Submitted by smallnetd on
After about 2 months of the initial interview, I am now scheduled to interview with 2 VPs, which are 3 levels up from the manager position I am interviewing for. I would like some advice about how to approach them and be relevant to the position as seen by them.
I have already interviewed with the a Human Resources manager (twice), the guy who will be my boss, 2 of his colleagues, and their boss. Now I'll be interviewing my boss's boss's boss (VP of Operations) and also the VP of HR.
I'm interested in this job not only because I am currently unemployed, but also because it has the potential of letting me combine my experience from my 3 previous jobs. I have the impression that I am a pretty good fit, especially since I keep having more interviews still. I know that the dragging economy may be a factor here as to why their decision has taken so long.
I've prepared as best I could for all my previous interviews, following the rich advice from Mike and Mark. I am sure that's why I'm still in the game. Now, I would like some advice about how to present myself to those VPs 3 levels above and get the offer. Any thoughts?
An interview isn't really about the person interviewing you, it's about you, in the sense that you don't want to show up and give a lame performance at any interview. Just because it's the HR screening interview, doesn't mean you should give a lesser performance (and in these situations, HR has more power than you think). So, in that sense, interviewing with the VP is no different to any of the interviews you've already had.
You obviously haven't given a lame performance so far, because otherwise you wouldn't be at this stage. Prepare for this stage in exactly the same way:
Know your experience and strengths cold.
In my experience, more senior people tend to interview in a less rigid way - they tend to be better at making the interview sound like a conversation. It isn't though - so don't be fooled.
As for getting the offer - ask for it :-)
Wendii, Thanks for your
Thanks for your advice. I do realize that I have to prepare, even better than for previous interviews. These 2 people may have the power to veto me so I cannot give a lesser performance. My guess here is that they might not focus so much on my know-how, but rather my personality, character, and values.
I have asked for the offer at every close of each interview I have had, and these won't be an exception.
Energy without scariness
Confidence with humility
Show them what you have learned in the past and how that can benefit their company
Tell them that you are a person that does things RIGHT (that is the most cost-effective employee EVER)
And....think about their question, breathe and answer THE QUESTION THEY ASKED. (This one drives me crazy)
Most of all - don't pretend. If you are right for the job then yay. If not, then you will be miserable there even if you are currently unemployed. (I know, easy to say, hard to do)
If you listened to the interview podcasts I know you are on the right track!
Sounds like you have come a long way to get to this point. Good luck to you!
MAYBE they have veto power?
CERTAINLY THEY HAVE VETO POWER.
Be afraid. And prepare.
What Wendii said. (Because she's Wendii).
(I'm kidding about the afraid part: That high a level means a very unstructured interview, with people who will boil their comments down to, "I liked him," or, "I didn't get a good feel about this guy."
Prepare as normal.
Thank you all for your advice and kind words. I GOT THE OFFER! I accepted it too.
Just for those who may be wondering how it went, here's a brief summary.
The first interview was with the HR VP. She was very nice and the conversation was very casual. She did ask behavioural questions after a few minutes of chit-chat. Throughout, she was very friendly and smiled a lot. Toward the end, her phone rang, I paused and nodded that maybe she should take the call, but she quickly silenced it. After that and since we were almost done, she offered to give me her card so she asked me to walk to her office. Once there, she introduced me to my next interviewer, and since we were done, I went with him. Didn't get the chance to close to her.
The next interviewer gave me a brief introduction of himself and followed by asking me to talk about my career. I said I would start from the most recent job and work my way back. As I summarized my experience, he interrupted when he heard something interesting to him and asked to elaborate. That kind of questioning allowed me to jump around from job to job where I have done that activity that he wanted to know more about. With him, I did have the opportunity to close. At the end, he said that he did consider me as a good candidate.
After that, he told me that the team of interviewers would discuss my candidacy and inform me of their decision soon.
Later that day, I received a call from them asking me to go the following day. That was when they gave me the offer, the HR manager and my new boss together. I accepted it right there.
Thank you for coming back and telling us how it went.
Great to hear from you, and congratulations on a successful search.
Now comes the fun part: the new job!
Keep us posted on how things are going.
And what John said.
Thanks! I'm already re-listening those casts. :)