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Executive Interviews: Mapping your experience strategically

by: Ruaidhri | Posted June 8, 2017

In an executive interview, the candidate who can communicate their value more efficiently than their competitors stands the best chance of interview success.

This is because at interview, there is a limited amount of time to convince the interviewer that you are the most suitable person for the role.

While this may seem obvious, we see too many candidates whose initial approach to their interview preparation is to go into Q&A mode. The issue with this is that it is too reliant on the interviewer extracting and interpreting the reasons as to why they should choose you rather than your competitors.

Your goal is to get the interviewer to understand the value of your experiences and to communicate these in a way that differentiate you from the crowd. Having a clear strategy in place to facilitate this is a critical component in being competitive in your preparation for your interview.

Many senior executive candidates will have 15/20+ years of experiences from which they should be able to make a compelling case as to why they are suitable for the role.

But it can sometimes be a daunting task – how can you condense everything that you learned in 15+ years in interviews that generally last less than an hour?

With this in mind, we collaborate with our candidates to strategically plan on how to deliver this value in the optimum manner.

Having a structured approach to gathering the information you share at interview is the first step in making this happen, and we work with our candidates to set out the inputs that they need to make in the interview.

We call this an Agenda of Experiences.  Once these experiences are marked down, (having analysed your CV with you) we are then in a much better position to help you to figure out how to approach the challenge ahead.

Knowing the  inputs we are going to contribute and how we are going to communicate them competitively gives us a focus in terms of what we are trying to achieve, and takes some of the abstraction away from trying to predict every question that is going to appear.

Clarifying your key inputs is only the first step in terms of preparing competitively for interview – it is at this point that we start figuring out how best to extract the most value from these experiences to differentiate you from your competitors.

Granted, there are obvious areas that need to be covered – but by taking the proactive approach of mapping down the experiences that make us suitable for the role, the dynamic of the preparation changes from “ask me anything” to “let me tell you what I have to offer and why I’m suitable for this role”.

And this is where the real work begins.

Ruaidhrí Finnegan is a communications consultant at Communiqué International where his focus is on executive job interview preparation. Communiqué International’s tested communication methodologies and frameworks ensure that our candidates extract the full value from their past experiences and communicate their full potential in a competitive interview. 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. Tel: +353 1 676 8998 or E-mail:

Communique's objective is to help our clients persuade people to their point of view.