How to prepare for senior-level interviews

You might think that senior-level interviews may not be as rigorous a process as interviews for individual contributor positions. However, senior and c-suite interviews are often even more arduous due to the importance and broad impact senior hires can have. The Talent Consultants, a recruitment agency and talent acquisition consultant in Ho Chi Minh, has had vast experience recruiting and working with high-level executives, and we want to help them make the most out of their interviews. In this blog, we discuss how interviews differ, and how you can best prepare for your senior-level interview.

How different can senior-level interviews get?

Generally, there’s more due diligence involved when hiring a future Senior Leader, Group Manager, or c-suite employee. Recruiters engage in more intensive screening with candidates to ensure they’re appropriate for the roles. Companies often require psychometric assessments to see how aligned a candidate is with the role requirements, as well as the company’s culture, and management team. Ability testing could include Verbal, Numerical or Inductive reasoning, and personality profiling is also often conducted to better understand a candidate’s drivers and likes and dislikes. It’s important to note that personality profiling is not a reflection of ability, and any testing or assessments should be conducted and interpreted only by those trained in the tools used.

Unlike individual contributor employees, senior-level candidates are not necessarily considered just for their specific skills, but also for their business acumen, strategic thinking and leadership capability. Senior-level candidates are also sometimes asked to make presentations or prepare business case studies for their interviews. There are also more people involved in recruiting top management executives – e.g. Board members of large corporates will most likely conduct panel interviews with candidates.

How to do well in your executive-level interview

Research

When being considered for the role, you have to know as many things as possible about what you may be stepping into. It’s important to clearly understand the responsibilities; the management team; the Board or Director/Owner structure; and the teams that are instrumental in bringing the products or services out to the market. Get to know the industry and keep a pulse on the trends that concern the company. Make the extra effort to know the statistics, revenue numbers, public reputation, and the culture and company values. Even before you step into the interview, you should arm yourself with nuanced knowledge of these different things. Remember that on top of your experience, your further understanding of the wider business and market makes for a better impression.

LinkedIn is a good source of knowledge. Follow the company you are interviewing for, review the profiles of the people who will be interviewing you, and review the company’s competitors. Utilise sites like Glassdoor and Indeed which can give you some insight to culture, as well as past and current employee reviews of the business and the CEO. Google search for relevant industry newsletters you can sign up for, and search for any online news articles that may have come out in the last 12 months. If the business is a Listed company, then they may have a separate investor website with a wealth of publicly available information such as Annual Reports, the company’s approach to CSR, and Diversity & Inclusion.

Prepare a list of questions that may have popped up as gaps in your knowledge about the company, and are important for you to understand as part of your decision-making process (should you move to offer stage in the future).

Use your network

To know more about the role and the company, first talk to your recruiter. Recruitment agencies and talent acquisition consultants in Ho Chi Minh will have valuable information that can help you excel at your interview. Whether it’s talking points; what your approach should be; or topics you should further research on; your recruiter will have a lot to share to ensure that you have a better chance of getting hired.

You should also reach out to your personal network who might have industry insights that can guide you. Ask them what salient points you should focus on, and for any specific information they can share about the company or the industry. If they have personal experiences working with people who will interview you, they might suggest ideas on how to communicate effectively with them.

Capitalising on the network you’ve cultivated over the years will get you far along in the process and will ensure that you are building the right foundation for when you eventually join the company.

Enter the interview with confidence

When you are finally meeting with the hiring managers, top management, or the Board, confidently establish your knowledge, experience, and leadership. By articulating what you know against what they need, you are making a great case for yourself. Be ready to give examples of your previous achievements, and highlight your strengths in helping a company achieve its vision and strategy. Remember that you are already a talented individual, and you want to convince them that you will be an even better asset in their company. Remember any type of interview is a two-way process and do ensure that your key questions are answered during the process. At this level you are effectively interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.

Recruitment agency in Ho Chi Minh

A recruitment agency or talent acquisition consultant in Ho Chi Minh will be your advantage when being considered for senior-level roles. The Talent Consultants have years of experience placing senior candidates in great careers, and can offer you the kind of help and guidance you will need to land your ideal role.

We have strong experience recruiting all kinds of professionals, across a variety of industries. Talk to The Talent Consultants to know how you can benefit from receiving professional recruitment and HR advice today. For a confidential discussion, please email matthew@thetalentconsultants.com.