Tag: executive level interviews

My BEST Tips for C-level Executives on Interviewing and Negotiating

executive-interviewInterviewing at the C-level is obviously different than interviewing for other positions. One of the main things to remember as an outsider competing for a spot at the executive table is that in most cases, your audience does not know you yet. You have a very small window of time to do one thing: Win their trust. The tips below were developed to give you a foundation with which to do that.

C-suite interviews should involve a combination of focus on the metric-driven accomplishments you’ve made that align with the responsibilities of the position you are vetting AND demonstrating your leader/mentor qualities. Ultimately, they should be intrigued, impressed, like you, and trust you.

Consider the seven points below foundational to every interview:

  1. Get them to invest their energy in you first. In the beginning of the interview, ask them to help you understand in their words what kind of person they are looking for and a summary of the role. ***Take short notes on what they say. These are your interview talking points. ***
  1. Use broad ranges when discussing salary. For example:

“North of $350K.”

“In the mid-six figures.”

“For the past few years my TOTAL comp has ranged from $1 to $3M.”

Then add, “Since you brought it up, do you mind me asking if you have a budgeted range in mind for this position?”

  1. In tight spots just play it cool. Never let them see you defensive or frustrated. They will take that as an indicator of how you handle stress and judge accordingly. Your calm, cool demeanor will engender their trust. Phrases associated with this include:

“That’s absolutely no problem.”

“I am sure that won’t be an issue.”

“I am confident we can work that out.”

“I can do that – I am not worried about that.”

  1. Answer every third or fourth question with a question of your own. This builds co-communication and trust in you as it demonstrates your leadership. You can segue with:

“Since we are on the subject…”

“Since you brought it up…”

“It is interesting that you say that, because I wanted to ask if…”

  1. Questions you can ask in an interview:

Why is this position open?

Can you describe the qualities and background you believe one will need to possess to perform exceptionally in this role and in the current circumstances?

If I was hired, what would you expect me to accomplish in the first 6 months?

Tell me the best things about your corporate culture that makes this company great?

What motivates your executive team?

How does the company deal with changing priorities?

What are your most pressing issues?

Where do we go from here?

  1. Finish on a positive note. At the end of the interview, say something complimentary from your heart about them – either the company/the product or the service/the culture. Tell them you are excited and want the position, if that is how you feel.
  1. Follow up with a thank-you letter and a page of short third party testimonials. After the interview, send a thank-you letter that identifies a couple of important things you discussed and remind them of a few short results you have achieved that demonstrate your accomplishments are in alignment with their goals. Third party testimonials are extremely important to gaining the trust needed for placement in leadership roles.

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Job Interview Tips – Why Should I Hire You?

 

This is the one question that seems to strike fear in the heart of every job seeker. Not only does it put you, the candidate in an uncomfortable position but the tone of the question itself is deliberately provocative.

 

However, this is one of the easiest questions to answer if you know the right formula!

 

First, a little preparation.

 

You want to take whatever job description you have of the position with you into the interview. If you do not have a job description that is OK.  At the beginning of the interview, you want to ask the interviewer to describe the qualities and skills that the company is looking for in a top candidate. Discretely jot down the highlights of whatever they tell you.  By the way, these are your talking points for the rest of the interview.

 

When the dreaded question arises…why should I hire you, you simply look down at your notes and state back to your interviewer your understanding of the key qualifications. So you would say something like this:

 

Well as I understand it you are looking for someone who can….

 

As they nod their head in agreement you add:

 

Not only do have have many/all of those skills and qualifications, I hope it’s not too forward to share with you that I am really excited about this position!

 

Alternative positive statements include:

 

…I really see myself working here.

 

…I really want this job!

 

Though this is a simple technique, be sure not to discount the powerful effect it has. You will have to try it out to see its full effect and I promise you it will be a very positive one.

 

Usually the intent of the interviewer in asking provocative interview questions is to see how you will respond. Will you stammer? Get defensive? Go on and on? So, a smooth, confident and positive answer wins every time!

 

Use this simple yet powerful technique to help ace your interviews!

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