You’ve been so many interviews you can’t even count. On both sides of the table. You know the process inside out.
How difficult can it be to present your ideas to a board or C-level executive?
As it turns out, like all good things in life, the better the opportunity, the more difficult the journey. Even with 20 years of experience under your belt – preparation is key for any successful interview and that is exactly why we’ve put together this guide.
To tackle this in a more effective and efficient manner, we have designed a framework to guide you in navigating your preparation for a great interview.
We are touching on the main ideas of the guide in this short article but you can find the full document here.
Before the interview
Before attending the interview, the first step that you need to take is to research your potential employer’s company. Things to pay attention during this process are:
(1) the industry, (2) the company, (3) the important stakeholders for the role
You should have a clear picture of the latest trends, the current market situation, performance, background and so on. It is the best way to let them know you are an expert in your field and also you give this opportunity your full attention.
The next step that you will need to do is to prepare your success stories, derived from your professional experiences. When dealing with this step, you need to consider:
- The direction of your stories, where you can use (1) a past-to-present approach, or (2) a general-to-specific approach.
- Incorporating elements such as (1) work performance trends, (2) achievements, (3) past projects that you successfully led, with concrete examples and details.
It might be one of the most important steps of the preparation process. A lot of senior executives don’t pay enough attention to this. Having a list with results and numbers for each of their roles showcasing their important achievements is critical.
In an interview for a senior management level position, questions about leadership are inevitable. Showcase your leadership experience through your team’s experience. Do this by focusing on:
- Your team’s development – how the team has changed under your management.
- The best performers in your team and how you provided support for their development.
- Most important challenges in the team dynamics that you managed successfully.
During the interview
Now you will focus on managing the questions to ask your interviewers. To stand out during this part of the interview, you can use two approaches:
- Asking questions in-depth to provide actionable solutions.
- Asking questions to lead them to your vision.
During the next step, you need to focus on practicing how to sell your vision to your interviewer. To do this well, attend to these aspects:
- Identify what is important to your employer, and convey this in your pitch.
- Prepare a general framework to tell your vision.
- Arguments to convince your potential employer how you will achieve this vision.
At a senior level, understanding what the company is looking for is essential. Once you have an idea of their priorities and challenges, you can select examples from your own experience and present potential solutions. Having a clear answer when the interviewer asks about your achievement and how they relate to their challenges is paramount. There is where the preparation process comes in. Find out more about all the steps above in our guide.