What are the most important points employers discuss when interviewing a new employee for a senior management job? I am in the transition stage, moving from a management position handling operations, sales, procurement, projects, etc, to top senior management. Any suggestions on how to prepare for interviews?
From an HR professional perspective I’d want you to have several examples to help me see how you dealt with change, financial constraint, department conflict. You know those behavioural questions everyone hates? Here is how to prepare. Recall several complex situations that may cover several questions - something difficult that involves multiple stakeholders can often be used for different questions.
To prepare think STAR - Situation, Tasks, Action and Result. You can do this thinking ahead of your interview. Then it will flow far easier.
At senior levels the fit they are looking for usually has a lot to do with your leadership style, how you manage relationships across the org, how you make tough decisions. Your stories are the best indicator of future behaviour. Also HOW you operated under stress tells the interviewer a lot about your style and whether you will fit the culture.
Some good questions you may want to ask is all about the culture, current morale, change environment, company values. Remember you want to interview them as much as they interview you!
Lastly, candidly ask the interviewer about themself and their greatest memory for working there.
Hope this helps! Let me know if you need more?
The single most important thing is this: Being able to tell your story in a coherent narrative.
Everyone (including the recruiter or hiring manager) finds it easier to listen to a story, understand and remember it.
So think of your career as an adventure, with a beginning (tell your long term vision, desires, goals etc), challenges and problems to be overcome, how you overcame them, what you have learned and what new goals you've set. Most importantly, clearly direct the listeners attention to the skills you have gained and your most important qualities such as leadership, problem solving, prioritization, dealing with complex problems, time management etc.. Pick these in advance, having studied what the job requires.
Agreed on having prepared your example stories beforehand and rehearsed telling them a couple times.
Make sure these are referred to on your resume as bullet point examples underneath main points, so you don't have to remember them and can easily refer to your documentation to prompt what to say.
This is how you Stand Out, which is a critical factor in selling (and you are in a sales process in the interview whether you want to be or not.)