5 Interview Questions you must Master

Whether you haven’t interviewed for a job in a decade or if you interviewed just last week, you may not know the “whys” of interview questions and the selection process most organizations use to hire the best talent.

In a previous post, I shared a little known fact  (I don’t believe in keeping secrets) based on my 25 years in Talent Management for top Fortune 200 companies.  There are truly only three questions to a typical interview though they may take the form of many and be asked in different ways.the 5 questions you must master to ace the interview

Now I turn your attention to 5 common questions that are asked and are critical to you being seen as a viable contender for the position to which you applied. At this point, your resume has been screened by computer  “eyes” as well as a human recruiter.  You may have been through a telephone interview, simulation test, behavioral assessment and panel interview.  Now you sit across from the person who you hope will be your next manager and you have this one (and only) opportunity to answer these Continue reading

Show them you’re ready for a management role

Are you ready to take your career to the next level –  manager, director or even the C-suite?   If so, you must prove that you are the most compelling candidate and stand out as the clear choice.  How?  leadership materials

  • Speak to your past accomplishments
  • Translate your achievements to fit the needs of the organization 
  • Be prepared with your vision and strategy 

The leadership interview experience is far different from what you have had in the past.

 

And you thought your prior job interviews were grueling…………

 

Executive interview 2What’s critical for your success?

  • Deep knowledge of the industry
  • Business acumen
  • Analytical skills
  • Emotional Intelligence

Beyond these, though, a leader candidate is expected to demonstrate the following:

  • Executive Branding
    • What are your strengths?
    • What are your values?
    • What do you do better than anyone else?
    • What differentiates you?
  • The interview process is longer and more complex
    • Day long interview agendas are typical and include interviewing with individuals, panels and over lunch and/or dinner
  • Your leadership may be “tested” with problem solving exercises, simulations and case studies – especially if chosen as a finalist
  • Be proactive and share your 30-60-90 day plan even if not asked
    • Present what you would do the first 30 days, 60 days and 90 days
    • This requires a deep understanding of the prospective organization, its challenges and its competition
    • Your plan reveals your priorities and your forecast of success milestones
  • Research, research, research is essential to be able to answer the interview questions
  • The questions you ask will reveal your preparation for the interview as well as your knowledge, creativity and grasp of the position’s role in the organization

management office

Other expectations as you progress up the career ladder:

  • Impressive on-line foot print
    • What does your Google search look like?
    • Do you have leadership presence on LinkedIn?
    • Linked in connections – who do you know and who knows you?
  • Thought leadership
    • Have you shared knowledge and best practices with colleagues in your field or industry?
      • Linkedin group discussions
      • Linkedin updates
    • Are you discoverable in other online searches?
      • Publications
      • Presentations
      • Organizations and affiliations
    • Awards and honors recognizing your contributions
  • Emotional Intelligence is often the deciding factor when you face stiff competition and most of the candidates have similar work experience to yours. Employers interview and hire for individuals who are: 
    • Agile and adaptive to change
    • Stress tolerant
    • Resilient

Job seekers competing for leadership positions must know and be prepared for a long and arduous process, convey an executive presence and succeed at proving that they are worthy of being selected.

 

Interested in reading more about job search and career success, career branding, resumes and linked in profiles that  get you noticed, and acing interviews?  Check out more than 60 articles on http://www.CareerWisdomCoach.com or contact Patricia@CareerWisdomCoach.com

 

 

Brand your way to a Career Change

How to showcase your Brand when changing careers

Sandra had been in banking operations for a decade, was very successful and was given professional development opportunities through rotational assignments.  One of them was in the corporate recruiting department and, as she explained it, “Even though I liked working with bank customers on resolving issues and providing solutions, this was different.  I couldn’t wait to get to work on Monday morning when I worked as a Recruiter.  I discovered my passion and now I want to change professions.”

Reinvent your resume – Brand it!

Plan for your Career Change

Plan for your Career Change

  • We revamped her resume by de-emphasizing the financial operations verbiage and adding words and phrases based on her HR and recruiting experience.
  • We also focused on the transferable skills gained while in banking operations. Sandra hired new bank tellers, trained them and authored a new on boarding program for all new hires.  She was also part of a select team who were selected to interview job candidates  once HR had screened them.  We highlighted those examples, resulting in a resume which was clearly “branded” as HR vs. Banker.  Those changes in keywords proved to be critical when she applied for an HR Recruiter position a month later.

What if you are not Changing Careers – How to Brand

Your resume’s job is to create a story of what you have done, how you want to be seen and the value you bring to a potential organization.  A branded resume ensures that

Continue reading

There is a Career for every Personality

And it is possible to find yours.  Meet the Career Match Maker.

Cindy came to me, a burned out high school teacher of honors English students.  First a lawyer, then teacher for 12 years, Cindy was practically in tears describing her frustration at still not finding a career that was just right for her.  I reassured she was not alone and suggested the Myers Briggs Assessment as a starting point for me to help her with her Career Exploration.  Using other career assessments, she identified her key career strengths and interests as well as her preferences. That was almost a year ago.  Now, she is a communications specialist working for a large financial services company and is so happy because, as she says, “I am doing what I love to do, in an environment that is just right for me: learning new things, researching and I have just the right amount of people  contact – not much.”  I heard her giggle as she emphasized the last two words.

Then there is Rafael, who moved to the U.S. from Central America, where he worked as a financial analyst for his family business.  When we first talked, he told me he needed help with his resume and linked in profile in order to find a job doing what he loves most – talking to people all day to help them solve problems. Rafael is now a successful real estate account broker for an upscale boutique realtor.

