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What You Should and Shouldn’t Do in an Executive Interview
Advice for Job Seekers
As Steve Jobs once stated, “If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time”.
The man behind one of the biggest and most ground-breaking international brands of all time was keenly aware of something that all executive candidates should remember.
Success does not fall into our laps. It takes a lot of effort, hard work and dedication.
When applying for senior-level positions either at executive recruitment agency interviews or directly with a company’s hiring manager, it’s essential for candidates to keep Steve Job’s sentiments in mind.
And the work begins before you even get the job. Before you enter the interview room, you need to be hard at work understanding the interview process and preparing yourself.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important do’s and don’ts of any executive interview.
1. DO Plan For Challenging Questions
Executive interviews are not designed to be easy, laid-back chats about your previous experience or qualifications. This information has already been presented to hiring managers and executive recruiters in your resume and cover letter in the earlier stages of the selection process.
Top-tier professionals are advised to prepare themselves for what could be considered a real test. Interviews can be intimidating, especially if you are meeting with a panel as is often the case with executive interviews. Make a list of possible questions that could arise as well as the more common interview questions and rehearse your answers with someone or out loud to yourself. Be careful not to be robotic, remain natural and engage with the person you are practicing with.
2. DO Care About First Impressions
Although we may not like it, we must admit it – first impressions count! No-one can avoid it, we are unconsciously programmed to judge others and our surroundings within seconds of first witnessing them. This means an executive recruiter will immediately take note of not only your general appearance but also how you carry yourself, your level of confidence, your posture, your mannerisms, whether you maintain or avoid eye contact and your general body language.
It’s fundamental that, when attending an executive interview, candidates keep this fact in mind and remain aware of it throughout the meeting with not only the hiring managers but also anyone they might meet along the way.
3. DON’T Arrive Late
It might sound basic but being punctual is vitally important. Time and time again people are dismissed before they have even stepped foot in the door due to tardiness. Not forgetting the significance of first impressions and remembering to arrive on time, should always be at the top of the list of things to do for any executive interview you attend.
4. DON’T Lie
When applying for an executive position, avoid lying on resumes, tests and especially during executive interviews. It’s crucial you are perceived as honest and trustworthy right from the beginning by your prospective employer.
Some applications may bring to light certain facts about your work history or academia that you wouldn’t usually highlight but honesty is always the best policy. The last thing you want is to be found out and have to explain why you didn’t tell the truth. That’s one way to start off on the wrong foot.
5. DON’T Forget Your Manners
When you finish any executive interview you should always remember to show your interest by asking insightful questions regarding the role or the companies processes. Be polite, smile and be open with the recruitment agency or employment specialist you are dealing with. When your interview is over, it’s always a nice touch to follow with a thank-you email, confirming your continued interest in the position.
6. Failure To Prepare Is Preparation For Failure
Don’t be caught out in your executive interview by failing to show how well-organised and suitable you are for the vacancy. You have one chance to make a lasting impression and show how your expertise and experience can benefit the organisation. Make sure that you take the time to prepare diligently and give yourself every chance of having a successful executive interview and securing the position you’re after.