Tag: Job Interviews

How Global Corporations Pick CXO’s

imagesAECAED9CWow was I glad to stumble upon this little gem of an article! Lots of very interesting insight on Global MNC’s and cultural variances associated with CXO  interviewing/hiring around the globe.


This is a great read.  http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/jobs/how-large-corporations-go-about-picking-cxo-level-honchos/articleshow/52811063.cms

Harvard Business Review : The Secret to Negotiating Is Reading People’s Faces

Interesting article. I think this is very valuable information for Executives who are interviewing for senior level positions. The takeaway I got was this: slow down and remember to use all of the senses (in this case, visual) in high level interviews to determine and discern what to do and say next.  🙂

The Secret to Negotiating Is Reading People’s Faces


Overqualified in Your Executive Interview?

My colleague Ardith of Ardith Rademacher & Associates sent me a really great article this morning that she said I could share with you! If you are in an interview and the position is attractive to you but your skills are more robust than what is required – these are VERY valuable tips for you to know so you can help your interviewers make good, balanced decisions.  🙂

Making a Case for the Overqualified

The overqualified pool is filled with variety of individuals.  The large majority consist of those who have been laid-off.  These candidate may or may not be older, but nonetheless wiser and more experienced than their competition.  There is also a large percentage of people who are reentering the workforce.  This group consists of well-educated folks who have taken time off to raise families, care for ill family members or needed a leave of absence for their own personal reasons.  The smallest percentage of this group are people who are simply looking for a change.  This could be a change of scenery, industry, work/life balance, etc.

There are pros and cons to weigh when considering an overqualified candidate.

Let’s start with the cons:

  • They may be harder to train – Training in terms of software used or company basics will be the same as any new employee.  However, bad habits and attitudes picked up at previous positions are hard to break.
  • They may be intimidating to management – This can create uncomfortable management scenarios that will need to be addressed early and often.
  • They may get really bored, really fast – Hiring and on boarding a new team member is expensive.  It is even more expensive when that new hire either finds their dream job or gets really bored three to six months later.

With cons like that, why even consider an over-qualified candidate?  Here are some pros to consider:

  • They tend to be eager to put their skills to work – Whether it is relief that the job search is over or excitement for a position that offers better work/life balance, overqualified candidates tend to hit the ground running.
  • They bring years of wisdom to the team – With all that experience, they can share best practices from previous positions that may benefit their new team.  They can also become great mentors to their colleagues.
  • They can become a long-term contributor – Overqualified candidates are great for stubborn vacancies.  As both the company and employee get a feel for each other, this team member can take on a greater role or progress to higher levels as positions open.  This is the ultimate win-win.  The candidate has secured a position and the company has time to determine how they fit into their business.

As with all candidates, it is important to determine if they are a good fit during the interview process.  Asking an overqualified candidate about their goals and why they applied for the position will be a large key in deciding if there are more pros than cons.



Executive Job Search Tips: What to Do If No One Is Getting Back to You Post-Interview

inteview follow upHave you come out of an interview floating on a cloud, but after a week or two still haven’t heard back from the company? Don’t despair. Here are some tips to get through the interview roller coaster.

Let me begin by saying that I have never walked through a job search with a SVP or COO and NOT had the subject come up of either a recruiter or a company not getting back to them promptly. So, let’s just establish that these things happen to the most wonderful of executives. The trick is how you manage the situation and keep your composure during the emotional highs and lows associated with most job transitions.

Follow Up Begins in The Interview

The challenge in deciding appropriate level of follow-up on your part is that some employers prefer you were very aggressive in your initiative, while others may find it off-putting. The solution requires getting more information up front during your interviews. One of the last questions you should ask in a phone or in-person interview is, “Where do we go from here?”

Get a Commitment

If possible, get a commitment to a day or week time frame when they will get back to you. If that day/week passes, then simply follow up with a polite, brief e-mail. You can even follow up with a phone call. Restate your excitement about the opportunity, the date they shared with you, and that you are following up with a courtesy call. If you don’t hear back, follow up again a few days later, just don’t get defensive. Maintain your composure at all times! Keep your phone and e-mail messages short and positive.

