Ask a Recruiter: How Long Should You Take to Prepare for an Executive Interview?

For Candidates

businessman looking at a clock wondering how long should you take to prepare for an executive interview

For executives, it can be tempting to think that you have participated in enough interviews so you no longer need to prepare for them. In reality, that is not always the case. You would be surprised at the number of executives who have been stumped by a question during the initial phone screening with our recruiters.

Hiring a new executive is a big investment for employers. It is up to the candidate to prove they have the right experience, qualifications, and leadership skills to make a positive difference for that business. So, how long should you take to prepare for an executive interview? And more importantly, where should you focus your time and energy?


How Many Hours Should You Spend Preparing for an Executive Interview?

Bristol’s President Ben Farber suggests committing at least a couple of hours when preparing for an interview. “At this stage of their career, executives should already be comfortable talking about their skills, current role, and how they can be an asset to another organization. Most of the prep time should be put towards learning about the new company and role and determining how they convey their potential short- and long-term impact in a traditional interview format,” he explains.

But of course, every executive is different. While some can ace an interview with minimal prep work, others need extra time to brush up on their interviewing skills or practice to prevent mistakes.

When preparing for an executive interview, delve deep with your research. Aside from the company website and job description, look into social media platforms, news articles, and employee and guest reviews to have a well-rounded understanding of the organization.

Now, ask yourself: what can you do with this knowledge? If the company has upcoming projects relevant to the job opening, what strategies would you implement to streamline the process? What vision can you bring to the table that will set you apart from other leaders competing for the same opportunity?


The Bottom Line

Over the years, our firm has worked with candidates who have gone above and beyond to prepare for an interview. One executive we placed landed the CEO role after providing a comprehensive plan for the organization’s future. Another executive marketing candidate used PowerPoint to sell their qualifications and presentation skills to the hiring company. We also worked with an applicant who took the initiative to tour the property on their own beforehand so they could experience the atmosphere from a guest’s perspective and incorporate what they observed into their interview answers.

To truly impress hiring authorities in an executive interview, you must show them that you did your homework and have the vision to bring their organization to the next level. Ultimately, how long you should prepare for an executive interview can vary – what matters most is how you utilize that time.

Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with over 55 years of excellence in recruiting nationwide. Bristol specializes in recruiting for the Casino Gaming; CBD; Facility and Concession; Food and Beverage Manufacturing; Healthcare; Hotel and Resort; Nonprofit; Restaurant and Foodservice; and Travel, Tourism, and Attraction industries.

If you’re interested in working with Bristol Associates, click here if you’re an employer or here if you’re a candidate.

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