A structured approach that focuses on research, networking, reference development, and rehearsal is the key to more successful C-level interviews. There are some differences in preparing for a C-level interview versus an entry-level one. In addition to showing your knowledge, skills, and experience, communicate your leadership style. Asking intelligent questions can also make you stand out. Executive recruiters recommend these, along with a few other tips.
- What trends are you following that could influence this organization’s goals and priorities?
- If I am hired as your executive assistant, what do you see as the most significant challenges in working to fulfill the goals of this organization?
- What are some significant milestones that will be used to evaluate my performance?
- Can you describe the work culture and environment here?
- What are some of this company’s most significant achievements recently?
- What leadership style wouldn’t be conducive to this company?
- What would the typical workday be like for an executive assistant here?
- What communication tools, professional development, etc., are available to employees?
Although this certainly isn’t a comprehensive list, it does represent some thoughtful questions that will help gain helpful insight regarding the expectations of these high-level positions. It’s a red flag when candidates don’t have any questions during an interview.
Research Industry Trends
Another effective way to connect with an interviewer and show that you are prepared to meet their organizational needs is by researching emerging trends from around the industry. Candidates are always encouraged to review annual reports, news articles, and videos when meeting with a hiring manager. Knowing about trends can also help you answer probing questions like why you want to work in this industry.
C-suite candidates have to be very selective when providing suitable references. Although any former colleague might work for an entry-level job, considerations need to be respected and relevant for executive-level managers. Only use people who can constructively describe your work ethic, leadership characteristics, strengths, and ability to work under pressure.
Although it’s still important to highlight your skills and experience, asking essential questions during a C-level interview is the best way to learn if it’s the right fit for you. Researching industry trends can help you create solid queries and respond to them intelligibly. Finally, focus on providing only trusted references you know could handle open-ended questions about your leadership qualifications.