Not being adequately prepared for an interview is a common reason candidates are unsuccessful in an executive search process.
To be perfectly blunt, I am increasingly baffled by the simple lack of readiness.
Question: Which senior executives go into a board meeting unprepared? Answer: Those who are destined to be unemployed.
I have been leading executive search engagements for more than 20 years and this is a problem that you would think would go away, but it hasn’t. The explosion of readily available sources for business intelligence notwithstanding, I am convinced the lack of preparation is getting worse. Even more worrisome is the fact that when candidates do attempt to “use’ their research, it is frequently done in such a ham-handed manner that it becomes a liability. Really.
In my shop, we provide qualified candidates with a comprehensive Position Prospectus. This document averages between 28 and 64 pages, and contains in-depth information on the critical issues. It is bone jarring the number of candidates who, when asked if they have any questions, begin asking about issues that are covered in detail in the Prospectus.
While we are known for being exceedingly detailed in our process, there are many firms that give candidates a superficial 12 to 18 pages that is sparse on substantive details regarding the client’s cultural DNA, performance expectations, and the hurdles they will likely encounter in pursuit of those performance expectations. I can only wonder how the candidates in those searches perform.
Here are five things you can do to get prepared:
As I have said many times in the past, the best-qualified candidate gets the job only 35 to 40 percent of the time. Recruiters and employers are hungry for candidates who are prepared and focused. Those are the people who are getting the jobs.
Having the requisite degrees/academic preparation and a good track record is no longer enough to land a top-tier job, especially in healthcare. Follow these five rules and you will be ahead of 90 percent of your competitors.
After 20 years and thousands of hours of interviewing, trust me on that one.
© 2021 John Gregory Self