Whether you’ve recently participated in an executive interview or have one coming up, it’s important to keep a balanced perspective. Rather than a straight-up interrogation, it is a chance for both parties to evaluate the fit with the other. Executive interviews are a two-way street. Both the company and the candidate need to make an educated decision as to whether or not they would like to proceed with a professional relationship.
While it’s easy to get caught up in preparing your introduction, talking points, and responses to questions, don’t forget to examine your surroundings and pay attention to cues from your interviewers. Not every executive interview you attend will be a slam dunk, and some of the hesitations may be on your end as the candidate. If you are a CEO, COO, CFO, CMO, CDO, CSO, CRO, CIO, CTO, CISO, SVP, VP, Director, or other CXO/C-Suite executive getting ready for your next executive interview, keep an eye out for the following warning signs.
5 Red Flags Your Executive Interview is Going Wrong
- Vague or inconsistent information. The inability to answer your questions with precise detail or different people giving you different information could indicate a lack of effective communication throughout the organization.
- Misaligned job description. Review the job description of the role before going in for the interview. If you get to the interview and are blindsided by a conversation about a completely different job, it could indicate poor stakeholder management, internally and externally.
- Internal conflict. If your executive interview involves a panel of interviewers, pay attention to how they treat each other and interact. If they talk over, interrupt, undermine, or otherwise disrespect each other, that is a red flag.
- Questions that don’t relate to job performance. Interviewers should not dig for information about your age, sex/gender, race, health history, etc. Questions of this nature indicate that the organization tolerates discrimination and poor behavior.
- An interviewer who tries to manipulate a candidate in an executive interview is a huge red flag. Don’t join forces with an organization that tells you you’re a better fit for a lower-level role than what you applied for or that your experience doesn’t translate to their environment.
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