The in-person interview is alive and kicking, and still the best way for candidates like you to get a genuine feel of an organisation’s culture, values, and opportunities. That said, in-person interviews are far more fluid than they used to be – especially for senior leaders – and there are new standards to bear in mind.
In this Masterclass, we share four ways to adapt your interview style for senior leadership positions. If you’ve not read part 1 yet, click here for advice about video interviews first.
Step 1: Wear your personality with pride
Today, organisations hire a whole person. They consider the best-qualified candidate one who satisfies a job description but also contributes to their culture fit and culture add. Therefore, no recruitment process is complete without a full appreciation of a candidate’s personality and authentic self – and crucially how these attributes translate in a senior leadership workplace environment.
So, don’t be afraid to show your true self at an in-person interview. Wear your personality with pride – you’re the only one in the world with it! Although in-person interviews can be stereotyped as structured (and even stuffy, depending on when you last sat down for one), you’ll be happy to hear that this is a common misconception.
Senior leadership interviewers want to meet the real you and will welcome your transparency and authenticity. For advice about balancing the personal and professional, check out our personal branding masterclass.
Step 2: Consider transitions part of the process
There’s a temptation to treat video and in-person interviews differently when really, they’re just different timestamps within one, unified process. For example, many people consider video interviews to be more casual – quippy qualifiers or catch-ups. But every interaction is a showcase of your personal brand and leadership potential. As a result, you must think carefully about cohesion.
As you transition from a preliminary virtual interview to the Big One, consider how to capture the continuity of your tone, presentation, and conversational style. Even little nuances – such as your outfit formality or storytelling ease – can make you come across as two separate people. That’s sure to be jarring for both parties!
Step 3: Have three conversation priorities to hand
When there’s a meeting of minds between a candidate, client, or recruiter, it’s easy to become engrossed in conversation. Although hiring managers or recruitment consultants should be skilled at interview management, it’s not unheard of for sessions to spin off track or run over time. Sure, you might consider this a good sign – but what if you’ve not been able to speak about something you (and your potential employer) really value?
Having a “top three” list of things you absolutely want to discuss can remedy this risk. Capping at three means you’ll have time to work back into the conversation, while you’ll also be thankful for the strategic prompts if faced with an awkward silence.
Step 4: Become a conversational chameleon
Leaders are often more familiar with the big conversations – serious subjects accompanied by statistics, presentation screens, and structured goals. Add to this that c-suite executives tend to interview more infrequently, and natural, conversational-style interviews can feel a little alien.
However, charisma is a non-negotiable leadership attribute and it’s important that you showcase your inner conversationalist during the interview process. This may be second nature to you, or perhaps needs a little practice. But, either way, becoming a masterful, engaging conversational chameleon is a career progression priority for senior leaders!
Want to excel at every point of the interview process? Get educated about the differences (and similarities) of each stage and setting and learn how to adapt your delivery while remaining true to you.
Are you a senior leader considering opportunities in Transport? Do you need help fine-tuning and perfecting your in-person interview skills? Please do join the Intuitive candidate community. We provide interview coaching and mentoring and stay by your side every step of the process – not just helping you ace interviews but connecting you with organisations that you’ll really love being part of.