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Category: Executive Job Interviews & Offers (page 1 of 4)

My BEST Tips for C-level Executives on Interviewing and Negotiating

executive-interviewInterviewing at the C-level is obviously different than interviewing for other positions. One of the main things to remember as an outsider competing for a spot at the executive table is that in most cases, your audience does not know you yet. You have a very small window of time to do one thing: Win their trust. The tips below were developed to give you a foundation with which to do that.

C-suite interviews should involve a combination of focus on the metric-driven accomplishments you’ve made that align with the responsibilities of the position you are vetting AND demonstrating your leader/mentor qualities. Ultimately, they should be intrigued, impressed, like you, and trust you.

Consider the seven points below foundational to every interview:

  1. Get them to invest their energy in you first. In the beginning of the interview, ask them to help you understand in their words what kind of person they are looking for and a summary of the role. ***Take short notes on what they say. These are your interview talking points. ***
  1. Use broad ranges when discussing salary. For example:

“North of $350K.”

“In the mid-six figures.”

“For the past few years my TOTAL comp has ranged from $1 to $3M.”

Then add, “Since you brought it up, do you mind me asking if you have a budgeted range in mind for this position?”

  1. In tight spots just play it cool. Never let them see you defensive or frustrated. They will take that as an indicator of how you handle stress and judge accordingly. Your calm, cool demeanor will engender their trust. Phrases associated with this include:

“That’s absolutely no problem.”

“I am sure that won’t be an issue.”

“I am confident we can work that out.”

“I can do that – I am not worried about that.”

  1. Answer every third or fourth question with a question of your own. This builds co-communication and trust in you as it demonstrates your leadership. You can segue with:

“Since we are on the subject…”

“Since you brought it up…”

“It is interesting that you say that, because I wanted to ask if…”

  1. Questions you can ask in an interview:

Why is this position open?

Can you describe the qualities and background you believe one will need to possess to perform exceptionally in this role and in the current circumstances?

If I was hired, what would you expect me to accomplish in the first 6 months?

Tell me the best things about your corporate culture that makes this company great?

What motivates your executive team?

How does the company deal with changing priorities?

What are your most pressing issues?

Where do we go from here?

  1. Finish on a positive note. At the end of the interview, say something complimentary from your heart about them – either the company/the product or the service/the culture. Tell them you are excited and want the position, if that is how you feel.
  1. Follow up with a thank-you letter and a page of short third party testimonials. After the interview, send a thank-you letter that identifies a couple of important things you discussed and remind them of a few short results you have achieved that demonstrate your accomplishments are in alignment with their goals. Third party testimonials are extremely important to gaining the trust needed for placement in leadership roles.

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Corporate Expansions and Plans for Hiring Across the U.S.

Corporate expansions and plans for hiring across the U.S. in multiple industries right now including consumer goods, retail, healthcare and finance. Get the details here: http://leads.careercloud.com/

 

Learn how to tap into the hidden job market and secure multiple high quality interviews here: http://maryelizabethbradford.com/cpss_hidden_job_market.html

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How Global Corporations Pick CXO’s

imagesAECAED9CWow was I glad to stumble upon this little gem of an article! Lots of very interesting insight on Global MNC’s and cultural variances associated with CXO  interviewing/hiring around the globe.

 

This is a great read.  http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/jobs/how-large-corporations-go-about-picking-cxo-level-honchos/articleshow/52811063.cms

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Harvard Business Review : The Secret to Negotiating Is Reading People’s Faces

Interesting article. I think this is very valuable information for Executives who are interviewing for senior level positions. The takeaway I got was this: slow down and remember to use all of the senses (in this case, visual) in high level interviews to determine and discern what to do and say next.  🙂

The Secret to Negotiating Is Reading People’s Faces

 

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Overqualified in Your Executive Interview?

My colleague Ardith of Ardith Rademacher & Associates sent me a really great article this morning that she said I could share with you! If you are in an interview and the position is attractive to you but your skills are more robust than what is required – these are VERY valuable tips for you to know so you can help your interviewers make good, balanced decisions.  🙂

Making a Case for the Overqualified

The overqualified pool is filled with variety of individuals.  The large majority consist of those who have been laid-off.  These candidate may or may not be older, but nonetheless wiser and more experienced than their competition.  There is also a large percentage of people who are reentering the workforce.  This group consists of well-educated folks who have taken time off to raise families, care for ill family members or needed a leave of absence for their own personal reasons.  The smallest percentage of this group are people who are simply looking for a change.  This could be a change of scenery, industry, work/life balance, etc.

