A relationship with a good search firm can be invaluable to your future career advancement


Many books have been written on the subject of interviewing that detail how to approach answering the many questions that you can be asked during an interview. Here we provide key insights gained from our years as search professionals that should help you excel at the interviews that are appropriate for you. The only real secret to an excellent interview is preparation and rehearsal. Specifically you should prepare the following:

  1. 1. A cordial opening statement such as: "I've been looking forward to this meeting."

  2. 2. A two-minute overview of your experience. "I will give you an overview of my experience. If you would like to explore some aspect of my background more fully, I'd be happy to go into greater depth." Start with the two-minute summary and let the interviewer tell you what detail he or she would like.

  3. 3. A very detailed discussion of your experience. Include the contributions you believe you have made in each of your jobs as well as your motivations for career choices and job changes. Be prepared to not only present your substantive know-how, but also the way in which you work with clients and the approach you take in handling the types of cases of potential interest to the interviewer.

  4. 4. A clear statement of why you are interested in exploring this particular opportunity with this employer. Many recruited candidates underestimate the importance of an authentic and well-articulated answer to this question. Be clear that you are magnetized by the positives offered by this employer and this opportunity. To most employers, the answer to this question is one of the most important pieces of information they seek.

  5. 5. Be prepared for the interviewer to ask you to brainstorm how you might solve an actual problem or achieve an important company objective if you were to be hired.

  6. 6. Be prepared for questions about compensation. There is one truly strong answer to compensation questions and it goes something like this: "I am here because of the opportunity with your organization. If you find me to be the best candidate, I feel confident we can work out the compensation."

  7. 7. Prepare insightful questions not only about the position you are considering, but also about the employer's business. Note that it is the quality of your questions that impresses some interviewers the most.

  8. 8. By the end of the interview, if you are quite interested in the opportunity, be sure to tell the interviewer. Before you leave, ask “After meeting with me today and reviewing my background, do you have any reservations or concerns that would stop you from bringing me back for another interview?” Address these concerns. Ask what the next step in the process is and when the employer will be making a decision about this next step. If you genuinely have another offer forthcoming, tell the interviewer - in the spirit of assistance, not as a negotiating tactic.

  9. 9. It is important to send a follow up “thank you” note or e-mail to the interviewer within 24 hours of your interview.

  10. 10. And finally, here is the toughest, but most important, piece of advice for many people: Take time to think about what you want your life to be about. What do you want to accomplish and contribute - as a person and as a professional? Is all your hard work taking you in the direction you really want to go? Will this new opportunity authentically help you move towards a life and career that you believe will be satisfying for you? (And remember, it’s not always just about the money….) If not, why interview? If so, your clarity of purpose and your passion for the work and mission of the organization will speak volumes to that employer. Such genuineness is hard to fake - and very hard to compete with. If you had a choice, wouldn't you want to hire a person inspired in this way?




Paul Kilman, Principal
100 Pearl Street, 14th Floor
Hartford, CT 06103 USA
Telephone: 860-676-7817
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