JOB SEARCH / JUN. 07, 2013
version 17, draft 17

Executive Job Seekers’ Biggest Mistakes

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 As an executive job seeker, the pressure to impress during an interview by highlighting your abilities, experiences, and relevance to the job, is huge. Unlike with graduate interviews where a certain level of flexibility and lenience is given, executive interviewees are expected to be prepared for the interview, create a good first impression, and have the necessary communication skills to effectively demonstrate the value they can add to the company in a clear and concise manner.

With the mounting pressure and job search stress that executive level employees face when finding a job, mistakes are undoubtedly made throughout the interview process.

Here we provide some of the most important mistakes to avoid as an executive level interviewee.

Poorly prepared CV 

Your CV is integral to how a recruiter will view you as a credible candidate. A frequent mistake made by job seekers is to put too much focus on how they will perform in an interview, and not enough on their actually CV. This simply results in fewer or no interview offers and a much longer job search.

Not being prepared for interview 

Many executive level candidates have attending so many interviews in their professional lifetime that they do not believe they have to put in the necessary ground work or research to prepare for an interview. This is a common mistake made and recruiters do not appreciate candidates who know nothing about their business or the job applied for.

Coming off too aggressive 

The jobs market is highly competitive, especially due to the fact that an increasing number of executive level employees are being made redundant. However, it is important that you do not come off too aggressive in your application or job interview. A common mistake made by executive job seekers is where they bombard the recruiter with follow up emails, calls, and letters requesting to hear more about their CV application or interview progress. Hassling the interviewer can be very detrimental to your job application and may result in you no longer being considered for the role.

Coming off too desperate 

Although the labor market is fiercely competitive and job opportunities are not readily available (particularly at an executive or managerial level), it is important that you do not apply for positions that are lower than you capabilities/qualifications are. It is also essential that you do not openly state that you will accept any job the recruiter can offer you. This is a turn off for recruiters and simply highlights you as a desperate job seeker rather than professional who has carefully thought about the job you have applied for.

Talking too much in interview 

The general agreement amongst recruiters is that interviewees should not spend more than one minute responding to each interview question. More than this will distract and bore the recruiter, and may also imply that you are not capable of getting your point across clearly and concisely.

Using a checklist for questions without paying attention to what was said during the interview 

A frequent mistake made by interviewees of all levels is being ‘overly prepared’; this refers to the preparing of interview questions that are to be asked at the end of the interview. Oftentimes, candidates will reel off all their prepared interview questions despite many of their questions already answered during the interview. By asking questions that have been discussed during the interview, this will imply to the recruiter that you are a poor listener.

Failing to Create Bonds with Executive Recruiters 

It is important that you establish a professional relationship with recruiters from executive recruitment consultancies. Without putting in the time and effort to make your presence known to recruiters, you will likely fail in securing attractive interview offers.  

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