Recruiters and Interviewers are trained to look beyond the resume and interpret behavior that’s vital for the senior role to succeed in the organization. I have been fortunate enough to be in this field of human expertise for over two decades now and these are my observations and valuable learnings that I would like to share:
1. Passionate about the work the company does:
Candidates who are already passionate and excited about the company have won half the battle. It shows the interviewer the effort that the candidate has put in to map their interests and success that will come with it.
2. WHY, HOW, and WHAT:
Irrespective of the level of seniority, there is one simple question that you must be ready to answer, “why should we hire you?” If the candidates are clearly able to define why they are applying for this role, how do they plan to differentiate their work and what tasks they would take during this process. Talk with data to make it more meaningful for the listener. Focus on past results that were measurable. Ultimately, your application and your interview should be meaningful to the role, team and organization. Peel the onion in layers to talk about the level of value you would add to each of them.
When you are in a senior position and seeking a similar or higher role in another company, it is important that your application captures and tells the right story to your future employer. With the volume of applications that companies receive, they are constantly looking for the application that fits their needs. Many applicants do not take the time to research the company, role and make their story relevant to the job they’re applying for. Be REAL in this process!
3. Focus on behavior-based answers:
It’s not a secret anymore that every interviewer is checking your suitability based on behavior- based questions and responses during the interview process. As a candidate in a senior role, it is important that your responses are aligned to the expectations of the interviewer. Do not rush through the interview to cover everything that’s written in your resume. Instead, talk about your top competencies with examples and highlight the biggest wins you had.
4. It’s ok to talk about failures:
I also encourage you to talk about failure. Proactively prepare examples of when you failed and the learnings you had from it. How did that failure benefit you in the next project? What did you do to not repeat it and better the outcome? It takes a lot of courage to talk about failures and interviewers are certainly keen to understand your strategy of thinking and action in such situations.
5. In the digital world, be prepared to impress both virtually and in-person:
With the world becoming more digital, most of the interviews are virtual now. Dress up right for the interview, have your notes ready, try to have minimal distractions. Prepare the questions you would like to ask at the end. Stick to your time, don’t keep talking. All these show that you are serious about this opportunity.
6. Hiring for the future:
Most times the interviewer is looking not just to fill the current role, but to have talent that’s future ready. They are looking for the right attitude first, followed by competency and skill. Companies are clear on building talent versus buying talent. A good attitude goes a long way. Candidates who are honest and show the right attitude have higher chances of standing out.
If you're interested in receiving Tech/Professional services content directly to your inbox, sign up for our IT services newsletter here.