Job Interview Strategy to Win Managerial and Executive Positions

Use This Job Interview Strategy to Win Managerial and Executive Positions

Massive numbers of layoffs during the COVID19 pandemic mean having a job interview strategy to win managerial and executive positions is a wise skill to polish. If you are in this situation, I’ll offer a job interview strategy and 5 steps for interviewing that may help you position yourself as the candidate who is the right fit for the position you may be seeking.

I’ve coached professionals to prepare for interviews for about 15 years. It seems that many professional people think about an interview like an audition for a role. They try to learn their lines. They worry about what they’ll be asked and if they can give the right answers to the questions. This way of thinking places you in a passive position. It leaves you hoping you have the right answers, hoping you get the job.

There is a better strategy for job interview preparation that I coach my clients to use. I encourage you to partner with the interviewer to help solve the problems that will face you when you start the job. I have always advised my clients, “Go to the interview as if you already have the job.”

Keith’s Interview Story

Here’s a story about a client and how he and I worked to prepare him to interview. It may help you think differently about your next interview. Keith was a highly skilled and experienced project manager of technical solutions in the oil and gas pipeline industry. After several unsuccessful interviews, he reached out for some help preparing for his next interview at a large interstate natural gas pipeline company. He was more than qualified to take the position of senior project manager which he had been seeking when he asked me to coach him to interview.

While coaching Keith to share his professional experience and back-up stories, I encouraged him to think about himself as a consultant rather than as an interviewee. I asked Keith to prepare himself for our practice sessions with research on the company and thoughtful consideration of what problems a senior manager at that company might need to solve. I also asked him to map out a potential plan for solving those problems in his first 90 days to accelerate his efforts. Armed with all his preparation, he went to the interview looking to help the interviewer find solutions… as if he were already in the position.

Not only did Keith get the job, but his interview went so well that he was asked to be on the interview committee for hiring new managers at the company. Keith later told me that the key to his success had been in positioning himself as a consultant rather than as an interviewee.

With some serious preparation, you can turn a job interview from an audition into a consultation that positions you as the candidate who will provide the solution to the problem that the job poses. When you show up at the interview as the one who can solve that problem, then you become the one who is the right fit for the position.

5 Steps to Help Position You as the Expert Who Can Help the Company Solve Their Problems

  1. Do as much research as possible on the position, job description and company as possible. Decide if you know that you are a good fit for the job first. If you are, write out all the ways that you fit, don’t just think about them.
  2. Prepare yourself like a consultant. Identify questions to ask that will uncover their needs, goals and problems. Use your expertise to formulate your questions. Why are they hiring? What problem does the new employee need to be able to solve? What has been missing in the past? What will the ideal employee be able to do?
  3. Early in the interview, ask the interviewer what problems they need the new employee to solve. Be curious about what an ideal employee would be able to do to move the department and company forward. Like at good consultant, dig for the real need, not just the job tasks.
  4. As you answer the interviewer’s questions, demonstrate how your background gives you the expertise to solve their problems. Make the connections between your experience and their needs. Tell them your stories about solving similar problems, offering possible solutions so they get a sense of your expertise.
  5. If you believe you are the right one for the position, tell them so; and, make a promise to solve the problem that the employee in that position must solve.

Position yourself in job interviews as if you are a paid consultant who is already there to help them identify and solve problems. If you apply this job interview strategy, you’ll feel and appear confident. They’ll experience your value. You’ll also likely be offered the position.

I coach professionals for authentic public speaking, leadership presence and interview preparation. To learn more about interview preparation coaching visit my website. If I can help you prepare to interview for your next position, you can reach me at 281-293-7070 or

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