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Friday, November 18, 2011

Interviewing tips from the “Corner Office”

The NY Times feature called the “Corner Office” provides great tips for interviewing from CEO’s.

John Chambers of Cisco Systems wants to hear about your results not all you can do. It’s the difference between saying, “I write good copy” and “My last blog generated an increase in web site hits by 25%”.

He also wants to know about your failures because “all of us have had mistakes and failures.” Instead of responding, “I can’t think of one” which Mr. Chambers says, “immediately loses credibility.” Share a lesson learned or two.

Then he “tries to figure out if you’re really oriented around the customer.” Do you speak in terms of how your work impacts the customer? What are the needs and aspirations of the customers of the position you are interviewing for?

And finally, do you have good communication skills--especially listening. Do you interrupt or plan your next response? Are your questions rote, standard or do they arise out of your conversation naturally?

Maigread Eickten CEO of FRS, a maker of energy drinks “finds that a ton people don’t know that much about the company.” She’s looking for preparation. Do you know the success and challenges of the company? The history? The mission, vision, values?

She’s also looking for passion. Do you exude competence? Have enthusiasm?
Demonstrate ways you can add value?

And finally product knowledge. She’s had a few people who haven’t even tried the FRS energy drink. “If they say that, the interview is over.”

For more from CEO’s on interviewing go to http://www.nytimes.com/ and search “corner office.”