First impressions count, and never more so than in an executive job interview. The moment you meet someone and offer your hand to shake, your mannerisms, your poise, and your smile are assessed by the person at the other end.
If you haven’t practiced your initial introduction, it’s worth doing. Otherwise, in a split second you could waste many hours and miss out on an opportunity simply because you didn’t display the caliber and leadership you want to instantly portray.
Show, don’t just tell
Your leadership style should be clearly portrayed in your resume, but must also permeate every aspect of the job interview. Think the conversation through from this perspective.
What type of leader are you? How do you lead? How do you assume influence? How do you take action? How do you embrace challenges? How do you ignite team spirit? How do you transform an underperforming and dysfunctional team into a high performance entity?
- Prepare several stories that portray these qualities, and that clearly position you as a viable candidate of choice with all the management and leadership attributes the executive recruiter or human resources professional are seeking. The interview’s questions and answers can then revolve around these examples.
- An interview is a two-way conversation to discuss a mutual fit between you and the organization. Assert your leadership by asking thought-provoking questions you’ve prepared ahead of time. Just don’t be over-bearing.
You’re probably not the only person who’s feeling nervous during your job interview. Expressing your leadership style and abilities can induce synergy between you and the interviewer fast, and can even help put them at ease.
Remember: At the interview, they are the decision maker, but on the job, you are the decision maker. Use the executive job interview to demonstrate your best leadership attributes and why you’re the right leader for this position.