Wednesday, June 22, 2022

How To Interview An Executive

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If An Angry Person Called And Demanded To Speak With The Executive You Support Who Is Currently Unavailable How Would You Handle It

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Executive assistants typically act as gatekeepers for the higher-ups they support. On occasion, that means taking calls for people who are upset, or even irate, and are demanding to be put through to the executive. The hiring manager wants to know that you can diffuse the situation quickly and effectively.

EXAMPLE ANSWER:

First, I would focus on remaining calm and professional. My goal would be to deescalate the conflict and provide a reasonable solution. I would begin by taking a thorough message. While collecting details, I would address the caller by name to reassure them that I have that in the message. Similarly, I would repeat back what is told to me in a new way to confirm I fully captured the nature of the message to ensure we are on the same page. Lastly, I would recite the callers name and contact information a final time and reassure them that the executive will respond to their message before the call ends. If the caller isnt satisfied with that approach, I would see if a suitable person is available to take the call based on the nature of the callers issue.

Do You Have Any Experience Budgeting

As you know, budgeting is another key component of an executive director role. So, its another area of experience youll need to directly address during the interview stages.

How competent is this candidate when it comes to assessing the financial health of a business? Finding someone whos experienced in managing the finances will be important for the bottom line and overall well-being of the nonprofit.

There Are No Generic Answers To Leadership Interview Questions But There Are Themes You Can Prepare For

However, specific themes can be expected in many management and leadership interview scenarios and, as Andrew Guy a board member with global executive search firm Friisberg & Partners explains such questions:

are open goals and should be thought through fully and hammered into the back of the net when/if asked. Because they can be expected, they can and should be dealt with very deftly. Conversely, fumbling for an answer to any of them looks really bad.

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What The Interviewer Wants To Know

Interviewers are looking to get a sense of your leadership style and how it will fit in with company culture. Some companies may look for leaders who are autocratic while others may value a more motivational, coach-like style.

You can expect to receive a lot of questions concerning how you would manage employees . Plus, interviewers will inquire about how you would implement change.

As well as getting a sense of your management and leadership skills, interviewers will also be looking for insight into your communication skills.

Sales Executive Interview Questions

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Sales executives are on the front lines of sales operations. Great candidates are outgoing with some sales or customer service experience. Industry-specific knowledge isnt critical but it might help you during the initial screening.

The following questions can give you ideas on how to conduct interviews. Find out if candidates possess a pleasant personality, confidence and presentation skills. Ask them to sell you something to see them in action. For experienced executives, their past work will give you insight into their knowledge of sales techniques, their persistence and competitiveness. The best among them will show an interest in your products and be enthusiastic about selling them.

Depending on the company, the title might also refer to people in charge of the sales department. Interviews in this case should be geared towards knowledge of the field, strategizing and leadership.

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Can You Recall The First Three Questions Of This Interview

This is a really tricky one. Many candidates will simply hear a question and regurgitate an answer on the spot. While that answer might sound good, it can often be a reactive, rehearsed response and, by asking them to recall the first three interview questions, you test to see if they have been an engaged listener in the interview or if they have simply been reacting.

Interviews are stressful situations, but someone in an executive role will face worse. Thats why its essential that you identify who is capable of engaging in the meeting and not just answering off the top of their head.

When we are actively engaged in an interaction, depending on the length, its easy to recall the beginning. In an interview, this should be no different. This may be a little different from more conventional interview questions but it can be very effective at finding the most attentive, perceptive executives.

Leadership Behavioral Interview Questions

  • Tell me about a time when you and your team faced challenging odds. How did you keep them engaged and motivated to overcome the situation and succeed?
  • Explain a time when you had to promote an idea or project to a group. How did you go about persuading them?
  • Give me an example of a method you have used to successfully encourage/motivate your staff.
  • Describe a time when an employee came to you with a complaint. What did you do? What was the outcome?
  • Describe a time when you confronted an employee whose results were inadequate.
  • Describe a time when you had to deal with difficult or unmotivated staff. How did you motivate them or improve their attitude?
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    Can You Give Me An Example In Your Previous Position Where You Had To Make A Critical Judgment Call

    As was already mentioned, executive assistants do so much more than basic administrative tasks. Thats why having exceptional decision-making skills is so important.

    They might be asked to help develop creative solutions to pressing problems, make last-minute decisions, or be responsible for developing methods for completing projects.

    Don’t Overlook Your Life Outside Of Work

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    The executive hiring committee isn’t just looking for a brain with the right technical knowledge. Your personality, interests, and values will shape other people’s experience of working for the company . Expect that some of the interview questions will attempt to tease out who you are as a human. From volunteering, to giving back through professional chapter and association participation and leadership, to sharing education via a podcast, think about how you spend your personal time and what your choices can signal to your prospective employer.

