A meeting with a big-time company executive can be daunting. Use these tips to keep your cool.
Everyone seeks more influence at work. They want to become leaders – to do something great with the career they are given, and be well-liked by those around them.
However, prior to securing an executive-level position, it’s imperative that you learn how to interview with senior management – it’s a different game than when you were in the lower ranks. Below, you’ll find four strategies for interviewing with C-level personnel in an effective, calm manner that instills confidence and increases likability.
Paint a picture of success
Don’t be intimidated when the interviewer discusses unresolved issues that will come up at the new company. Rather, stay calm and note that hurdles exist to be jumped over. Effectiveness is a highly desired trait, so emphasize that your thought process is one geared towards solutions rather than fixating on problems. After all, a hurdle is just another obstacle that hasn’t been conquered.
While you want to be honest about the amount of work necessary for overcoming the company’s obstacles, you don’t want to appear daunted or intimidated. Make sure to maintain a “been there, done that” type of mentality. Recognize that achieving the discussed goals will take work, discipline and willpower.
Persuade through stories of personal experiences
As a job seeker, you are not going to convince a senior-level hiring manager that you possess the traits necessary for success by stating outright that you are intelligent, resilient, optimistic, motivational or competent. Rather, to effectively persuade the hiring manager, vividly discuss instances in which you displayed these behavioral facets. Allow the executive to come to their own conclusions.
Turn distractions off hours prior to the interview
In a 2005 study, Psychologist Dr. Glenn Wilson discovered that persistent interruptions and distractions in the workplace (or, in this case, while interviewing) had a profoundly negative effect on our ability to be productive. The study found that excessive use of email, social media, text messaging and online video scrambled our brain to the tune of losing 10 IQ points and hindering short term memory. (For reference, your body loses about five IQ points from using marijuana.)
It is beneficial for the interviewee to spend the hours before the interview away from technology (or at least the internet), engaged in focused thinking. The break from online activities will allow the interviewee to think more optimistically and anticipate a beneficial outcome from the meeting.
Don’t be deterred by aggressive or rude behavior
Interviewees who are unable to adapt to dealing with difficult interviewers will forfeit a significant amount of potential earnings throughout their lifetime. For most, their fundamental flaw is that they personalize the thoughts of the interviewer too much.
For instance, if an interviewer alludes to the fact that they are interviewing many other candidates, a humble smile may be one of the best approaches. This calm demeanor is paramount to gain an advantage on competing interviewees. Many job seekers will immediately take offense to what is being said and will end up alienating the recruiter or hiring manager.
In business, the companies that hire the best employees are the companies that win. Remain calm and gain the hiring manager’s confidence by viewing the interviewing process in a more realistic, optimistic way. Think of the meeting as less of a stressful situation, and more of a collaborative conversation.