98A9543 - The Art of Interviews: A Guide for Executives to Shine in Job Interviews

The Art of Interviews: A Guide for Executives to Shine in Job Interviews

The job interview is a crucial moment in the hiring process. As an executive, you undoubtedly have many accomplishments to your name, making it even more important to present them convincingly at the critical moment. In this blog article, we provide practical advice to help you shine in job interviews and showcase your skills and value as a top talent.

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1. Preparation:

As we know, before you even step into the interview room, it is essential to prepare thoroughly. Research the company extensively and understand its vision, values, and its current projects. Think of examples from your own career that illustrate your skills and successes, preferably with a direct connection to the company and its vacancy. Good preparation will help you to confidently and convincingly handle challenging questions.

2. Concise, Convincing Answers to Classic Interview Questions:

Seemingly obvious, yet not always implemented:

  • Summarize your previously identified accomplishments, achievements, and skills relevant to the specific position in brief, concise statements that you can bring up during the interview. Think of concrete examples and results to support your points and strengthen your persuasiveness.

Respond succinctly with structured answers:

  • Use, for instance, the STAR format (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to present your experiences and successes. Be specific and precise, avoiding long monologues. Stick to the point and ensure your answers address the question asked.

Here are some questions you should be well-prepared for:

  • “What specific leadership qualities and strategic skills do you bring to advance the company at C-level?”

Your interviewer wants to learn about your leadership strengths and strategic competencies. Emphasize, for example, your ability to motivate teams, set strategic goals, drive change, and foster growth. Refer to concrete examples from your career to support your statements and your specific contributions.

  • “What are your long-term career goals, and how do they align with the requirements and objectives of the vacancy?”

This question aims to understand your career goals and your interest in the specific position and the company. Be honest and demonstrate how your goals align with the company’s long-term objectives.

  • “How do you handle complex business challenges, and what major successes have you achieved in addressing such situations so far?”

This question assesses your problem-solving skills and your track record in tackling challenges. Describe situations in which you dealt with complexity, uncertainty, or change and achieved positive outcomes. Highlight your strategic approach and your ability to find effective solutions.

  • “How would you contribute to the company’s value creation and increase shareholder value, directly or indirectly?”

This question aims to assess your ability to create sustainable value for the company and its shareholders. Emphasize your strategic thinking, your ability to identify opportunities, expand markets, increase efficiency, and promote sustainable growth. Tip: Be as specific as possible and avoid empty buzzwords.

  • “How would you foster a strong corporate culture and attract and retain talented employees?”

Your interviewer wants to evaluate your ability to create a positive corporate culture and attract top talents. Describe your approaches to employee development, talent retention, diversity and inclusion promotion, and creating a motivating work environment, as well as your concrete steps in terms of employer branding.

Additional questions may include:

  • Tell us about some of your biggest challenges in your career that you have successfully overcome.
  • How do you deal with risks and uncertainties? Please tell us some examples.
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3. The Art of Storytelling:

Storytelling is a powerful method for conveying your experiences and skills. The art of storytelling in interviews can help you present your experiences, skills, and successes in a captivating and memorable way.

Here are some tips on how to use storytelling effectively and authentically in an interview:

  • Choose relevant anecdotes: Identify experiences or achievements from your professional journey closely related to the job requirements and core competencies required. Select “stories” that demonstrate your leadership qualities, problem-solving abilities, or innovation skills.
  • Structure your examples: Ensure your examples have a clear structure. Use the classic storytelling framework with an introduction, a main part, and a conclusion. Describe the context, the problem or challenge, your actions, and the quantifiable results you achieved.
  • Be specific and precise: Make sure your stories are detailed and specific. Describe your role, the actions you took, and the measurable results you achieved. Avoid general statements and emphasize your individual contributions.
  • Use emotions: Emotions help establish a connection with interviewers and make your stories memorable. Use descriptive language to convey the atmosphere and emotions during the story. Show your passion, ambition, or determination in relevant situations.
  • Be honest and authentic: Storytelling should always be based on honesty and authenticity. Stick to the facts and avoid exaggeration. Show your personality and your individual approach to establish a connection with interviewers.

4. Body Language and Personal Impression:

In addition to verbal responses, your body language is of great significance. We will delve into the details of how to exhibit a positive and self-assured body language another time to radiate professionalism and leadership potential, and to reinforce a positive, personal impression.

In conclusion, a job interview is an exciting, challenging, yet highly preparable experience that marks a pivotal milestone in your desired career path.

Would you like additional support in the form of job interview coaching?
Please feel free to reach out to us. We look forward to hearing from you!

Eva-Maria Maute
Eva-Maria Maute


Eva-Maria Maute works as Consultant, Executive Coach and DE & I Specialist for EMA Partners Switzerland AG.