You know you’re right for the job. You’ve researched the firm and it’s clear that you are a perfect fit. Colleagues have recommended you. Your portfolio of work has spoken for itself. Yet despite all of this, you bomb the interview and it’s back to square one in the job hunt. What went wrong? More than likely it was of these 3 ways to screw up your executive interview…
Fail to gauge your interviewer
According to Sara McCord’s article, there are 3 types of interviewers that can throw you off your game:
- The “hard-to-impress interviewer” who isn’t fazed by your arresting answers and polished presentation. Sara posits that this type of interviewer wants to hear more than just “me-me-me” answers, so take time to highlight how you have worked with a team or how you’ve taken constructive criticism in the past.
- Next on her list is the “friendly interviewer” who is uber-casual and conversational. How should you approach this type? Sara states,
If you give a really official interview to someone who’s trying to be your buddy, it’ll seem awkward. But if you let your guard down too far, you may come off like you’re not taking the opportunity seriously. So, be a bit more smiley and colloquial than your standard interview self. Toss out some memorable, relatable details in some of your answers, just keep your topics and language office-appropriate.
- The last type of atypical interviewer is the “interviewer who would rather be somewhere else.” Sara suggests taking a more aggressive stance with this type, by asking questions which move the interview along, such as “Is there anything else I can share to convince you I’m the best person for the role?” This interviewer appreciates the straightforward approach, since it likely mimics their own personality.
Be unprepared to discuss weaknesses and failures
While your interviewer will be very interested in your accomplishments, they will often be equally curious about your weaknesses and failures, or more specifically how you handle yourself under this line of questioning. If you are unprepared for questions of this type, or unable to admit any personal deficiencies, it will be very apparent. In their article for Fast Company, Russell Reynolds Jr. and Carol Curtis list the following questions that all executive applicants should be prepared for:
- What is your greatest weakness?
- Tell me about a situation where you did not get along with a superior.
- Describe a situation where you were part of a failed project.
Having a confident, polished and sincere answer for each of these will leave a far better impression than any rehearsed dissertation of your successes.
Give a poor impression during an on-line interview
Interviewing via Skype or Google Hangout is incredibly efficient for the hiring firm. However, it offers many opportunities for pitfalls to the applicant. Instead of getting dressed up and heading to their turf, the interview now happens in your own home, which can change the dynamic quite drastically. Amy Levin-Epstein offers these tips in her article for CBS:
- Ensure that the background seen in the video is uncluttered.
- Before beginning, confirm with the interviewer that the connection is clear.
- Don’t talk over the other person. Wait until they are done speaking to begin, especially since there can be a delay.
- Remember the simple things, such as good posture, smiling, and avoiding distractions, such as touching your face and hair.
By keying in to these interview tips, you will set yourself apart from the field and ensure that you land your dream position. Placing executives at prominent medical device, biotechnology and healthcare IT firms is our sole focus. Contact us to see how Prime-Core Executive Search can partner with you today.
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