How to Handle an Interview for a Senior Management Role

Ever wonder about how to position yourself for an executive position?

Never fear, Manila Recruitment is here.

Their experts were kind enough to share their insight in how recruiters select candidates for senior executive roles.


Below is Pat Dimayuga’s bio, the recruitment expert that knows all the ins and outs of hiring senior talent.




manila recrutimentRecruitment Experience Manager at Manila Recruitment

Pat Dimayuga is a well-rounded recruitment professional. He has experience in social media (recruitment marketing), business development, executive search, and now handles projects focusing on client experience. Pat used to work at Smart Communications Inc., handling all of their executive positions, and was also part of the team who supported hiring for Smart’s digital subsidiaries. (Paymaya and Voyager Innovations). Prior to this, Pat was an integral part of both business developmentand recruitment services for Drake International.




Below is his insight and tips in how to land a senior management role.


Some job seekers, especially the younger ones, might think that applying for an executive position is easier that applying for a mid-level post. Why? Because the applicant for an executive position already has the skill set, expertise, and experience that headhunters and companies are looking for.


Wrong. The road to landing an executive position is even more daunting because an executive search firm looking for the next C-suite executive is even more demanding, and the job interviews have very little room for errors.


Here are some ways to handle an interview for a senior management role.



Research meticulously.


Applying for a senior management role requires high-level research. And we’re not just talking about the company’s mission and vision statements. We’re talking about facts, figures, and statistics.


If you’re applying for a senior management role in finance, make sure you’re updated on the news about the company’s stocks and earnings. If you’re applying for a senior role in marketing, make sure you’ve analyzed the brand’s positioning and current initiatives.


Don’t just go for the “About” and “News/Events” sections on the company websites. Search the news sites and even their competitors to develop a strong case on how you can contribute to the company’s success.



Nail your presentation.


Company executives do not just lead, they also represent their teams and companies. Therefore, you should be able to present and introduce yourself in a manner that is fitting for the job level you are applying for.


When you are making an introduction to an executive search firm, you should present yourself in a naturally confident manner. Do not stutter and be aware of your posture and body language because you are being graded for these elements as well. Don’t forget to give a firm handshake and make eye contact all the time too.


Some executive position interviews take place outside the HR department. The second or third interviews with other executives often take place in non-office settings such as coffee shops and restaurants.


People will tell you that it’s a way to break the ice and make you more at ease. Wrong. It is also a test on how well you handle yourself outside the office, as most C-suite executives are expected to attend several social events.


Practice your introduction at home and in front of a mirror. Make sure you are not slouching and you appear alert. Mind your etiquette. Show that you are capable of handling yourself well and representing the company regardless of the setting.



Describe yourself in a two-fold winning combo.


Most interviews start with the question, “Tell me about yourself.” Both parties know that question is coming since it is a given in all job level interviews. Still, job seekers find this question very hard.


It’s a way for the headhunters to see how articulate you are. In your spiel, make sure you cover the areas that the interviewer is interested in, as well as your recent achievements that can be of benefit to the company.



Take mental notes of your leadership achievements.


Just like in every interview, the executive search firm will ask about your strengths and weaknesses. Unlike mid-level interviews, your answer to these questions should highlight your leadership skills and not your team contributions.


Remember, you are gunning for a leadership position. Your answers should highlight how you are as a leader.



Don’t state numbers for salary.


As with most interviews, being asked for your expected salary is often as intimidating as it is tricky. Even for executive positions, you cannot help but feel that they might think you are asking for too much. Even if you really want to job, it could coax you into underselling or overselling your skills and experience.


Even if you already did your research on the range of salaries, it’s a smarter move to state that you need more information about the position and its responsibilities before you can give your expected salary figure.


This way, you will learn more about the skill sets needed to help you better gauge if your pre-determined figure will suffice. This is a good way to handle these questions during initial interviews. It is also better to give a range and not an exact number.



Do not be afraid to ask questions.


Towards the end of the interview, the headhunter will ask if you have any questions. Take this opportunity to learn more about the position and the responsibilities that are sometimes not listed on the job ad.


Asking questions will show that you did your research, and you came prepared. However, be careful not to ask for a string of questions that will make the interviewer uncomfortable. Settle for a maximum of two or three questions.



Ask about the next steps.


Take charge by expressing your interest for the position at the end of the interview and asking what the next steps will be. This will show the headhunters that you have a take-charge attitude and that you are genuinely interested in the position you are applying for.


Do not assume that the interviewer already picked up on your tone. Express your enthusiasm in words and finish off the interview with another firm handshake.



I thank Manila Recruitment and Pat Dimayuga for sharing their insight. Check out their blog and articles here.


What do you think? How did you or people you know land senior executive roles?

Please share your advice and thoughts in the comments below.


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