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9 ways to ace the IT executive interview

Rich Hein | Aug. 13, 2013
Your networking and resume work has paid off. You finally landed an interview for your dream job as an IT executive and you couldn't be more excited. The only thing that stands between you and the executive washroom is the interview itself.

There are plenty of places for you to research career salaries that will give you a range to work with, like Salary.com, Indeed.com and PayScale.com.

What would you do in the first three months?"The bottom line throughout the interview is to be sure that a plan is conveyed so that the interlocutors have an understanding that the candidate knows what he or she will do, and the road toward improved performance of the department," says High.

Make sure your answers are concise and to the point. A person at the executive level likely has a wealth of experience and knowledge that they would like to highlight. Experts warn, however, that answers that drone on aren't good and can cause the interviewer to zone out.

"You want to answer questions as quickly as possible and then shut up," says Burns. The interview process is a two-way conversation.

They may also ask questions about previous employers, such as what was the biggest accomplishment you achieved for your previous employer? "The basic root questions comes down to what did you accomplish in the last X years. That's what the recruiter or employer wants to know, what was the biggest thing you did for them? What did you do over and above your job description that made a lasting impact on their business?" says Burns.

Another tip is to follow up your questions to get more feedback. For example, after answering a question about your last position you could ask the interviewer, "Is that the information you were looking for?"

Even with all your preparation a question might still catch you off-guard. Don't panic, simply take a moment to think of your answer or ask the interviewer for clarification if appropriate.

Get Feedback Before the Interview
"If you don't invest in a resume writer or coach then I would suggest that you get someone who knows your business, a coworker or colleague. Have that person do a mock interview. Have them ask questions. What you'll find is that people hesitate and have to think because they don't have an answer ready. That kind of role playing can make a huge difference in the interview," says Burns.

Have your friend or colleague go through your resume's list of employers and ask you typical interview questions. Some key things to cover are your specific achievements at your last few places of employment that were impactful to the business and why you left your last position? Have a reasonable answer to any obvious items on your resume like being affected by a downsizing or gaps in your career history.

"If you don't get feedback you can't improve so get feedback before you even get to the interview," says Schawbel.

 

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