Here’s the good news – if you’re getting interviews, your resume is doing its job – assuming you’re getting interviews for the types of positions you want. But what you do before, during, and after the interview can increase your chances of getting the offer.

1. Before the executive interview, do your homework!:

Rising young executives are often not thoroughly prepared for all the ins and outs of an executive-level job search. Unfortunately, insufficient training in the techniques of career transition results in their ineffective or inappropriate application. The information interview is one of those tools that has been misused and poorly applied especially during down economic times when competition for every position is keen.   

Most standard interview questions are simply not designed to allow an executive to truly demonstrate their capabilities, ideas, and innovation. Executive search consultants are bored with cookie-cutter interview questions and the answers people give, which don’t reveal what the search consultants—or employers for that matter—really need to know. They want to understand who you are, how you will work and what value (ROI) you can bring to an organization.

BlueSteps recently hosted an #ExecCareer Chat on the topic of executive interviews, featuring Tom Fuller, from Epsen Fuller Group, and Susan Goldberg, from Susan Goldberg Executive Search Consulting (SGES).

Some of the questions asked included:

No matter how much experience you have accumulated as a senior level executive, attending an interview can be a daunting task. Like with any major career step, the key to a successful interview is preparation. It is universally known that those who prepare for a variety of interview questions perform better than those who do not. Therefore, to assist you on your way to career success, BlueSteps has prepared a list of ten commonly asked senior-level interview questions for you to familiarize yourself with.

BlueSteps recently hosted an #ExecCareer Chat on the topic of executive interviews, featuring John Ryan, from TRANSEARCH USA, and Lisa Thompson, from Pearson Partners International.

Some of the questions asked included:

The key to executive interview success is preparation. Interviewing methods differ between companies and people. Are you prepared for a non-traditional interview?

Phone Interview

A phone interview is often one of the first interviews an executive will encounter. Some call this a pre-screen interview when an executive recruiter picks up the phone and calls a candidate – typically to screen them out. This unexpected call can throw some candidates off.

I find it interesting that the majority of folks—from C-suite executives down to young professionals—are convinced that they handle interviews great. “If I can just get the interview, I can overcome any objections the company may have about hiring me” they say. The reality is far from it for most candidates. In fact, the adeptness with which candidates tanked interviews in a state of blissful ignorance is what drew me away from the corporate world and to the career services industry more than a decade ago.

Age discrimination is a reality that can show up during the executive interview process. Through the Internet, this information is visible—a LinkedIn profile picture can reveal your age; a Google search can uncover your age; and filling out a job application can give away your age by the length of your career and date of a college degree.

While the interviewer may be the one asking the questions, you will need to change your approach. Avoid giving the interviewer something to discriminate against. Here are a few examples:

BlueSteps recently hosted an #ExecCareer Chat on the topic of executive interviewing, featuring Barbara Safani, BlueSteps Executive Career Services.

Some of the questions asked included: