How to Succeed in Job Interviews with Executives and Founders

 In Interview Tips, Job seeker

interviewingwithfounders

It’s your last round of interviews at a company you’re really excited to work for, and you’re going to meet with one of the founders or top executives.

Congratulations! You got this far, and it’s likely the final step before the job offer. Don’t be nervous; instead, be ready.

Here are some insider secrets on how to ace in this important interview:

Research the company.

Be very familiar with the company. Go beyond their website: Google the company, follow them on social media, read their recent blog posts and any recent press on them.

Research the interviewer.

You will usually find executive bios on the company website, and you can also find most executives on LinkedIn. A Twitter feed can also give you interesting insights into the executive’s interests.

Know the top 3 reasons you should be hired.

In case the interview turns more conversational, be prepared with the 3 things you want to get across in the interview. What are the top 3 things the founder should know about you? Write those down. Practice so that you will remember to reference them in the conversation and so they’ll sound natural, not braggy.

Practice.

Be prepared with your 30-second response to typical open-ended questions:

  • Tell me about your background?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What are you good at?
  • What are your career goals?

Have questions ready.

Sometimes in these high-level interviews, you’ll be evaluated by the questions you choose to ask them will be how you’re evaluated. Jot down 7–10 smart, relevant questions. At the end of most interviews, it’s appropriate to ask 2–3 questions, no more. Be sure that you ask questions in a positive way, not in a suspicious or negative way.

Show your interest.

When asking questions, consider starting with a compliment. For example, instead of simply asking, “What new features are in the works for the current product?” say, “I’m really interested in this product space, and your current product looks to be one of the best out there. What can you tell me about upcoming features that will augment the current product?”

Be sensitive of the time.

Don’t ramble or hog the floor. Executives often will take up the majority of the conversation. To gauge the pace, give a short answer to a question, then ask, “Would you like me to elaborate on that? I’d be happy to give you some examples!”

End the conversation positively.

Thank the executive for their time and reiterate that you’re very interested in learning more. Concluding on a positive note makes a great impression.

And, one important reminder: Smile!

Now, go prep. You’ll ace that interview and get the job offer. You can do it!

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