A well-written, well-considered CV with no grammatical or spelling errors, accompanied by your well-groomed appearance at interview are the bare minimum that will be required to make a great impression and get that role.
To start with, look at the company you’re hoping to work for as a jigsaw puzzle with one piece missing – your interviewer knows the shape of it, and what will fit well; you need to show that you’re the perfect fit. Here are some key strategies to consider:
Use examples of work – Think of an example of your work which cover every base, from proving leadership skills to showing creativity. Highlight situations where you have both excelled and gradually improved over time. This article by Forbes highlights some of the more likely killer questions that are likely to come your way, with tips on answering.
Know your weaknesses – You’ll be asked about your negatives at some point, and your answer should reflect that you learned from a difficult situation and/or your mistakes. Show that you can provide an honest appraisal of previous work. Everyone has weaknesses, and you must show that you have dealt with them, or are dealing with them. But don’t make any answer about your negatives too long!
Highlight your communication skills – As a senior level manager you’ll be overseeing people, so in an interview you need to prove that you have certain required skills. Explain how you have coped with conflicts and disagreements, influenced without dominating or bullying, and communicated clearly. The job specification should clearly define which skills are necessary – think of several examples for each one.
Plan a mock interview – You could enlist a friend, colleague or fellow professional to help you with this. No doubt your friend will enjoy giving you a hard time, but try to take it seriously yourself. Ask them to really grill you. Make sure it’s carried out a week or two beforehand so you have time to think about where you did badly and can adjust accordingly. There are multiple benefits to a simulated interview as healthfoodinfo.org explains here.
Do your research – To get you prepared you need to know the job you’re interviewing for, and of course the company too. Research the structure of the company and the roles that those around you in the system, both horizontally and vertically, will be undertaking. This is particularly important if you are moving from another sector and your level of experience may not be as complete as your rivals for the role. Read local media, business news publications, websites, and relevant periodic indexes. Also, take a look at the company’s social media sites, LinkedIn, blogs, review sites, and the company website. Use this information to build an overall picture of the company in your mind, including its strategies, as well as current and future projects.
Know your enemy – Know who the company’s competitors are, and what they’re doing. Brush up on the terminology and buzzwords in your field, and make sure you can speak comfortably on them. There’s no harm in preparing some notes, graphs, examples of previous work (with feedback/reviews) or presentations on a tablet to really impress employers. If you know who will be interviewing you, research them as well – you may have common interests, contacts or backgrounds.
Mention your hobbies – Don’t neglect your outside interests. If asked about your stamp-collecting hobby, you should portray it as completely positive since it helps to prove your organisational skills and diligence. If you’re ashamed of your hobbies then don’t put them on your CV in the first place.
Remember the interviewer thinks you can do the job, otherwise the interview would not be taking place. It’s up to you to convince them that you can do it better than everyone else.
Visit exec-appointments.com to apply for high-flying roles.