At executive level, quality advice on job interviews can be hard to come by.
Executive-level candidates are often left to their own devices when it comes to finding a new role.
Luckily, our 4-point plan should help you navigate the process…
1. Do your research
• Review their financial statements. If the most up-to-date set isn't available on their site, you can access it via Companies House.
• Compare the company's performance with their competitors. Where do they position themselves against them?
• Use Glassdoor, LinkedIn and other social media accounts to a build a view of both the company and the industry.
• Perform some basic analysis: what strikes you as unusual, negative and positive?
• Give thought to the micro and macro challenges the business may face, and prepare a SWOT analysis.
2. Prepare for the ‘Tell me about yourself’ question
It’s a common introduction to interviews, and yet one still likely to flummox even the most experienced candidates.
You may be left unsure of how exactly to speak about yourself. Where do you start, and where do you finish? What do include, what do you omit?
Prepare a three-to-four-minute career overview pitch, starting with your graduation. Briefly summarize the key relevant experiences and accomplishments. Then explain how they have put you in the perfect position for the role.
Practise your pitch over and over. Refine it until it rolls off your tongue. You’ll then be able to speak with effortless fluency about yourself, and how your skills and your experience make you perfect for the role.
In its most basic form, you should cover the following three points:
• What you are today, in terms of your achievements and the skills currently in your locker.
• The career journey that has brought you to this point.
• Where do you want to go, and how this role will help you get there.
3. Prepare your own questions
This is your opportunity to stand out from the other candidates. Remember, preparation is vital.
Ensure you research the team and key stakeholders. This will either answer some initial queries you may have, or form the basis of some more insightful questions.
Be analytical but proactive, inquisitive but enthusiastic. What challenges do they forecast for the business? What are their plans to address them?
And always be sure to ask where your previous post holder is now.
4. Make your final preparations
Make sure you work out how you're getting to the interview venue, and arrange alternative travel options should anything go wrong.
Find a nearby coffee shop and take time to have a final read-through of your presentation, answers and questions.
Feel free to take notes and a copy of the job specification into the interview.