involve questions about the future. The interviewer will typically ask where you see your career headed in the coming years. They want to know that you are still motivated to climb higher, regardless of how high up you already are.
5. Think before you speak. When you are nervous, it is easy to start rambling. Before you speak, pause for a minute to think about what you really want to say.
There is nothing wrong with taking a few seconds to think through your answer. Even though the silence can feel a little bit uncomfortable, it is acceptable. Just avoid allowing the silence to go on for too long.
6. Be ready to discuss corporate governance. This is especially essential if you are applying for a role at a publicly traded company.
7. Think through answers to common interview questions ahead of time. Some of the most frequent questions that you will encounter include:
- What do you find more appealing about this position than the position you are currently in?
- What is the most difficult problem you have encountered in your working life? How did you overcome it?
- Describe the most challenging decision you have ever been forced to make.
- Talk about a time that you failed to achieve a goal. How did you handle the failure?
- What are your objectives for the first three months in your new position? How would you define success?
8. Demonstrate that you are a team player. Discuss successful collaborations from your past to show the interviewer that you are willing to work with others in your new position, as well.