1. Display interest in the role and the organization:
This is a fundamental issue and can generate positive vibes with the interviewers; basic rules remain the same no matter what the position. This is one such dimension that will not change. I know of a candidate, very suited for the role and with extremely well matched bandwidth- who got rejected simply because over two separate interviews within the assessment team- made the same comment and which was ‘I am really not keen on a change , it’s only because I was pushed by the reference that I wanted to explore’. The organization did not proceed with this candidate; the reason was there was no guarantee he would bring in a high level of engagement in the role.
2. Do a good extent of research on the organization, the leadership team, the board members and credentials of all senior people involved in the assessment:
Search Consultants provide you with most of this information; the internet including platforms like Google search and Linked-in are a valuable source. Remember, for the Search Consultant, you are typically only one of the candidates who are in the reckoning. Therefore it is in your own interest you seek the information required. Then, there are some individuals sitting in the background, assessing the candidate only by virtue of the resume, make sure you use a nicely formatted, 3-4 page document that carries information, data, and achievements relevant to the role- big and important! You do know the ways to create a pull based on the contacts in your network.
3. You are under a microscope, select your words with discretion:
Your discussions may be recorded (interviewers are obliged to inform you of this). Organizations today apply an assessment process of assessors sitting in various locations and listening to one interview you had and filling in assessment sheets for collation by HR/nominated office. ‘India has these difficulties’ is all it took for a CEO candidate to be put on hold. Senior professionals are expected to display and deploy high level of optimism and pragmatism. Ram Charan covers this well in his work- Know How’
4. Prepare responses to likely questions you’ll face and a list of questions you’d like to pose:
In your past experience, for instance, if you have made couple of quick moves, almost certainly you’ll face the heat. Be ready with the info and sentiment you’ll respond with. You can leverage your candidature and experience as long as you see it
- in a positive light,
- see and express your learnings
- not tend to get caught up in those past experiences that spells ideological differences with colleagues
You will also invariably seek information pertaining to the role, organization, growth, etc. The idea is to make a handy list and parking it in your mind for quick retrieval.
5. Candor, simplicity and assertiveness count.
There is a thin dividing line between being pompous and an articulate Leader. Assessors are all aware of the power of listening. Speaking has its own appeal. Try and supplement achievements into the resume document. It becomes an area of discussion for further insight or conversation. Avoid any, even marginal excess of simplicity. Leadership is about style as much as about content. Leadership presence is an important attribute you’ll be assessed on. You want to make a point- smile and state that assertively. The assertion should be such that you do not make it personal, it is a professional perspective; after all, you have a strong mind of your own. You cannot let your guard down simply because you’ve met an interviewer more than once. ‘Feel comfortable’ is what you are told. It is precisely in those informal moments over dinner or coffee your natural instincts are being gauged, for sure, closely than what it appears to be.
Sticking to the time, dressing up right, subdued power body language, are some aspects to heed attention to.
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