Both Cindy and Rafael’s career changes were made possible, in part, by one of the most popular personality assessments in the world:  Myers Briggs or MBTI for short.

Even though the Myers Briggs assessment was not designed exclusively as a Career assessment, is it no surprise that if 1.5 million people take the Myers Briggs assessment each year, and many

Continue reading

Hired or Not? Emotional Intelligence can make the difference

Emotional Intelligence often is the “final” factor

If you are like most job seekers, when you read “strong people skills” and “strong technical skills” in a job posting, you may tend to gloss over the first to focus on selling your technical talent and experience to the prospective employer.  In fact, we often refer to people skills as the “soft” skills and that sounds secondary to anything else we might possess. WRONG!

More and more companies hire for attitude because they have been burned when hiring purely for technical skills and knowledge.  What seemed like a dream candidate turned out, occasionally, to be a problem employee who was not successful.

Hired or Not?

Hired or Not?

Organizations often use behavioral interview questions which are founded on Emotional Intelligence, referred to as the “Other Kind of Smart” like Harvey Deutschendorf and Daniel Goleman. The latter wrote a book, Emotional Intelligence:  Why It Can Matter More than IQ which soared to the top of the New York Times bestseller list for a year.  Additionally, some companies use Continue reading

Take the Mystery out of the Hidden Job Market

hidden-job-market-

Solve the Puzzle of the Hidden Job Market

I remember reading the Nancy Drew books, as a young girl, and was fascinated when I learned the “Secret of the Hidden Door” and other mysteries. If you are a job seeker, one of the biggest mysteries of our time is the Hidden Job Market.

It is estimated that 80% of job openings are not posted.  This is called the hidden job market.  As frustrating as it is, there are legitimate reasons why so many positions are not advertised on job boards or publicly . Your job is to understand why and know where you can find them.

Let’s Start with Why

There are many reasons why an organization may not advertise a position.  Here are some:

  • The position is not yet budgeted or approved
  • Due to pending mergers, reorganizations or acquisitions, an official announcement of an opening would be premature
  • The employer is replacing someone currently in the position and whose departure has not been finalized
  • A variety of reasons may require a confidential search       man-at-desk-overwhelmed-with-a-stack-paper-300x300

The most common reason, though, is  SHEER VOLUME.  Posting a position on a major job board  Continue reading

Invasion of the “Networking Thoughts Snatchers”

Though I look forward to and enjoy networking events, it was not always the case.  I remember feeling like a fish out of water or a stranger in a foreign land when attending a job fair or professional networking event and not knowing how to act, what to say and even how to stand.

Networking may not appear to be a natural thing; it can seem contrived and less than authentic.  But that doesn’t have to be true.  Let’s  take a step back and think about WHY we are attending the event, whether it be a career fair or your first meeting at a professional organization.

PREPARE:           networking and can't remember names

  1. Know your audience
  2. Know your purpose
  3. Anticipate conversations or questions

Don’t Worry; Everyone Has These Strange Thoughts

Don’t let the Thought Gremlins invade and distract. And they can get to anyone. A client of mine, with an outstanding sense of humor, shared some of the thoughts she had during her recent  job search. Continue reading

Fascinate Others with your Linked In Profile

Do you paint outside the lines with Linked In?

When you were a child, did you carefully color inside the lines or did your colors sometimes stray beyond the boundaries?  There are so many guidelines and rules to remember when writing your resume (i.e. two page maximum, ATS requirements for strict formatting of dates of employment and its lack of forgiveness if any of those, largely unknown, rules are broken – “in the Block Hole” your resume goes).  Paint outside the lines on linked ain and be creative

 

But Linked In beckons our creative genius to unleash creative opportunities to tell our story and showcase our awesomeness to the world. Sadly, though, many Linked In profiles fall victim to the resume rut and Continue reading

Career Change? What Does Your Inner Child Say?

There’s a lot of talk about finding your life’s passion.  Webinars and books abound but everyone has a different path to finding a career passion.

How about you?childhood career dreams

Should you pursue your passion?

Do you KNOW your passion?

Are you experiencing the joy of using your strengths daily in your work and knowing the exhilaration that comes from knowing you are doing what you are meant to do?

For those of you who don’t relate, I understand.  I didn’t truly discover what I was best at and what my passion was until 5 years ago, some twenty five years into a career that was successful by most peoples’ standards.

Nobody should wait that long.

And that’s why I do what I do as a career coach.

In discovering your best career options and what to do in your next career chapter, you need to answer these questions:

Continue reading

Stumped When Asked “What are your Strengths & Weaknesses”?

Identify your Strengths through Obstacles & Failures

There is a lot of talk about knowing your strengths, leveraging your strengths and sharing your strengths toward career success.  If you have been interviewing for a new job recently, you were probably asked to explain your strengths and weaknesses, usually one of the hardest questions for job seekers to answer.

Several best sellers have been published which promise a method for you to identify your

ID your Strengths gained by past challenges

ID your Strengths gained by past challenges

strengths by answering a quiz or series of questions about yourself.  These are all quite good but you might still come up empty when asked the question during an interview and you cannot come across with a text book answer; you have to be authentic.  You have to be you!  When coaching job seekers, I ask them a question that results in a quizzical look on their faces.

“Let’s talk about the last huge obstacle or challenge you faced at work.”  But, they usually respond, “I thought you wanted to know my strength.”  Continue reading