Back in the interview game

Caroline Mboijana

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I was also informed that I would have an interview with the executive management team. How do I prepare for this interview? It has been long since I had one

Dear Caroline,

I have not been interviewed in a long time, and recently, I was asked if I could take up a new senior position within the office. I was also informed that I would have an interview with the executive management team. How do I prepare for this interview? It has been long since I had one. What tips could I have before I go for an interview?

Simon

Hello Simon, interviews are an experience, and many find them nerve-wracking. In my view, a successful interview comes with preparation, and you must be yourself, do not try to be something you are not, have a positive mindset and be ready to engage with the panelist. In your case, I would first celebrate that you have been identified as a team member who has the potential to take on a senior management role. This means you have been doing well at work and your achievements have been recognised.

The mode of conducting interviews has changed over time, and different approaches are used depending on the seniority of the role.  Since you are being interviewed by the EXCO team, I suspect the session is a discussion, with some technical questions and certainly questions around leadership and managing teams and people.

Your starting point is to ask for the job description of the position. Take time to read and understand the role. The good thing with internal promotions/assessments is that you get time to ask questions about the role, why it is being introduced, how the role expectations fit in the grand scheme of the organisational success, etc.

Once you have understood the context, now take time to reflect on how you fit with the role and what attributes make you a good fit for the position. Be ready to talk about your strengths with evidence. Because you are an existing staff member, show your strengths by sharing examples of where you were successful and what caused you to succeed. It would help if you also were prepared to talk about work that had not gone well. Here the key is to demonstrate that you recognised when projects did not go well, you took time to find out what caused the problem and that you learned from it and took the learning to the next project. Be prepared to ask the panellists two to three relevant questions, demonstrating forward-thinking, a critical competency in today’s world of work.  Do not give long-winded responses; keep them short and to the point. Speak slowly and remember to breathe and maintain eye contact. Good luck.

Caroline Mboijana,

Managing Director, The Leadership Team (U) [email protected]

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