TAO Self-help

Title:Best Interview Tips for Leaders

Author:Barbara Adams, Federal and Military Job Transition Expert

Date:December 2018

Source:www.militaryresumewriters.com and www.careerproplus.com

There's no doubt, it's a competitive time to be seeking new employment as an executive. But for some, this is actually great news! It encourages savvy job seekers to up their game and be ready for the challenge.

Applicants arriving well prepared for interviews have a distinct advantage over all the amateurs who are just "winging it." With this in mind, here are the best interview tips for leaders to help put you over the top!

Tell Stories about Your Accomplishments

We all know, if you want to hear a good story, sit down with a seasoned business executive! Many executive personnel have traveled the world and have seen and done so many things that many lower-level employees don't get the opportunity to partake in.

And that's the best way to start a story related to one of your accomplishments—by saying your former company gave you the opportunity to tackle a massive project or resolve a messy labor issue, etc.

You don't want to alienate an interviewer by bragging or going off on a tangent, though. Keep your stories objective and tightly focused on how you were given a task with measurable indicators of success. . . and how you knocked it out of the park!

Leadership Competencies

Many organizations love to throw inexperienced troops into the thick of things. Whether you call it experiential learning or trial by fire, most who rise to the rank of executive status gained inordinate amounts of exposure to leadership challenges early on.

Such leaders honed their competencies by managing personnel conflicts, learning how to establish team cohesiveness, and conducting one-on-one mentoring with subordinates to ensure they would succeed and be able to replace their predecessors. Talk about your traits and again, share examples through brief stories.

Another absolute must-mention is any training or experience you have on diversity and inclusiveness issues. These topics are increasingly on the forefront of many Human Resources (HR) teams looking to onboard executives with a proven background in running respectful work environments.

Leading Change

Human nature is resistant to change, yet nearly all organizations experience it at some point. Talented executives know how to manage and lead change in ways that allow personnel to buy into and accept (perhaps even embrace) the new way of doing things.

And when pockets of resistance pose obstacles, experienced leaders know how to deal with those, too, by finding persuasive ways to unfreeze old ways of thinking in order to pitch the advantages of the new method being introduced. This often entails some understanding of marketing techniques to break down barriers, establish an empathetic line of communication, and then get to work selling the change process.

At the end of the day, being an executive means knowing how to get results through a combination of methods and personality traits. This is a multifaceted skill set that hiring managers find irresistible, so share your past victories!

Building Coalitions

No matter where you work, odds are you don't work alone. Most executives manage, collaborate with, or engage with a team. Thus, they've learned (sometimes the hard way) how to cooperate and when to be flexible versus when to stick to their guns.

Such leaders realize that it's also imperative to know how to build new teams or network two or more existing ones to establish a coalition. This often requires sitting down with the interested parties and outlining detailed plans for combining resources and for creating an agreed-upon framework for mutually beneficial information sharing. Such partnerships may also require dividing applicable computer and HR support in a fair and equitable manner.

Relating any such applicable experiences you may have had will serve you well at your next job interview!


We mentioned results, but it's worth talking more about. Every company, every agency, every institution is after the same thing. They need to hire individuals who can understand the mission and get it done, day after day, year after year.

If you've spent any length of time as an executive leader and manager, chances are you have the demonstrable know-how to prove you are the right candidate for the job. Why? Because you've "been there, done that."

Relate your war stories to the types of goals your potential new employer has in store for you. Impress upon them that you're the best person for the job by telling how you got results while serving in your prior post.

If you're at the interview phrase of the process, that means hiring officials are interested in learning more about you. Your resume can only describe your value so much; however the interview will seal the deal. They can tell from your application the level of commitment your old job required. All you have to do is tie those previous experiences to the position you're seeking. If you're able to do that convincingly during interviews, chances are you'll be made an offer before you know it!

Barbara Adams, President and CEO of CareerPro Global (CPG), the parent company of www.careerproplus.com and www.militaryresumewriters.com, has been a member of the careers community for the past 20 years. Ms. Adams holds four prestigious industry certifications. CareerPro Global is the only ISO 9001-2008 Certified Career Service in the industry, as well as one of the fastest-growing Military, Federal, and Civilian Resume-Writing and Careers-Coaching companies. The team of Certified Professional Federal and Military Resume Writers at CPG assist thousands of clients in applying for and gaining employment each year. We can help you land your military to civilian job.

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