Demonstrate Your Interest

Another legitimate reason to follow up is because you’ve heard positive news about the company. Set up an alert in Google for the company, and when a press release or article is published about it, Google will send it to your e-mail. If the information has to do with growth, an award, or any relevant subject of discussion, send it to your contact(s) with a short, positive note. This is very flattering, puts the focus on them, and shows your initiative.

Keep it Positive

You should always follow up confidently, consistently, politely, and with positive excitement. Remember, your personality is being evaluated as if every message or e-mail you leave is a post-interview. Leaving the safety of any of these virtues can backfire on you, so be careful! It is human nature to take job search “rejection” or “silence” personally—even though we all know it is not personal—and many times, it is simply due to the very benign reason that no one has followed up with you. Keep in mind that we cannot judge accurately what might be happening on the other end.

You will be much better prepared to deal with the wins and losses associated with your job search (that are an inevitable part of the process) if you come up with two or three job search strategies to secure your interviews. Do those things consistently each week, while being as objective as you can about the end game. After all, if you list a bike on Craigslist and 3,000 people see it, does that mean you are going to get 3,000 calls? You will (maybe) get a less-than-1% response. This is good to remember in a job search. Do the right things consistently—and keep your pipeline full of potential opportunities.

5 Tips to Ace Your Telephone Interview!

Do you have a telephone interview coming up? If you are unsure about how to prepare, then read these 5 simple and easy tips for acing your “virtual meeting!”

Tip One: Focus on Them

It’s wise to study the company’s website and latest press releases, as well as the job description, prior to your phone interview.

Tip Two: Job Description Technique

If you have a written job description, a GREAT inside tip for using it to your ultimate advantage during your phone interview is to highlight all the key words and phrases in it that match your background of experience. Include transferable skills in this as well. Then weave these exact words and phrases into your conversation. Simple solution; profound results.

Tip Three: Show Your Positive Enthusiasm

Isn’t it true that we all like happy people? And what’s more, you will make a great impression on your interviewer if you share with him or her how excited you are about the position, about their company, or a combination of both! They want to hire people who want to work with them!

Tip Four: Be Wisely Proactive

Ask questions (at the appropriate times of course) that show your intellect and your enthusiasm for the position. Examples include questions about future projects, biggest challenges and if you were hired, what the first things you could do to make a positive impact in the position would be.

Tip Five: Awareness of Your Environment

You want to conduct your end of the interview in a peaceful, quiet place you feel good in, free of disturbances like barking dogs, call waiting, planes, trains, autos and other people. This will help you focus and heighten your calm and confidence!

Bonus Tip: Politeness

Your clear, deliberate words, not talking over your interviewer, your display of appropriate respect (please, thank you, etc.), and your awareness of a balanced dialogic conversation, will serve you well. In addition, if you stand up and smile, you will increase your overall energy – which will be “heard” by your interviewer(s)!

Want the inside scoop on strategies for a 21st Century job search?

CLICK HERE >> LISTEN TO a 3-minute excerpt of Mary Elizabeth on TotalPicture Radio (mp3 download).

View the full interview at: http://bit.ly/YPccPO

How to Land More Interviews in a Bad Economy

Do you know you can increase your job interviews in a bad economy? Does this statement sound absurd? Truly it is not.

Most people will fall into the temptation of holding on to the job they have (even if they are not really happy with it) rather than venture out into a poor economy…thinking it will garner them little result or create unnecessary risk.

You and I both know it’s easy to let fear paralyze our actions…sacrificing what we really want when we don’t think we can achieve our aim. However, let me share with you five tips to help you understand how you can start moving forward and achieving your goals now instead of later (and land more interviews in the process):

Tip number one: Start your search when your competition is at a minimum
Quite simply, this includes committing to your job search during a “bad” economy. It can also include months like December which is actually (statistically) a good time to begin a job search – another time when your competition is often absent.

Tip number two: Go for the growing markets
To explore growing markets online, visit jobbait.com and register for a free monthly report which details which markets are growing and in what states. When you target a growing market, you automatically increase you odds of landing more interviews.

Tip number three: Make sure your resume is written for your target market
Nothing tanks a good job search like a poorly focused and poorly crafted resume. Make certain your resume is written well.

If you are not sure how your resume stacks up, there are plenty of articles you can read on good resumes, samples you can look at online or in resume books (make sure to view the latest editions) and you can even get a resume critique.

