You’ve been studying and working all these years for this moment – the C-level interview. While you are preparing for the interview, you’re probably a little nervous, but you also know you have the experience and knowledge to be great at the job. Try these tips to polish your answers and nail the interview.
Prepare stories that showcase your leadership abilities
If you’ve gotten to this point in your career, you definitely possess some strong leadership skills. Think of two or three top stories that demonstrate these skills and be prepared to discuss them. When preparing for the interview, you’ll want to think of instances that demonstrate you’re confident taking charge in difficult situations and thinking outside the box to solve a problem. These stories should also detail your leadership style, explaining how you handle a team and how you envision leading in a C-level role.
If you’re interviewing at a new company, make sure your leadership style and these examples line up with the company values. As with any interview, do your research and choose examples that will resonate with your interviewer.
Have quantifiable results accompanying your experience
If you’re interviewing for a C-level position, chances are there will be some numbers involved with your previous experience. Interviewers want to hear the quantifiable results of your strategic leadership tactics.
Take a pause
When you’re well prepared for an interview, it may be tempting to jump into your response to a question, but don’t forget you can take the time to consider the question before rushing into an answer. “I’m looking for someone who asks good questions, who is thoughtful, who is analytical… They also don’t react right away to every question you ask — they sometimes have to think for a moment before answering,” says Jeffrey Christian on CFO.com.
Show interest and excitement in the position
This is the position you’ve been working toward your entire career. When you’re preparing for the interview, remind yourself to let the interviewer know that. Demonstrate your knowledge of the company by explaining exactly how you would make a great fit. Explain how you would solve a problem the company is currently facing. Ask a question you don’t know the answer to, listen carefully to their answer, and ask a follow-up.
This is the time to display your expertise, but also your unique personality. They know you have the qualifications, but how are you a better fit than other candidates?
Sleep well, eat a good meal, and work out
This step should not be overlooked. This is the most important interview of your career, so you need to get a full night’s rest (at least eight hours) in order to be alert and ready for any question. Just like you’re preparing for a marathon, eat a protein-packed meal the day before for energy (carbohydrates and sugar provide quick-burning energy, resulting in a crash). Work out in the morning to get an endorphin boost and release any excess nerves.
Interviewing for a high-level job can certainly be a nerve-wracking experience, but with the right preparation and mindset, you can confidently conquer a C-level title in no time.