Your CV has done the job: it got you the interview for that position you definitely want. A wise move now is to prepare in detail for the imminent discussion with the recruiter. So start with the basics: the common stuff asked as part of interview questions for senior managers. Thinking that they are simple questions with simple answers is generalizing it far too much. Behind every question is a potential hidden purpose. Deciphering that small detail is the key to success.
Why are you here?
The ambiguity of such a question might lead you on dangerous path, and make you mention the reasons for leaving your current job. You couldn’t have a worse start! The direction you’re aiming at when answering has to do with what you know about and what interests you in your potential employer and job.
What are your career ambitions?
You do expect this question and for sure you have a whole speech prepared. But bear in mind that the recruiter doesn’t want to hear a fictive story. If in fact you think that this position is at the top of what you want to reach, then be honest about it. There’s a better chance that you are perceived as a successful candidate if you know your level and you are not afraid to share it.
How did you deal with a conflict you might have had with a team member?
The focus here is not ‘conflict’, but ‘team’. The recruiter wants to assess your ability of working in a team. So pick a situation from the past, spare the details and give a concise and a straight-forward answer.
What is your salary expectation for this job?
Everybody agrees that this is a question that is as common, as it is tricky. As a response, do not throw in numbers. It’s smarter to say that you would need more information about the job and its responsibilities. As a plus, a query on the range budgeted for this position might not harm.
Is there anything you would like to ask me?
This question is usually popped at the end of the interview. This is your chance to show you know whom you are talking with. A thorough previous research on the company and on the recruiter would provide you with a solid background for a good question. If you haven’t done it so far, try to build a rapport with the interviewer and prove that you are a ‘people person’. The key tip is also to not ask a string of questions and be concise. Asking a thousand questions may make you feel you’re prepared, but you also risk the fact that the interview may feel that he/she is being interviewed instead. Do not ask questions which make anyone feel you are too nit-picky. You may be right in a critical remark about what the company may have done, but you are unaware of their constraints as an outsider. Stick to safer topics.
While these questions and tips are relevant across levels, headhunters tend to tell us, how while focusing on technical topics, sometimes candidates for management jobs tend to be less prepared for these basic ones. Hopefully these tips will help you prepare for some of the trickier interview questions for senior managers.