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Executive Assistant

Executive Assistant Questions That You Must Ask

By Executive AssistantNo Comments

Preparing for the executive assistant interview means developing a set of key questions that will give you enough insight to make a hiring decision.  These questions will allow you to assess the candidate’s fit for the job.

Before you meet with the interviewee, take these two critical steps for a successful interview.

Preparing for the executive assistant interview

First, when developing an interview question, avoid any query that can be answered with a simple “yes”or “no”. Instead, ask open-ended questions that will require explanation. You’ll be able to see the candidate’s thought process, and you’ll have a better understanding of how your future assistant will handle challenges.

Next, section your interview questions according to the skills for which you are looking. These can be categorized in three groups: the job itself, behavior, and communication.

Job skills

Providing support for an executive requires diverse skills.

Ask:

  • How do you prioritize your day?
  • What computer experience do you have?
  • Which software programs do you use most?
  • If the executive for whom you work has simultaneous engagements, how would you handle the conflict?
  • Explain how you would make travel arrangements for an executive who needed to fly to a speaking engagement.
  • How do you handle confidential information?
  • If you had to set up a half-day meeting for executives, how would you plan it and be sure that everything would be ready?
  • What’s your most significant professional accomplishment?

Behavioral skills

The person you hire for this role should have the necessary skills and characteristics to get tasks done completely and confidently.

Ask:

  • How would you handle an emergency if you are already busy working on a project with a deadline?
  • What are your thoughts about occasionally working from home evenings, weekends and holidays?
  • Explain how you maintain flexibility in your daily schedule.
  • How do you keep your work-life balance amidst hectic schedules?
  • What do you do when things don’t go the way you planned?
  • Who has been the most challenging person to work with – and how did you handle the difficulty?

Communication skills

Also known as soft skills, these characteristics will establish a candidate’s ability to communicate with others.

Ask:

  • How do you prioritize your day?
  • Tell about a time you had to deal with a demanding visitor or caller, in person or on the phone.
  • Describe your process for writing an email for the executive to send.
  • What three words describe the perfect executive assistant?
  • Tell about a time you had to think on your feet. What was the outcome?
  • How do you handle constructive feedback?

Finally, ask the candidate you interview what questions they may have for you. Both of you should walk out of the interview knowing clearly whether the job is the right fit.

If you have other questions, don’t hesitate to contact a recruiter who knows the industry.

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Executive Interviewing

Executive Interview Tips To Help You Shine

By InterviewsNo Comments

Before preparing for an executive-level interview, it’s always a good idea to think about how it will be different from interviewing for an entry-level position. First, the questions will add another degree of difficulty because hiring managers determine your potential in the post.

Next, if you want to shine, you have to communicate your leadership skills, ability to implement change and cultural fit to the organization. Use these tips to prepare for job interviews.

Executive Interview Tip #1: Conduct Research

Some basic interviewing rules can still be applied, like dressing the part and researching the company. Competence and confidence are crucial to making a positive impression at these high-stake interviews. And the more research that you do in advance, the more confident and competent you will be.

Look at its website, press releases, and social media accounts to learn about its history, leaders, and other trends. Researching can also help you learn about the background of those people interviewing you and discover any standard connections that can help you stand out.

#2: Practice Difficult Questions

Since executive-level interview questions are more geared toward determining your ability to lead teams, preparing for some more challenging questions is essential. The odds are good that you will be asked some variation of these questions:

  • What is your leadership style?
  • How would you encourage an unmotivated team?
  • What is something that you would change about this company?
  • What is the most challenging part of being an executive?
  • What are some of your weaknesses?
  • How do you create and improve core competencies?
  • How do you conduct employee evaluations?
  • Why are you the strongest candidate for this position?

Create an engaging story and provide specific examples for each question highlighting your management style and strategic vision. This will help give the interviewer insight into your thought process, attitude and priorities.

#3: Ask Insightful Questions

Perhaps the best way to demonstrate your knowledge about an organization and interest in the job is by asking thoughtful questions. Don’t hesitate to ask why the position is available and how they measure success to confirm it’s a good match for you too. Then, inquire about the most significant issues that the organization is currently facing.

The key takeaway is that the hiring process will be more intense for highly compensated roles like these. Executive interview tips we listed here can aid you in overcoming potential challenges so you can show you are the most confident, competent candidate on the market.

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Hiring

Improve Profitability by Hiring the Best

By Corporate Culture, Hiring Strategies, InterviewsNo Comments

Recruiting the top talent is an excellent method of increasing profitability. This is particularly true when hiring C-suite executives who can significantly affect company operations. Explore some of the ways that investing in top talent will likely increase your profit margins.

Top Performers Improve Vision and Clarity

With the top talent in your C-suite, you improve their ability to see various details and keep track of the overarching vision while doing so. This allows them to optimize projects better and accurately determine which tasks you should delegate.