    Here is a handful of questions to be prepared for:

    • What do you do outside of work?

    • What accomplishment outside of work are you most proud of and why?

    • How would you want to be remembered?

    Keep in mind that not every personal question is appropriate. Illegal interview questions can happen during an interview at any level, so know the law and your rights.

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    Purpose Of Top Executive Meetings

    When you meet with a top executive, it might be because you will be working directly under that person, but it also might occur because a department head or C-suite executive wants to see if you have management potential, in addition to your technical skills. In this situation, you have most likely already been vetted for your knowledge, skills, experience and competencies that directly relate to performing the technical aspects of the job.

    An executive will want to know about your soft skills, those necessary for managing people, projects and departments. Soft skills are used by executives in every department, which means a human resources director needs the same soft skills as a marketing director or an IT director.

    Tell Me About A Project That Forced You To Be Innovative And Creative

    According to a CareerBuilder survey, twenty-one percent of employers want to hire candidates with strong creative-thinking. Chances are, CEOs will ask candidates how they can push the envelope in their positions once hired.

    What to include in your answer:

    Talk about a project where you were forced to think outside of the box and utilize your resourcefulness. This helps CEOs understand your willingness to take risks and try new things.

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    What Do You Hope To Accomplish Within The Next Year

    One of the most important things CEOs want to know about a candidate is what youre going to accomplish once hired for the position.

    What to include in your answer:

    Tell the employer about your vision as an employee for their company. The interviewer already knows youre qualified for the position now you need to explain how youll help their company reach the next level.

    Talk about a combination of your skills and strengths that will bring you success as an employee. You should also reference previous accomplishment stories that would support your vision for this job.

    Questions You Can Ask During Your Interview

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    • What are you looking for in an ideal candidate for this position?
    • How would I be measured?
    • What challenges would I have to tackle first?
    • What are the next steps?
    • Tell me more about the team I would be managing.
    • Which departments would my role intersect with the most?
    • What do you like about working here?
    • What are the companys goals for the next five years?
    • How are new employees onboarded?
    • What is the company culture like?
    • Questions based on your research.
    • What are the people Ill be supervising like?
    • How does the company deal with changing priorities?
    • Why is this position open?
    • What do you expect the person in this role to accomplish in the next six months and beyond?

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    Getting Ready For The Interview

    This first section is to help candidates get prepared. If youre the one doing the interviewing, feel free to skip below directly to the questions you should be asking.

    If youre still with me, there are two things I want you to do in advance of your interview.

    1. Write the Announcement of Your Hire

    This will help you figure out how you want to position yourself in the context of what will please the board.

    Think about it. Hiring an Executive Director is the most important decision a board makes. And when your hire is announced, the board wants to look good. They want the community your organization serves, its volunteers and donors to see that they rocked the search.

    So draft the statement they will send out. It doesnt need to be perfect There will be holes. Thats fine.

    Dont forget to include a quote you would love to see in your announcement from the board chair or maybe even the previous ED.

    After you draft, make some notes. What made you smile? What made you proud? What do you wish was stronger? What do you see as gaps?

    2. Figure Out Your Key Messaging

    Ive had the benefit of media training

    As you prepare for any interview, regardless of length and regardless of what questions you are asked, what are the 3-4 main things you want the listener to remember about you?

    Yes regardless of the questions asked.

    You need to control the interview and the key messages you want the search committee to remember.

    What do you want them to remember? To know? To feel? To think?

    How To Answer Executive Assistant Interview Questions

    You know that nailing your executive assistant interviewquestion answers is essential. If you dont impress the hiring manager quickly,you probably wont land the job. It is really that simple.

    Now, this doesnt mean you should panic. Far from it.Understanding how important your answers are can actually be incrediblymotivating and even empowering. You just have to be ready to do what it takesto stand out.

    So, youre ready to do what it takes youre willing tolearn all you need to know.

    Now what?

    Well, its strategy time!

    First things first, in case you didnt know or are transitioning from one to the other, an executive assistant and an administrative assistant are two different things.

    Usually, an executive assistant position is considered a higher-level position. The focus is on supporting company higher-ups and the duties are generally elevated while administrative assistants typically provide general support to an entire department or office.

    Why does that difference matter? Because it means youll face different kinds of questions. You need to adjust your expectations based on the nature of the role. If you dont, youll struggle.

    Okay, with that out of the way, its time to dig in. When you are trying to figure out the best way to answer executive interview questions, having a formula is the way to go. What is that magic formula? The strategies to trump all others? A combination of the STAR and Tailoring Methods.

