The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

March 10, 2017

Three Ways to Ace an Interview with the CEO

Professionalism, preparation, and curiosity are important in a job interview—no matter who you are meeting. We encourage job seekers to adjust their presentation depending on the listener. There are a few types of individuals with whom you’ll converse, including a Human Resources representative, the line manager, or a potential peer. All of these meetings will require different approaches. HR primarily screens for personality, while members of your future team are more concerned about technical aptitude.

At some point, you might meet with the President/CEO of the organization. Your dialogue with him or her should differ substantially from that with HR, the line manager, or someone at your own professional level. Here are three tips:

Think Big Picture

Chris Cook, Director of Accounting & Finance Recruitment in Abacus Group’s Los Angeles office, advises posing “higher-level questions pertaining to the entire company, not just the division or department in you are interviewing.” You can ask about short-term and long-term growth, the current biggest challenges, and how the company differentiates itself from others in the industry.

Reference Previous Conversations

By this stage, you have likely already met with someone from HR or future team. Reference these meetings not only to show you have been paying attention to detail but to indicate that you care about getting a different perspective on some of the topics about which you’ve already spoken.

Talk About Culture

Company culture typically filters down from the CEO/President and other senior management. There’s no better person to ask about culture than the person who has established the personality of the organization. Ask about the CEO’s leadership style, how he or she motivates staff, and how company goals are communicated and met.

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