Do you have fabulous senior-level credentials, but you’re not getting the job offer? Join career expert and award-winning author Andrew LaCivita as he discusses executive job interview tips: 3 keys to getting a senior role!

This puts you at zero…

What’s happening when you’re job interviewing? You exchange information. You need to have the right responses to the employer’s questions. You need to ask good questions. You need the right background. You need to impress.

When you’re a junior- or mid-level resource, that’s typically good enough to get hired. When you’re at the senior level, it’s not.

The 3 big keys…

  1. It’s about their future, not your past.

You need to get the interviewers, the most senior interviewers, thinking into the future. If you can’t get them to imagine what their life will be like and what their company will look like with you there, you’ll never get hired.

You can have a great background. You could have been there, done that. That’s great. But, if you can’t shift their mindset from thinking you’re serviceable to thinking how you’ll catapult them forward, you’re not going to get hired.


One of the easiest ways to shift their thinking is to shift the discussion from your background and your credentials to their goals. Boom.

Where do they see the company going? What exactly do they want to accomplish?

Once you know this, articulate exactly how you will take them there—step by step. Here’s what I would do first. Here’s what I would do second.

  1. Leaders are inclusive and inspiring.

You need to be the high tide that lifts all the boats. Leaders build more leaders. They don’t build more followers.

You need to show them you’re great at inspiring and inclusive. You’re great at building teams.

They’re probably going to ask you how you’ll build your team. That’s fine. But, I’m talking about giving them that deep, great feeling that having you there will inspire everyone and you’re a great person to work with.


First, think about your job interviewing process. Most of these senior-level interviewing processes start with senior people up front (because they don’t want to waste anybody’s time).

Then you have a middle part, which includes several other people. You’ll interview with colleagues, internal customers, some staff, and so on.

Toward the end, you’ll revisit (or visit for the first time) with a number of the senior folks.

Along the way, you’ll be gathering a lot of information as you speak to lots of people.

One of the easiest and most effective ways to show you’re inclusive is to make several references to the other people and the insight they shared!

For example, “Hey, Mary Jane said something about this… It really struck me. I love that idea. Mr. Executive Man, I’d love to get your perspective on that especially as it relates to [insert something else here which better be a more grand something else for a deeper level of insight].”

If you can include a number of references to other people in the organization and the great conversations you’ve had with them, the senior interviewers will start to see you as part of the team (already). It’s like you’re already working there!

This also reinforces key number one and gets them to look into the future regarding how you’ll be to work with.

  1. Stay away from one-and-done questions because then you’ll be done.

You’ll obviously be given a chance throughout the process to ask lots of questions. In addition to asking great questions, you need to avoid asking questions—however awesome they are—that lead to dead ends. If you ask dead end questions, you’ll be a dead end.

Specifically, I mean asking a great question, then receiving their response, and then moving on to the next question. That’s the big mistake!

The message you’re sending to them is that you are a puddle skipper. You are not somebody who’s digging deep to get information and collecting it all. You’re not well researched. You’re not digging deep enough to get the information you need to make a good decision. Ouch.

Now, they’re starting to imagine how you would be as a leader there. Working with the people in your group or other units and not digging deep enough.


If you have follow-up questions and drill down in your line of questioning, you send the message you are well researched, thoughtful, and making sure you’re getting all the information you need to make a good decision.

It sends them the message when you’re working with your staff, you will make sure you’re getting all the information to make good decisions.

That is something they’ll want so when they give you the autonomy to run your unit or run your division they have confidence you’ll be a great researcher, you’ll get all the information, and make well-educated decisions.

If you don’t do this, they’ll think you’re someone who skims the surface and oftentimes makes great mistakes or bad choices because you didn’t have all the information.

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