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Executive interview preparation – achieving the competitive edge

by: Ruaidhri | Posted April 20, 2017

One of the biggest challenges that you face at an executive job interview is your ability to communicate your experience, your insights, your plans, and your priorities for the role in the limited time that is afforded to you.

Often, candidates are bringing 15+ years of experience to the table – and the more senior your position, the more competitive it is going to be in terms of winning the role.

Your competitors for the position – who are all likely to have great experiences, have shown quality leadership capability and have a track record of success – are not going to let you win without putting up some resistance.

To give yourself the best chance to come out on top, you have to think competitively and act competitively from the get-go. This is where your approach to your preparation is key to success.

 Take a structured approach

Structuring your communications approach to the interview is vital if you want to be better prepared than your competitors.

Quite simply, you can be the Warren Buffet of your profession, but if you cannot communicate the value you bring to the table within the framework of the interview, you are not doing yourself justice.

You are competing on communicating every ounce of your experience in a way that differentiates you and showcases your strategic thinking better than your competitors.

This means communicating with greater clarity – giving relevant examples that align with the role requirements and sharing insights that let the interviewers see how you are going to add tangible value in the new role.

Communicating your messages so that they resonate with the interviewer is also the piece of your preparation that will always take the most reflection and work.  At an executive level, it is the value and considered thinking that you offer which can really set you apart from other candidates. This is what really counts – because with most generic interview preparation, you’re likely to be no more than 60% effective in communicating the value that you bring to the table.

Marginal gains can make all the difference

Always aim to be more specific, more descriptive, more thorough, and more insightful than your competitor – but don’t just hope that this will happen. Break your interview preparation process into component parts. You can then start capturing the value of your experience that will give you the marginal gains over your competitors and help you do your best possible interview on the day.

Being competitive in every aspect will always be a key factor at executive interview level where the difference between winning and losing is going to be tight.

By putting in the hard graft in your preparation stage, you make sure that you are giving yourself your best chance for exceptional interview performance.


Ruaidhrí Finnegan is a communications consultant at Communiqué International where his focus is on executive level job interview preparation. Communiqué International’s tried and tested communication models and frameworks ensure that candidates realise and communicate their full potential when it matters most. Whether you are thinking of starting your job search, have a job interview coming up or simply wish to improve your communications skills in your current role, the team at Communiqué can assist you in realising your business objectives.  Tel: +353 1 676 8998 or E-mail:




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