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Checklist to Crack an Interview for a Senior Position
An interview always brings butterflies to your stomach; no matter how many of them you have attended and successfully cracked, yet the nervous jitters are the same. Especially if you are considering to appear for an interview for a senior position, you have no choice but to be thoroughly prepared so that your performance is outstanding, and thereby you stand from the rest of the applicants.
Though the ultimate intent of an interview, is recruitment, yet the approach that each person appearing for the interview should have, ought to be varied for different positions. That is to say, if you are interviewing for a senior level position, your questions and appeal towards the entire process will be distinct from an entry-level candidate. Your experience will be your added advantage at such a level, and that is what you have to use intelligently to emerge victoriously. What then should you do and not do in an interview of this sort?
Be honest – this as I always say, is undoubtedly, the best policy, irrespective of any position. Keeping it real, helps you avert uncomfortable situations that lower your confidence and make it visible to your potential recruiter. This honesty is not only towards the recruiter but to yourself as well. Before you do any other preparations for the interview, understand for yourself whether you truly want this job, and how it fits into your greater professional goal. How will you do that? A research on the vision and mission of the company, its working ethics and other little details that you can gather about them, would be the way you can make sure whether this piece fits into your career’s jigsaw puzzle.
Make your storytelling skill strong – mind you; this is not the same as ‘story making’! Storytelling refers to the way you narrate your professional journey thus far. When you are at an interview for a senior position, as I said earlier, it is but obvious you have some experience in the particular field; hence you have to be prepared for the recruiter to ask you about it. Being equipped with which points of your career you want to highlight and designing the narrative accordingly will be one of the home works, you will need to do beforehand. Employ the ERH(Example, Result, in Hindsight) technique during narration.
Alternatively, use the STAR methodology of a resume while storytelling – Situation, Task, Action, Result. It is a proven method of adding credibility to your story; you do not sound vague, and the recruiter can clearly comprehend the areas where you have excelled and then eventually discern how aptly you qualify for the position.
Prepare your answer sheet – this probably is the most important part of your preparation, you should be prepared with the answers to all the probable questions. Don’t worry; you do not have to learn them by heart, as you would in school, but have an idea about all that you should include in a particular answer. This will help you in keeping up the confidence, which in turn will be reflected through your body language. Since this is a senior level position, you are contending for, beware and prepared to answer deep and tough questions. Also, while hiring the recruiters do not only concentrate on the technical knowledge of the individual, they will be interested in your interests and outside work life as well. Say, for example, if you have worked as a volunteer at any place or not, or participated in any social gathering of reputation, and similar other things. This they ask to determine your attitude and leadership qualities, it helps them in discerning the most eligible candidate for the position.
So much for what you should do, but hang on, knowing what you should not do is equally important. Therefore here goes…..
Never get defensive – positivity will help you at all times in an interview, so learn how to tackle difficult and probing questions. Take everything with a smile and answer smartly, not curtly. If there have been flaws in the past, accept them and let your recruiters know what is your take away from that mistake and how you recovered from it. Your willingness to become better should get across to the interviewer.
Don’t be overconfident – confidence is a vital aspect and requirement at an interview for a senior position, but that should be in limitation. Because when you become overconfident about something, you will surely end up making some grave mistake. So stay calm and cool and answer only as much is asked and in the most polite manner. You may have worked at a prestigious position earlier, but when you are sitting on the seat of the one being interviewed, you are equal to all other applicants present there. Hence be humble.
Do not linger too much on why you left the previous job – this is an inevitable question in an interview of this category; so remember not to say that you left your last job because it was boring. Instead turn it around by saying that you did not find it challenging anymore and thus preferred looking for something that would provide you with the same, and that is why you have landed up here for the interview.
These pointers should be enough for you to sail smoothly through an interview for a senior position.
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