Hiring the best support team for the C-suite, from executive assistants to chiefs of staff to other employees, further enhances this. It helps leadership delegate tasks with confidence, allowing them to focus on responsibilities that only they can handle.

Improve Your Brand As an Employer

When you hire a C-level executive who is the top in their field, this reflects well on your company overall and as an employer. It should attract top talent for other roles, whether entry-level, C-level, or somewhere in between. Talent will apply for your other positions because they will see that you prioritize hiring the best and cultivating opportunities. This makes working for you a great career choice, especially if they can expect to receive mentorship from talent in higher positions.

Decrease Your Hiring Time

Improving your brand as an employer not only helps you attract the top talent for other roles, but also reduces your hiring time. That happens for several reasons, including that top talent will apply to your company even when there is no opening. This means that you will have a list of potential recruits that you can contact as soon as there is a vacancy.

More Promotions from the Inside

When a company takes the perspective of hiring the best talent, it becomes easier to support internal promotions and advancements. New talent will feel supported, increasing their confidence and promoting their leadership skills.

Combining this with hiring the top talent for the C-suite takes it a step further. The executives will encourage that talent and potentially groom them as a replacement when they retire or move on.

You can leverage this support for internal advancement to help you recruit top talent in other roles as well. After all, most employees would prefer to work with a company that offers opportunities for advancement. This is just another way that hiring the top C-suite talent makes filling other roles in your company easier.

 

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Game Time Questions

By Uncategorized

To give you a little practice in answering both traditional and behavior-based questions, here are some interview questions that might be asked of you the applicant going for a position at any level in an organization. After each question, you’ll find an analysis of the question, which may help you understand how to answer such a question in your job interview. Good luck.

1. Could you please tell me about yourself?
Although this question is broad, keep your answer focused and relevant to the job you’re applying for. Mention the top three or four aspects of your experience, skills, interests, and personality that make you a qualified candidate for the job.

2. What are your long- and short-term career goals?
Good question! The interviewer is trying to get a feel for why you want this job and how long you’re going to stick with it. The ideal answer will assure the employer that you’re worth his investment—that is, training you, introducing you to clients, entrusting you with responsibility. Your answer should assure him that you’ll be around for awhile—and maybe even a long time.

3. Outside of work, what are some of the things you do?
Employers know that what an applicant does for free can speak louder about his character than what he does for money. Tell the interviewer about something in your nonprofessional life that says: “Hey, I’m a good person.” Clubs, activities, conferences and mentoring are all worth a mention.

4. What strengths do you bring to this job that other candidates might not?
There’s no hidden message here. The employer is giving you the floor to sell yourself for the job. Prepare well for this answer and deliver it with confidence. After all, who knows more about why you’re suited for the job than you? And make your presentation using brief achievement stories whenever possible. Achievements, publications you contribute to and recognition are all good material to talk about.

6. Why do you want to leave your current position?
Ah, the interviewer’s concerned about any problems that might pop up on your next job—especially since that might be with him. Be sure to use good judgment here. Don’t bad-mouth your current boss and don’t bring up anything negative. For example, begin by outlining how the new position’s tasks are far more challenging and enriching for your career and it’s a right time for a move.

7. Why did you leave your last job?
Sounds like the interviewer wants to know if there are any underlying problems like: lack of commitment, difficult personality, poor performance, or anything that might lead to termination. Employers don’t want to take on someone who has a record of walking out on jobs or getting fired. No matter why you left your last job, couch your response in positive terms, without lying.

8. Please explain why you have a gap in your employment history?
With this question, the employer’s looking for any problems in your personal life that might become his headache if he hires you. Explain your gaps honestly, leaning on activities that support your job objective, if that’s possible. If you don’t have anything to say that’s relevant, then talk about activities that show your strength of character and helped you know what you really want to do next: the job you’re interviewing for.

9. Of all the problems you had at your previous position, which was the hardest to deal with?
What a sneaky question! “Of all the problems”… don’t fall for it. Don’t let on that you had lots of problems, even if you did. Instead, refer briefly to an area you—and probably the rest of the world—find challenging, and move right on to how you’ve learned to deal with it. Try to always be solution oriented in what you say.

10. What project required you to work under pressure? And what were the results?
How you respond to this question will tell the interviewer whether or not you like working under pressure. Be honest and positive. All jobs bring with them a certain amount of pressure, but some have a lot more than others. So give an example where the level of pressure was just right for you, which will suggest how much pressure you’re looking for on your next job.

11. What college experience are you especially proud of?
If you haven’t been in the workforce long, this question is your opportunity to give balance to the fact that you don’t have much paid experience. Spotlight your academic and extracurricular achievements, especially the ones that are relevant to your job objective.

12. What classes or training are you planning to pursue at this point?
This one’s tricky. You want to look dedicated to developing your profession but you don’t want to appear to have so much going on that you won’t be 100 percent on the job. Make it clear that your number one priority is your job; developing your profession is second.

Your success depends on how well you respond to these and other similar questions and may the force be with you!