There are pros and cons to weigh when considering an overqualified candidate.

Let’s start with the cons:

  • They may be harder to train – Training in terms of software used or company basics will be the same as any new employee.  However, bad habits and attitudes picked up at previous positions are hard to break.
  • They may be intimidating to management – This can create uncomfortable management scenarios that will need to be addressed early and often.
  • They may get really bored, really fast – Hiring and on boarding a new team member is expensive.  It is even more expensive when that new hire either finds their dream job or gets really bored three to six months later.

With cons like that, why even consider an over-qualified candidate?  Here are some pros to consider:

  • They tend to be eager to put their skills to work – Whether it is relief that the job search is over or excitement for a position that offers better work/life balance, overqualified candidates tend to hit the ground running.
  • They bring years of wisdom to the team – With all that experience, they can share best practices from previous positions that may benefit their new team.  They can also become great mentors to their colleagues.
  • They can become a long-term contributor – Overqualified candidates are great for stubborn vacancies.  As both the company and employee get a feel for each other, this team member can take on a greater role or progress to higher levels as positions open.  This is the ultimate win-win.  The candidate has secured a position and the company has time to determine how they fit into their business.

As with all candidates, it is important to determine if they are a good fit during the interview process.  Asking an overqualified candidate about their goals and why they applied for the position will be a large key in deciding if there are more pros than cons.

 

 

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7 Ways to Increase Your Current Executive Salary

salary increaseAs professionals, the salary we make is often closely associated with our sense of value and self-worth. If you are one of the many professionals who feel overworked and underpaid, figuring out how to bridge that gap between where you are now and where you know you should be can be daunting and perhaps a little scary. But receiving a well-deserved salary increase will also provide the opportunity to feel more confident and satisfied in your career!

When you take that step in acknowledging your value, it produces an interesting effect as you call to action the people and things around you to support your moving forward! That might sound a little new-agey to you, but it’s really just common sense and the result of exercising of your own initiative.

Here are 7 tips to get you quickly moving forward to securing a bigger salary:

Tip #1: Quick, write out 30 benefits you bring to your position.
To achieve your salary increase, you may have to change companies. However, you may also be surprised to find that your current employer is indeed willing to promote you or to offer you more salary. To make your case, you are going to have to demonstrate (and fully believe) the 30 benefits you bring to your current position right now. Benefits are not what you do, but what you achieve. Notice that when most people update their resume, they will only include a laundry list of current position “duties,” without explaining what happens when they do what they do! Benefits show why a company should hire you, promote you or give you a raise.

Tip #2: Keep adding to that list.
Most professionals are so busy they don’t even think about the benefits they bring to a company. Keep adding to your list, because the more that you focus on clearly knowing and understanding the value you bring to a company, the more natural it will be for you to confidently see precisely WHY you should be commanding a higher salary!

Tip #3: Create a value statement that distinguishes your work.
Can you describe your brilliance in just one sentence? My tagline is “The #1 Online Resource for Multi 6 & 7 Figure Executives.”  It’s a crystal clear and confident message that captures the attention of professionals needing resumes and coaching services! So what is your tagline?

Tip #4: Own your increase.
Most companies WILL respect your new salary parameters. Of course, that’s as long as your parameters are not 50 times what you are making now (although, I have seen some enormous salary increases).

Yes, acknowledging, defining and then ASKING for a higher salary can seem daunting at first, but after you fully accept you are worth it, I promise the confidence you’ll feel will be contagious!

Tip #5: Ask for more.
Generally, we put more value on things that “cost” more. So when you ask for what you are really worth, you will find yourself attracting the type of position or company that resonates with your new shift in perception. This is not any special law of attraction – this is simply exploring and defining a new belief and putting that new belief into motion.

If you are questioned in an interview about the salary you want (compared to the one you currently have), there are several great responses readily available in most job interview and negotiating books. I personally recommend Jack Chapman’s Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1000 a Minute.

