Want to step into a more strategic role?

This month, I’ve set out to help you imagine what it is like to be the interviewer. I’ve found that while coaching high-performing executives the act of brainstorming what an interviewer may have on his mind has proven to be a quite effective interview preparation strategy.

It has been useful in particular when I’m coaching clients for heavily strategic roles in world-class organizations especially when it comes to preparing for an interview as an internal or external consultant.

This is a no-brainer: if you will serve as a strategic partner in any capacity, then it’s critical for you to go into an interview knowing the top-of-mind business challenges of your employer or your prospective clients.

You should not only have a sense of the company’s situation but also its internal and external circumstances. I wish interviewers had this strong handle and focus on problems rather than on themselves — instead this is an example of what is more common:

Imagine that you are the CEO of an energy company based in Europe. The energy sector has changed quite a bit since your firm was founded. You wrote a book about the market shifts that have changed the role energy plays in the lives of your customers. You are interviewing candidates for a newly created Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) role.

This is what may be in the back of your mind during an interview:

• You might be thinking about how to engage your existing board members.
• You may be preparing for an external briefing where you will unveil Q3 company results.
• You could be thinking about how to manage a company against changing energy policies and regulations.
• You are very likely interested in hearing what job candidates think about all of this especially since you’ve invested a lot of resources in trying to source the best CSO.

This is what may be at the top of an interviewee’s mind:

• He could be thinking about how to illustrate that despite never having been a member of the c-suite, he would know how to contribute as part of an executive team.
• He might be thinking that while he never crafted an overarching company vision he could point to the ways that he established effective and motivating team visions in the past.
• He may be concerned with proving that he is committed to the recruitment process and will relocate his family.

Here’s the disconnect that I see and that I want to emphasize:

Interviewees want to talk about themselves — this is prominent on many job candidate’s agenda.

Interviewers want to tackle their business challenges — this is part of many interviewer’s agenda.

Imagine if job candidates could kill two birds with one stone?

Imagine if you could go into your next job interview fully prepared to problem solve and sell yourself in the process?

I’m working on a toolkit that will help you do both — look out for it on September 6th 2016 EST.

In the meantime, if you are a high-performer who knows what you need to do to prepare for your next job interview and you want a current look at how to interview from a proven job interview coach then learn more about the Interview-Strategy Playbook for Corporate Olympians.