A leadership interview is a little more delicate. In fact, I would categorize this discussion as more of a conversation than an interview. There are several reasons why this is so.
The candidate being interviewed is typically more mature. Usually, this person has managed departments or divisions, if not other companies. Therefore, this applicant is more comfortable with the proceedings. For this level candidate, it truly is an opportunity to shine and demonstrate the depth and breadth of the knowledge and experience that has been acquired over an entire professional career.
These factors by themselves make this interview different.
It is as much about making sure that there is a stylistic and cultural match as it is about the skills that the candidate possesses. And the candidate also usually understands on some level that a poor match will not work for him or her.
To make this conversation more effective and easier, I typically explain that I am assisting n this process. My intention and goals is to find a fit so that the candidate can be happy and fulfilled for years to come and so can the company.
This allows for a conversational shift toward getting to know the person. The context and the most fundamental rule to apply is that we are here to “screen out” inappropriate candidates rather than “screening in” people.
The purpose of the questions that we outlined in the previous post is now clear. The se questions have been designed to facilitate the discussion and they are clearly in the best interests of the applicant as well as the company.