    MIKE’S TIP:

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    What Best Practices Do You Use When Coordinating Travel Arrangements

    Executive assistants might be asked to make travel arrangements for their bosses from time to time. Lots of go into booking a trip. Thats particularly true if unexpected problems raise their ugly head.

    They need to be able to create a travel schedule that fits their supervisors and the enterprises needs while being able to smooth over any hiccups that arise.

    For example, if a preferred flight is unavailable, or a chosen hotel doesnt have a vacancy on the day of the trip. Another example is booking a flight without too many layovers. The company is paying for the executives time, even if they sit in an airport for hours waiting for the next flight.

    Be Ready To Answer Tough Interview Questions

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    When interviewing for an executive position, the stakes are quite high.

    If you do get the position, your decisions will have an impact on the companys bottom line as well as the trajectories of the lives of people working under you.

    When interviewing for such a position, the interviewer has to do their best to make sure that they hire the best person for the job.

    In order to learn as much as possible about you within the short time an interview allows for, you can expect that the interviewers will ask tough questions that will help them get a glimpse into your personality, , thinking processes, values, and so on.

    The questions will also be trying to assess how well you will fit into the organizational culture and the management team.

    Some of the questions you might be asked include:

    • Can you describe your management style for us?
    • What is that one mistake you made in your professional life that you wish you could go back and fix?
    • Have you ever been part of a team that failed on a project it was working on?
    • How do you manage conflict?
    • Have you ever had your work criticized by your boss? What happened?
    • Whats the most significant change you ever went through in your career? How did you handle the change?

    Questions about failure are especially very common when interviewing with C level executives.

    Anyone can talk about their strengths, but it takes a person who is truly confident in themselves to talk about their failures and weaknesses.

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    Whether Youre Being Interviewed To Be An Intern Or A Ceo Youre Going To Run Into A Few Notoriously Tricky Questionsheres A Road Map Of What Youll Be Asked And How To Craft Impressive Answers To Even The Toughest Questions

    No two situations are ever exactly the same, but as a general guide, these are the types of questions that could come up in a typical interview.

    1. Why dont you tell me about yourself?

    This question, often the interview opener, has a crucial objective: to see how you handle yourself in unstructured situations. The recruiter wants to see how articulate you are, how condent you are, and generally what type of impression you would make on the people with whom you come into contact on the job. The recruiter also wants to learn about the trajectory of your career and to get a sense of what you think is important and what has caused you to perform well.

    Most candidates nd this question a difcult one to answer. However, the upside is that this question offers an opportunity to describe yourself positively and focus the interview on your strengths. Be prepared to deal with it.

    There are many ways to respond to this question correctly and just one wrong way: by asking, What do you want to know? You need to develop a good answer to this question, practice it, and be able to deliver it with poise and condence.

    The right response is twofold: focus on what interests the interviewer, and highlight your most important accomplishments.

    Focus on what interests the interviewer

    Highlight Important Accomplishments

    Stories are powerful and are what people remember most.

    2. How long have you been with your current employer?

    3. What is your greatest weakness?

    6. What are your strengths?

    What Can You Tell Me About Yourself That Isnt In Your Cv

    This helps you gain more insight into the candidates personality, aside from what they wanted you to know in their CV. It helps to dive deeper into what they are like as a person beyond the standard resume content.

    A good candidate will tailor their CV to match the job description, so its a good idea to challenge them to think of something that they didnt think to include. It might even be something that appeals to you and youll be glad that you asked

    The best candidates, the ones who have a lot to offer, wont be able to fit all of their qualities in their application and will have plenty more to share with you beyond the four corners of their curriculum vitae.

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    Operational And Situational Questions

    • Describe the training that you have and how it relates to this position.
    • In your experience, how does food cost factor into menu creation?
    • What is your involvement with Purchasing and Receiving?
    • List some of your favorite food vendors and why you like to with them.
    • What foods do you like to pair together and why?
    • How does your winter menu differ from your spring menu?
    • How do you control the quality of the food that goes out to customers?
    • How do you take ownership over customers experience of your restaurant?
    • What do you do when customers request ingredient substitutions?
    • How do you handle special diets ?
    • Recall a time you handled a situation with a disappointed customer.
    • How do you keep labor costs under control?
    • Describe your approach to hiring staff. What do you look for?
    • Recall a time that you fired someone. Why did you do it?
    • How involved are you in managing your cooks?
    • Describe your experience with multicultural and multilingual teams.
    • Recall a time you resolved a conflict with a difficult employee.
    • Recall someone who you have trained or mentored. Where did they start? Where are they now?
    • How would you improve our establishment?

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