Tip #6: Do what you love; ditch what you don’t.
Focusing your time and energy on a position that you love but a company you don’t is a big red flag that should inspire you to look for a company more in line with your professional goals and philosophies.

Likewise, if you feel stuck in your position, but you truly respect and enjoy your company, then it is time to reassess your current role. Part of valuing yourself (via a salary increase) is honoring those urges to shift your focus to more harmonious environments. You also honor your co-workers AND your company when you do this.

Tip #7: Take control and ride the wave.
Making the choice to increase your salary is life-changing. You will feel a surge of confidence when you begin to take control of your career and its direction – including how much money you make. The newfound confidence this will give you will serve you in multiple ways, including a continuation of new goals and boundaries you can create in order to give yourself a platform to rise to the fullness of your professional potential.

Most professionals that work for someone else believe they have little control over these matters. However, once you begin to understand that you are truly much more in control of your current circumstances than perhaps you once thought, you will start a positive chain reaction that can open doors to more work satisfaction, more potential to succeed and more money.

 

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Executive Career Moves & Appointments in the Global Financial Industry

fffBig moves and senior level / global appointments at Goldman Sachs, UBS, Nasdaq and German financial technologies investor group, Deutsche Börse…to name a few.

Details here:  http://www.efinancialnews.com/story/2015-12-25/financial-news-careers-25-12-2015

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60+ Most Popular Job Search Articles of 2015

JobMobJobMob has thoughtfully compiled a list of the best job search advice for 2015! You’ll find my article, “Executive Job Interviews and Money: The Secret to Landing Bigger Job Offers” listed among those of some of the top career professionals in the industry such as Jason Alba (JibberJobber.com), Marc Miller (CareerPivot), J.T. O’Donnell (CareerHMO), Martin Yate (Knock ’em Dead book series), and Undercover Recruiter. Enjoy!

The Top Job Search Articles of 2015

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How to Match Your Resume to the Job You Really Want: The Mirroring Technique

mirroringOne of the major reasons resume writers—or any writers for that matter—are in business is because it’s simply so hard for people to be objective when writing about themselves or their businesses.

It’s for this very reason you may find it tricky to customize your own resume for the position you are going after. To make it easier, here are three tips that you can use to “tweak” your resume properly. I call it “The Mirroring Technique.”

Tip #1: Find Your Focus. This is an obvious one, but there is a trick to it. So often, professions only think their resume is “focused,” when in reality, they are generalizing. I believe this is because many professionals believe (incorrectly) that they should not focus their job search goals too narrowly for fear of losing out on possible open positions. You can exacerbate this misguided belief by limiting your job search to job boards for executive jobs and positions. Job boards represent about 1 percent of actual jobs that are available and are awash with competition.

The first thing I do when working with my clients is have them complete my Career Success Blueprint™. This gets them hyper-focused on exactly what they want and really understanding where the low-hanging fruit is for them. This information, now on paper, also gets them out of “job board” head space and helps direct their energies to thoughts like, “what exactly do I really want and what are some of my primary job search motivators (i.e. money, geographic, and industry parameters)?” When they get crystal clear on these important components, then and only then can they take the next step—which is to write their resume and formulate the right job search plan. The same is true for you.

Tip #2: Shift Your Perspective. You must approach the information contained in your resume through the eyes of potential employers. In other words, you are going to want to write some things about your career history that will probably not be applicable to your ideal position. Shift your perspective by taking into consideration the position requirements that you know of and, most importantly, the results you can bring to the table: your quantifiable achievements.

For example, if you have a background of experience in operations AND marketing and you are focusing on a marketing director position, you will most likely want to minimize your operations experience and draw forth only the experience relevant to your goals.

Tip #3: Use “The Mirroring Technique.” This is an extension of shifting your perspective. Take an example of your ideal job from any relevant job description using a job aggregator like indeed.com. Next, highlight ALL the keywords and phrases used in the job description that communicate the ideal candidate and also match your skills and strengths. Now weave those keywords into the first page of your resume,  essentially “mirroring” what they are asking for.

So often we say to ourselves mentally, “Oh, this position fits me perfectly!” and yet we fail to take that rather simple next step, which is to and make sure we are communicating this in our resume. By using the mirroring technique, it becomes quite easy!

