Reaching senior-level positions within a company means that, surely, you should have the interview process down?
No. It’s a common misconception that high-ranking C-suite executives are interviewing Gods, that they know what to say in order to astound and impress any hardline recruiter.
In fact, C-suite executives may struggle with the recruitment process. If we factor out the Millennial predisposition for job hopping, many high-ranking employees have actually worked their way up the ranks internally. Which is great for showcasing loyalty, but less good for honing interview skills.
Naturally, when you climb the ranks of a company there will of course be some elements of interviewing – but interviewing in a known environment with people who already know your credentials is a far cry from the sweaty, shaky anxiety waiting outside of those old familiar walls.
The competition for top positions is arguably greater than ever. Appointing senior executives is time consuming and often costly, businesses need to make sure they are hiring talent that can deliver, given that finding the right fit is vital for business success.
In that vein, we have listed the top five mistakes that C-suite executives make when it comes to jobseeking.
- Not researching enough
A lack of research at any rank in an interview is akin to laziness. In high-level interviews, it’s often easy to think that you already know everything about the role on offer or the sector you’re in.
And whilst this may be true, you could still spend time doing some reconnaissance on the company you’re interviewing with. What have they achieved in the past year? Where do you see your ideas coming into play? In short, how will you both work together?
- Failing to set achievable goals
When it comes to looking for jobs, it’s important not to get carried away. The idea of leaving a company for a new exciting role can be seductive, which can lead to rash actions.
Plan out your days and make achievable goals when it comes to looking for roles and interviewing. Don’t run before you can walk. It’s better to go for the right job and take longer than to end up in a role that’s unsuited.
- Refusing to discuss failures
In C-suite job seeking, it can be easy to focus too much of the good. High-ranking executives may be unwilling to debate their previous failures, seeing it as a sign of weakness so far on into their careers.
However, discussing how you slipped up only means that you can then explain how you recovered. Recruiters like to see how you adapt to failure – do you crumble or do you rise above it? It’s essential that you do not shy away from mentioning mistakes – we all learn from them.
- Lack of passion
Never mistake competency for passion. When you’re reaching out to recruiters, ensure that your dedication for the role and the sector comes across. You’re CV may be glowing, but if the interviewer doesn’t believe that you’re as passionately sincere as you are capable, then they may pass you over for a more enthusiastic competitor.
- Refusal to be personal
Storytelling is a great way to make a lasting impression. C-suite level executives naturally have a world of experience behind them, and with experience comes stories. Don’t just tell the interviewer what you can do, demonstrate it through past examples. This brings in an element of familiarity and shows that you’re comfortable in your own skin.
Ensure that you have all of your statistics with you, as well as any past reports. It’s better to be overprepared than under.
Business Grapevine, Emily Douglas, 9 May 2017