How to tip the scales in your favor during your executive job interview presentation.
By the time you’re in front of the executive committee for your (hopefully) final job interview, you’ve established that you are an expert and can likely do the job. The only possible issue for debate at this stage is whether you will be a good fit. Now it’s time to prove it.
The following advice may seem obvious, but as a career professional AND human resources consultant, I have seen presenters only speak to one or two areas of the business—his area of expertise. Excluding an area is a significant oversight because it is a lost opportunity to talk directly to each person on the hiring committee, the people who have decision-making authority.
Each hiring committee member has his or her individual agenda and vested interest in you that is focused on their functional (and sometimes political) perspective. It is essential that your plan leverage these perspectives in the presentation.
Be careful when sharing your hard-earned business strategies because the last thing you will want is to have someone take your ideas and implement them without you.
Here are three proven tips you can use to grab the attention of everyone around the table and help them decide to hire you.
- Your 90-day plan will need to address everyone’s needs around the table representing every function:
- Customer Operations
- Legal and Regulatory
- Human Resources
- Board of Directors
- Choose metrics and language that everyone will understand and that demonstrates your expertise.
- If the industry is new to you, you will need to ensure that your language is re-calibrated to that industry. For example, professional services firms refer to the customers as “clients” whereas, in consumer goods, customers are referred to as “customers.”
- Focus the 90-plan on research you’ve conducted for this purpose. If you don’t know where to find the data, visit the reference librarian at your university library or hire a researcher. Librarians are a golden source of market research that you will never find on Google.
- Don’t speak in general terms. Focus specifically on a pain point for the company. Specificity is a powerful attention-grabber.
- If you are an expert in anti-ransomware software that can help reduce risk for the company, use it.
- Don’t bury the lede in your presentation. Begin with a real-world problem you can tackle head-on.
- Don’t assume that your audience will know what “finite element analysis” is even if the company works with materials.
A final tip shared by my treasured former business coach, Pat S., “Don’t give away the farm in your presentation.” Tell them what you will do and when you will do it, but be light on the “how.” Protect your intellectual property and then blow them away with your expertise after you sign your employment contract.