As your career evolves, so does the interview process. The types of questions you’ll face in interviews for executive-level positions will be much different and tougher than those you encountered earlier in your career. Regardless of your professional experience, it’s important to thoroughly prepare for any job interview. Here are a few things that you can do before and during your next job interview to show that you’re a great fit for the job.
Play the role of interviewer
The hiring process for an executive-level position can take longer than your standard position. You will likely need to meet with several people from different departments. With that being said, it’s important to stay engaged through every phase. During this time, you should make a sincere effort to get to know the people you meet. Even if you don’t end up working for their company, these people could prove to be valuable contacts for your professional network.
During interviews, be prepared to do some interviewing of your own, when appropriate. This is your opportunity to gather important details about the company and gain insight into any specific challenges the company may be facing. In return, this will allow you to provide more thoughtful, solutions-focused responses as you move through each step of the interview process.
Expand on answers
During the interview process, you’ll likely be asked a few situational questions that present hypothetical scenarios. This line of questioning helps the interviewer get a feel for how you may react to challenges once you’re on the job. The interviewer may also ask for actual examples of how you’ve handled a variety of situations in your current and previous positions.
Even if you’re just answering basic questions about decisions you’ve made on previous projects or tasks, most hiring managers will expect you to expand on your responses to provide more details or context. Think of this as an opportunity to describe your critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.
The first impression you make on a potential employer is the most important one. Within seconds of meeting you, your interviewer will be making a judgement of you based on what you’re wearing and how you look. This is why it’s essential to dress appropriately for a job interview. Typically, you’ll want to wear professional or business attire. For men, this might mean a suit and tie, or a sweater and button down. For women, this might mean a professional dress, or a nice blouse and dress pants.
If you’re shopping for a new interview outfit, stay away from clothing that is too bright or flashy to avoid distracting the hiring manager. Make sure that you feel comfortable in whatever you choose to wear and that everything fits properly. You don’t have to break the bank to look professional at your interview either, especially if you’re on a budget! Consider shopping at secondhand stores like thredUP, who offer a variety of clothing options from top brands that provide the professional look you want at a lower cost.
Highlight your interpersonal skills
For hiring managers, it’s important that the people they bring into executive roles are a good fit with the existing company culture. Therefore, you should expect that a significant portion of your interview process will be dedicated to determining whether or not you’re a good fit for the company. Hiring managers will want to spend time assessing more than your technical skills and expertise in order to get an overall sense of your leadership traits.
For example, work environments are more collaborative today than ever before. In order to collaborate effectively with your peers, you’ll need to be able to demonstrate that you have strong interpersonal and communication skills. Be sure to provide examples of how you’ve applied these skills to drive positive outcomes in work situations in the past.
Nora Banks is a freelance writer who is passionate about sustainable living. When she’s not researching her next topic, she can be found tending her garden.