The interview is arguably the most nerve racking part of the job application process. Job interviews in and of themselves are stressful, but what happens when your interview is with the CEO of the company? That takes normal stress to a whole new level!
Now that you’re a bundle of nerves, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to make it through the interview, let alone make a good impression.
Luckily for you, all you need is a few tips and tricks to see you through the process. With enough advance preparation and the use of some deep breathing techniques, your interview is likely to go off much better than you anticipated.
Here are 10 Interview Tips to help you handle the pressure when you’re sitting in front of the CEO.
1. Be prepared to give an overview yourself
The first thing any prospective employer will ask you to do is tell them a little bit about yourself. Many applicants freeze at this point. ‘What am I supposed to say? Where do I start?’ – These are both common interview questions which may race through your mind and cause you to fumble.
The key to making a good impression at this point is having a clear idea of what to say. Don’t fumble; confidently give the CEO a general idea of who you are.
This could include:
- A short introduction
- A summary of your qualifications and career history
- What skills you bring to the table
2. Be Punctual
This might seem like one of those tips which seem nonsensical to point out but punctuality is very important. Make sure you know the directions and that you’re aware of the best way to get there. Factor in traffic and target reaching the office at least 10-20 minutes before the interview. This will give you ample time to calm your nerves and mentally prepare yourself.
3. Without Bragging, List Your Achievements
Listing your achievements is a great way to give the CEO an idea of what you have accomplished to date. Now, you obviously won’t have enough time to list every single achievement of yours. That’s why you should take some time to reflect upon recent work related achievements which showcase your skills.
4. Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses
It’s important for you to be able to identify and communicate your strengths and short comings with respect to your line of work. This shows the CEO that you engage in self-reflection. Being able to shine a light on your weak spots also shows humility, self-awareness, and the will to better yourself. On the other hand, identifying your strengths shows the CEO that you are keenly aware of what you’ve worked to achieve. Just be sure not to brag.
5. Why Do You Want This Specific Job?
The CEO is going to put you on the spot and ask you what about this particular position appeals to you so much. Try to think outside the box when you’re formulating your answer. Many applicants fall into the trap of giving very generic answers. Avoid that by identifying why you think this is the job for you. Consider how it could help your career, boost your skills, etc., and give clear examples of how you think this will happen. Don’t try to make an impression, just give a clear answer.
6. Talk about Your Former Employer and Job
Touch upon what you learnt there, why you left, what you are taking away from that job, etc. This is another opportunity for you to show your ability to self-reflect. It’s also an opportunity for the CEO to get an idea about where you’re coming from. If you held important positions and had many responsibilities, be sure to highlight that.
7. Be Prepared To Talk About the Future
Where Do You See Yourself in 3-5 Years? We all know that the future isn’t set in stone but try not to be too abstract in your answers. Having a clear vision indicates that you have goals and aspirations for the future.
Remember to keep your answer focused on those accomplishments that you could potentially achieve in this company. If you hold a business degree, for example, you can tell the interviewer that you want to apply your academic knowledge in the real business world.
8. Know What Sets You Apart
The pool of applicants is likely going to be quite large. You need to convey to the CEO how you’re different from the rest of them. You can stand apart from others especially if you have had study abroad experience. Employers are always looking for someone with a wholesome personality.
9. Research the Company Thoroughly
Knowing what the company is all about is a huge asset. It shows the CEO that you’ve researched about the company and that you’re aware of their visions, goals, and work model. It also shows a high level of enthusiasm and commitment.
During the interview, you might be asked questions which require a basic understanding of the company. Having done your research, you won’t be caught off guard and look unprepared when this happens.
10. Have Questions Ready
At the end of the interview, you may have the opportunity to ask the CEO some questions. Don’t pass on this opportunity. This is your chance to show your interest in the company by having some well thought out questions prepared. For instance, you can ask the CEO what they like best about the company or if they have any advice for working in a company such as theirs.
The key to a successful interview be it with the Human Resources Manager or the CEO of the company is preparedness. A certain amount of nerves is only to be expected; it’s how you act under pressure that’s important. Remember, being called in for an interview is a good sign; the rest is in your hands. Take a deep breath, go over your talking points in your head, and believe in yourself and your accomplishments. With the right attitude, you’re sure to make a good impression.