Let me elaborate on the technique of using a sample position from indeed.com—and how powerful this little exercise truly is. Let’s say, that you are interested in a VP of Sales position for a mid-size technology company. Using those search keywords, in about 10 or 15 minutes you will have found three or four position descriptions that sound like a great match for you. It doesn’t matter where these positions are located or even what companies they are with. You are looking for descriptions that excite and energize you and you will know you have found a great match by the emotions they evoke in you. Cut and paste each of these descriptions into a Word document and highlight all of the keywords and phrases that match you. Most likely you will begin to see a pattern of keywords in each position. Simply take and use these keywords and phrases in your resume. You can use them in your showcase keywords at the top of your resume, in your opening statement, and in your bulleted list of core competencies.

Bonus Tip: I like to use a lot of keywords at the very beginning of my resumes so that the reader can (at a glance) get a pretty good idea of what my client is all about in just a few seconds. By using very clear communication at the very top of your resume—which also can be called “good branding”—not only will your resume clearly and powerfully communicate your career objectives and expertise, but you can subtly tweak your keywords to “mirror” a particular industry or position. For example, let’s say you have both start-up and turnaround experience. “Technology Start-Ups” might be one of your keyword phrases at the top of your resume. If you are reaching out to a mid-size technology firm that you know needs a turnaround expert, you can replace “Technology Start-Ups” with “Turnaround Expert.”

Using the simple techniques above should increase your interviews and interest from potential employers.

I always approach any tips I provide you from the perspective of the job seeker going direct to employers versus waiting for the perfect job found on a job board. Remember, almost ALL jobs (more than 85 percent) are not publicly advertised. So no matter what your industry is, or what stage you are at in your career, it makes total sense for you to get your information to the key decision-makers, companies, and industries that you are most interested in. You might be surprised at their show of interest in YOU and your initiative! If you are ready to learn more about how easy it is to tap into the hidden job market, you can check out my home study program at www.job-searchsystem.com.

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5 Things I Have Learned as a Career Coach

successLooking back, I have probably coached and written resumes for over 4000 executives in all kinds of industries. Here are a few things I have learned along the way that I hope you will benefit from.

Most professionals:

  1. Worry about things that never happen.

    Most clients I work with have shared numerous worries they thought would hold them back, like their age, too little or too much salary, the economy, a shrinking industry, too many jobs in the last 10 years, and being fired or laid off (just to name a few). I am happy to report that these same executives went to on achieve – and in many cases exceed – their career goals. How did they do it? Usually through a combination of the following:

  • Education that the reality of their concerns was often overemphasized to the point of being counterproductive.
  • Obstacles were minimized or eradicated through a well-planned marketing strategy.
  • An expertly crafted resume showcased their strengths and was in sync with their goals.
  1. Believe they can’t successfully change industries.

    I love to hear the excitement in my clients’ voices when they are shown that successfully changing industries is more about their plan, their resume, their networking approach, and they coaching they receive than their experience!

  1. Feel they interview very well, when they don’t.

    “Just help me land the interviews and I will do the rest.” I have heard that dozens of times from seasoned professionals that made one simple error: They mistook their amazing charisma and people skills for great interview skills. Believe me, there is a big difference. I have seen firsthand how just answering one question the “wrong way” quickly leads to a lost candidacy.

  1. Can’t write an interest-generating resume.

    There are multiple reasons for this, such as:

  • The use of industry jargon (resumes need to be written with an audience of at least 5 different departments in mind).
  • The inability to write objectively.
  • Failure to craft a resume from a marketing perspective.
  • Writing about what was accomplished and not what happened as a result.
  1. Didn’t know how much career coaching and marketing would help them, until they used it.

    I can personally relate. I didn’t realize how much a business coach would help me until I hired one. It’s respectable to want to do things for ourselves – and there is a beneficial degree of learning in it – but if you have ever played sports and had an excellent coach, or studied under a dynamic teacher, then you have already experienced the value that a true professional can bring and the many ways they can help you to reach your full potential.

I hope if you have identified with any of these points, it will help you to quickly and easily take action to shore up areas for improvement. I promise this will result in a much more enjoyable and fruitful job search for you!

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