One extra tip: it’s a great idea to have your resume professionally written. If you decide to go this route, make sure the writer is certified and has ample experience. You can find a whole list of certified resume writers at Careerdirectors.com.

Tip number four: Tap into the unadvertised job market
Major Job boards boast a measly 1 to 4% average response rate. That’s a lot of resumes to send out just to hear nothing back!

Make sure you have an adequate mix of associations, niche sites and direct company contacts in your job search strategy.

Depending on your particular goals, you might also benefit from working with recruiters, learning how to network properly (without asking for a job) and learning techniques for following up with companies that are experiencing some form of growth.

Tip number five: Understand the playing field
No matter how good you are, how exceptional your qualifications or how brilliant your references, it’s impossible for each and every connection you make to end up with a job offer.

Your positive responses are going to be smaller than the amount of inquiries you make, period. Such is the world of marketing. So make sure your expectations are congruent with the market so you don’t end up feeling discouraged over numbers which may actually be good!

Want to improve your odds? Techniques to tap into jobs that are not advertised can yield you from 20% to 60% favorable responses. If you are achieving those odds, then congratulations, you are doing a remarkable job!

Successful people generally have lots of good habits including taking challenges head on, investing in themselves and taking action. By integrating these five simple tips into your job search now, you too can achieve amazing results and reach your job search goals.

I Was Fired: How to Discuss Being Fired From Your Last Job In an Interview and STILL Look Like A Star Candidate


Mid Managers and executives get fired for lots of reasons. Some are legitimate for performance reasons and some firings are completely unjustified. Regardless of the reason for being let go there are solid methods for communicating the circumstances without it hurting your candidacy with future potential employers.


Here are three solid steps you can take to have successful interviews after being fired.



Step #1 – Give yourself time to decompress


This is the most important step you can and will take. If you have lost your job most likely you will go through a grieving process – similar to other significant life-losses we all experience. If you interview prematurely you may inadvertently “wear your grief” and/or find yourself unable to talk about your last employer with the kind of convincing detachment and discretion you will need to keep interviewers focused and excited about the value you offer them.


What if you need to begin to interview right away? Well then to speed up your “grieving process” while still honoring that time cycle, take a ceremonial weekend vacation, book a round of golf, a spa day or a family picnic by the lake. Whatever you decide make sure it’s fun and relaxing because this is your decompression time…just for yourself! Title your outing: “your ceremonial moving on.” This is a physical process that evokes very real physical and mental benefits.


I have seen this “moving-on ceremony” work wonders with my clients (it will work for you too!) and I have used it myself. When I left my last employer my husband threw me a congratulatory dinner and I bought myself a decadent slice of carrot cake, stuck and candle in it and we spent the evening talking about the future. It was wonderful!



Step #2 – Identify your allies


You want to contact any and all allies you have and had with your last company. These can include past colleagues, people that worked for you, key executives, clients and vendors. Anyone that can attest to your strengths, your attributes and anything positive. In applicable cases those individuals who can diplomatically hint that there were problems beyond your control with your last company can be especially helpful. Remember references can be provided by lots of other people besides your immediate “boss”.




Step #3 – Prescript a BRIEF but clear statement


Develop a brief statement about the reason you were fired and practice saying it. You can use it in your upcoming interviews. Keep it short and simple and clear. Here is an example:


Unfortunately I had no choice but to leave my last employer. When I originally took the position I was excited about________.

At first blush it seemed that their recent merger was going well. I had no idea there was such internal animosity amongst management. Perhaps in my excitement of the opportunity I missed the subtle signs. If I were to interview for another merger situation I would certainly know what questions to ask. Now I am focusing my attention on moving forward and I am quite excited to be here to talk with you about your corporation’s goals.



No matter what you “say” the secret is to be positive, bold and forward thinking. Your interviewers will focus on whatever you shine the spot light on so keep your attention on them, their challenges and how you can help them!


Using these three steps you can easily turn a situation you may be worrying about into a non-issue. Remember too, many people that have been fired worry terribly that they will have to make big sacrifices in order to land their next position. This is so often untrue! Use the situation to reflect on whatever can be learned from it, use these powerful techniques to minimize any damage and simply move on!


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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