Search committees, governing boards and executive recruiting firms all have the task of hiring executives in charge of the companies they oversee. CEOs then fill positions that they directly supervise. If you're someone who wants a job in the C-suite, you must have an executive presence. Impress your executive recruiter as a job candidate with these 10 tips.
1. First Impression
First impressions set the tone for the rest of the interview process. Your executive presence starts with a firm handshake, warm smile and continuous eye contact with the recruiter. When you show you're serious from the start, the recruiter takes you seriously.
This is an executive job, so go for business formal attire for the initial meeting with a recruiter. However, if you're on a factory floor, consider wearing a polo shirt, khakis and comfortable dress shoes.
Your posture during an interview says a lot about your executive presence. Walk in standing straight and tall. Sit upright in your chair with your feet flat on the floor. If you normally slouch when you walk and sit, fix this before your initial interview with a recruiter or a group. Consider exercises, stretches and a concerted effort to fix any posture problems.
You don't want to sit in an interview like a robot; you want to gesture every once in a while. Refrain from pointing, fidgeting or moving your arms wildly. Try to mirror the movements of the person speaking. Subtly lean forward and back when the person speaking makes these movements.
5. Small Talk
Every bit of small talk adds to the conversation. Don't talk about the weather or the latest sports scores. Casually mentioning the newest industry report or trends fits the bill nicely with your executive presence. Small talk about relevant issues makes your interviewers more at ease.
6. Comfort Level
Develop a rapport with your interviewers by showing your authentic personality. If you're an extrovert, exude a quiet, humble energy and clever wit without being overbearing. It's okay to show confidence in your abilities, but don't turn into a know-it-all who can solve every problem.
7. Speech Patterns
How you speak is just as important as what you say. Your inflections, speech patterns, filler words in your sentences and enunciation all factor into how you come across with your speech.
A quiet confidence means speaking at the correct volume. Speak clearly so you can keep your volume lower rather than higher. You can't speak too quietly, and you don't want to appear as if you're shouting.
The pace of your speech also enhances your confidence. Speak in measured tones without trying to rush through a conversation or an answer.
Your past experience prepares you for your big interview. If you have experience working with C-suite types in the past, these men and women probably shaped your executive presence. Observe and take your cues from them, and your experience comes through during the interview.
As a job candidate for an executive-level position, your executive presence goes a long way toward convincing a recruiter and the board that you're a perfect fit. Learn these 10 tips and tricks to help further your cause for the position.
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