Preparation is critical before any executive job interview.
Entering the interview armed with knowledge not only differentiates you as a more informed and potentially valuable candidate, it will help ease you through this often most stressful aspect of executive job search.
Another big bonus: This kind of research will help you assess the company to satisfy your due diligence.
5 Ways and Places To Best Prepare for Your Executive Job Interviews
1. Look at Press Releases
Everything important that a company has recently done or is intending on doing in the near future likely warranted a press release. They’re essential reading for an executive candidate.
If you’re hired by this company, making decisions that impact the company’s ability to grow, change, or expand will be a part of your job.
Reviewing press releases shows that you’re already prepared. They’ll see that you know what you’re getting yourself into, and you’re ready to hit the ground running.
2. Understand Key Players
Knowing all the names of the c-suite players and Board members is not enough. You have to know their life stories.
- How did they first get their feet in the door?
- What colleges did they graduate from?
- What changes, new policies, new products, or new services did they help introduce?
- What direction do they want to take the company in within the next few years?
Read about these people like they’re your favorite movie stars or sports heroes. Get your stats and facts perfect. You might be presented with an opportunity to demonstrate that knowledge.
Researching the person you’ll be speaking to helps. Making a strong first impression is important.
If you know the basics about the person you’ll be speaking to, you’ll have the opportunity to find some common ground before the conversation even begins.
- Did you attend the same school?
- Have you both worked for the same company in the past?
- Check out the interviewer or recruiter’s LinkedIn profile to get a small glimpse.
3. Figure Out the Hierarchy
Every company has a slightly different structure, but those structures are likely to fall under four umbrellas, as outlined in an AllBusiness article:
- The simplistic flatarchy
- The complicated matrix
- The organized divisional structure
- The classic functional bureaucratic structure
Understanding the structure and the hierarchy within that structure will give you a clear picture as to how you fit in. You’ll know who you’ll be working with and who you’ll be in charge of.
Informational interviews − conversations with employees of the company − may be the best way to uncover this kind of company information.
4. Research Parent and Child Companies
Suppose you apply to work at the Blue Company and you have no idea they’re owned by the Red Company, who also owns the Purple Company and the Yellow Company.
The interview isn’t going to go well for you.
You might get promoted to a higher level position. You might be moved to a parent or child company.
Understanding where the company fits in the grand scheme of things and the full spectrum of other companies they’re attached to will give you a greater roadmap.
Knowing these things ahead of time helps – you might want to prove yourself as a competent executive and continue to seek more prestigious positions.
5. Memorize Missions and Values
As an executive, mission statements and company values are a crucial part of your work life. You need to know what these things are and uphold them every day.
You’re a leader. You’re expected to model and honor these statements in all things you do at work.
A big reason this research is important: You don’t want to accept a job only to discover that the company has values that conflict with yours, or a mission you can’t abide by. They may support philosophies or take political stances that oppose your own.
You’ll want to find out sooner rather than later, if a company isn’t a good fit for you, in whatever regard. Your research will help you make that determination.
More About Executive Job Interviews
Anna Ashmore is a woman of many talents. She is passionate about literature, sports, travel and education among many other things. She is also an amateur writer who hopes to make it big in the blog world. Professionally, Anna is a market research analyst at BusinessCheck and loves her job.