If you’re in the running for a senior leadership position, you’ll have certain expectations. That also goes for the employer – what they want, how they think, and the prospects they’re envisaging for the role. This could be a great leap in your professional life, or it could be the wrong move – you won’t know unless you ask some things of them, just as they’ll do to you.
As a boutique executive search firm, we have some advice in that regard. Here’s a few questions to pose during your interview…
Every industry has its hurdles. Your job is to help overcome them, so: what are they? Asking for more information on the main challenges you’ll face isn’t a negative. It’s a sign that you care and are eager to prepare yourself.
Who, for instance, are the key competitors? Is the business experiencing any operational process challenges? What is the brand doing to face these difficulties? Do some detective work before the interview. But be sure to ask them on the day too, to gain a perspective from someone closer to the organisation.
From quarterly reviews to a list of KPIs, the core leadership team will have a system in place to evaluate your impact. There’s no harm trying to find out what it is.
Doing so will also give you a better idea of what it’s like to be in the company day-to-day, and how to adhere to their performance-tracking procedure. The results should be backed by data, and supported by one-to-one conversations now and then.
This is a fantastic query to make in order to learn about the organisation and what it stands for. Whether it’s an operational, customer-facing, ethical or investment-led achievement, the answer will tell you a lot about the values you’re going to assume if you get the role.
Ask another question to follow up and show your curiosity. How, for example, did a major project bear fruit months down the line? Where possible, set your own personality against the answer – is this something that excites you? Inspires, even?
As executive headhunters, SPE Resourcing must prove that we have some of the best candidates in the country. The way we do it, along with personally meeting the shortlist in advance, is to qualify the skills you’ve built up. The client wants to see them too. And if your CV has a gap (perhaps some inactivity for half a year), they’ll seek to learn about it.
Equally though, they’ll think even more of you if you’re asking them to confirm they’re happy with the timeline, qualifications, and stated interests. This final question could make all the difference. At the very least, it shows you’re open and honest.
Soon enough, you’ll be on the path to a dream role – even if you’ve never considered yourself for it. An executive headhunter like us may be in touch. Till then, fix these questions in your mind. They’ll certainly help when the chips are down, and it comes to meeting the senior leader of your future career.