How to Interview like a CEO

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Photo courtesy of UC Trust UK

Last week, we had the pleasure of attending an event put on by the UCLA Anderson Alumni Network, called ‘Getting to the Top – An Insider’s View to C-suite Recruitment’. We heard from Ms. Rae Sedel, a Director at leading Executive Recruiters Russell Reynolds, and she gave the audiences tonnes of insightful tips on how to present yourself as a candidate and interview to the best of your ability. Although as students we’re not on our way to becoming CEO’s anytime soon, here are some of Ms. Sedel’s tips that we found the most helpful and relatable to people in all different stages of their careers!

1. Do your homework – show up to interviews having done enough research on the company to have developed your own point of view about the work they do and their policies. Impress your interviewer by coming armed with background knowledge and being able to ask them your own questions!

2. Answer the question, clearly and succinctly – Interviewers don’t have all day; when they ask you a question, answer it without giving them reams of information. If they want you to expand, they’ll ask. If you continue to chat on and on, you might give the impression that you’re not focused with your answer or worse – bore your interviewer! Keep it short and sweet.

3. Body language is important – Always make eye contact with your interviewer, and smile! Building a natural chemistry with the person asking the questions is just as important as impressing them with your answers. Be confident and have a presence.

4. Listen – Always listen closely during an interview, because your interviewer will emphasize points or ask you more questions about the topics they think are most important, so it’s good to reflect that back to them in your answers.

5. Self-objectivity – In addition to being confident and humorous, you’ve got to know who you are, and what you can do. It’s crucial to demonstrate what you’re good at, how you’ll be able to deal with things you don’t know about, and how you manage the things you’re not good at.

And that’s not all! For even more tips on interviewing, careers, and resumes, sign up for our Networking with Alumni Event on Wednesday, 8th March, where you’ll get the chance to hear from UC Alumni living and working in London. There’ll even be free burritos – don’t miss out!