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Unique Ways to Stand Out at Executive Job Interviews

by Autumn St. John

It’s hard to stand out in today’s crowded executive job market, but it’s not impossible. You can land that job that everyone has been chasing. To do so, you must be prepared to be bold in your approach to the job interview. Think about what most executive job candidates don’t do, and then think about how you can do these things in your interview.

Show Your Passion

By the time professionals reach executive level, they may be jaded from the rat race. You, however, will only be interviewing for work that you can get genuinely passionate about and that you’re still highly motivated to do. Show the interviewers just how passionate you are about the executive role they’re offering. Lean forward slightly, make regular eye contact and include inflections in your tone of voice to convince them that you’re fully engaged in the conversation. If they’ve spent the day interviewing candidates who kept checking their PDAs and spoke in a monotone, your approach will be a breath of fresh air.

Give Concise Answers

It’s common for an interviewee to give long answers, especially if she is at a point in her career where she has lots of life and work experience to showcase. However, longer doesn’t automatically mean better. By limiting each of your answers to 60 seconds, you’ll stand out as the candidate who didn’t drone on for ages. You’ll also be seen as someone who recognizes and respects the interview process as the two-way conversation it is, not as a chance to be pushy and sell yourself for as long as possible. If your interviewers need you to elaborate on an answer, they’ll say so.

Broaden Your Focus

The average executive job candidate usually only talks about himself and the role he is interviewing for. If he has done his research on the employer organization, he may also remember to demonstrate his knowledge of it. What most job-seekers don’t talk about is the global outlook of the company’s sector. To excel in a high-powered executive role you must be willing to address the business’s position in and relationship with its industry’s global markets. Read up on your sector’s condition worldwide and watch the news every day to see if industry issues come up. Reflect on where your potential employer fits into the global picture and be prepared to offer your thoughts on this in the interview.

Extend the Conversation

Job interviewees typically fall into the trap of waiting for a chance to bring up a specific skill or area of experience they have, not getting the chance and then just meekly leaving the room when the interviewer says the meeting is at an end. There’s no reason why you have to be like them. If there’s a point that you’ve been wanting to raise but the interviewer is drawing the discussion to a close, simply ask if you can share one more thing with them -- and then do so.

About the Author

Based in London, Autumn St. John has been writing career- and business-related articles since 2007. Her work has appeared in the "Guardian" and "Changing Careers" magazine. St. John holds a Master of Arts in Russian and East European literature and culture from University College London, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in modern history from the University of Oxford.

Photo Credits

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