When you are applying to be an executive, you need to clearly demonstrate your professionalism and qualifications. The hiring manager is not just looking at your education; he or she will want to see that you are a leader and more than just another good employee. To do so, you want to avoid some of the top executive interviewer pet peeves. This article will describe three common pitfalls that will decrease your attractiveness as a candidate for a job.
Failing to Give Specific Examples of Your Qualifications
There is nothing that will make your interview less effective than failing to give specific examples of your qualifications. Avoid simply restating what is in your resume. The hiring manager has read through your resume and understands the basics of your previous employment and experience. The purpose of the interview is for you to make a strong, good impression on the hiring manager. The best way for you to do this is to provide specific examples of your experience and qualifications to the interviewer. If a hiring manager asks you: “How have you illustrated your leadership qualities in your previous employment?” avoid simply restating the titles of your previous management positions. Instead, outline specific experiences of projects or groups that you directed successfully. Give enough detail about these experiences so that you make a lasting impression on the interviewer. Consider each question that you are asked an opportunity to tell a good, memorable story. Avoid one of the top executive interview pet peeves and give specific examples of your qualifications.
Speaking Poorly of Your Previous Employers
It is nearly guaranteed that you will be asked about your experience during previous jobs and with prior managers. Do not speak poorly of your previous employers. A negative attitude will reflect badly on your character and professionalism. As an executive, you will need to be strong willed, but you should not be a gossip. In certain cases, an interviewer will tempt you with questions that inquire about your previous negative experiences during your previous employment. Always maintain an optimistic attitude and especially do not criticize your previous managers. Likely you and every experienced employee has had bad experiences on the job, but you do not want to make the most memorable experience from your interview a bad story.
If you get an interview question like the following: “Describe a negative experience you had with previous co-workers,” create a story that answers the question and resolves the negativity at the end of your answer. For example, you might talk about a team in which you were required to work with people with whom you did not agree. Explain how the group came together and resolved the differences and created a result that was better than any one person could have done alone. Avoid the executive interview pet peeve of negativity towards previous employers and always concentrate on the positive.
Showing Inadequate Knowledge of the Job or the Company
Another executive interview pet peeve is for an executive job candidate to not have sufficient knowledge about the job or company to which he or she is applying. Take time before the interview to carefully study the job posting. Understand the job requirements and responsibilities. Before you travel to the interview, study the company website so that you clearly know the organizational structure so that you know where the job for which you are applying fits overall. If you are interviewing for an executive position, the interviewer will likely be one of the top executives of the company. An executive at this level will expect you to understand large company organization and structure. Your time and preparation will be apparent when you answer questions and relate your experiences to the common values and goals of the company. For example, an interviewer might ask you the following: “How are you the most qualified candidate for the job?” First, relate the most relevant specific experience from your employment history that answers the question. Afterward, show how this experience helped to prepare you specifically for the prospective job requirements and for the company’s larger goals. You will definitely impress the executive interviewer, as they are likely part of the group that developed or reviewed these goals.
Avoid the executive interview pitfalls of vague, general answers, speaking poorly of previous employers, and not knowing enough about the job or thecompany. Instead, make a memorable, positive interview that shows your knowledge and specific experiences that make you the most qualified candidate.