You have a career built upon success and have years of experience to back your confidence. Now you want to take the next step and apply for a high level director position. These positions are less common and sit at the bottom of the job funnel. In order to succeed in the interview process, you need to articulate your successes, discuss your personal brand, and demonstrate why you rise above other candidates.
Prepare thoroughly for the interview. At this level, preparation is part efficiency and part perspective. You are not going to learn everything needed in this interview process through prep. The majority of the knowledge is either already ingrained in you or not. Focus upon knowing the company and how you will apply your skill base to impact their strategic needs.
Understand the employee qualities companies seek in high level director roles. The interviewers will not look for small picture perspective and short-term thinking. Companies seeking to fill these position are looking for big-picture qualities like creativity, fairness, integrity, dedication, openness and humility.
Sell yourself. Even though you have many years of experience, do not make the mistake of expecting to be wooed. In a competitive job market, you always have to sell your personal brand. Back everything you in the interview with concrete and concise examples.
Demonstrate vision. High level directors need to provide inspired leadership and you need to demonstrate that ability in the interview. Provide examples of how you have motivated your employees, but do so in a humble way. Always connect your vision with intention.
Discuss the specific the steps you took, the tasks you completed, and the impact that you had. Even if you share a group success story, be sure to point out the specific role you played. A potential employer wants to know how you balance being magnanimous with your ability to drive results.
Be comfortable in your own shoes, without being arrogant. This is a challenging balance to maintain and requires practice. You want to speak from a position of strength and integrity, while demonstrating a developed sense of humility.
Ask high quality questions. At the high level director level, you need to formulate questions with the perspective of the position. Do not ask questions about the company, its structure or its function. You should have researched that already. Instead, ask questions about strategic direction and implementation of complicated processes where you intend to have an impact.
Discuss your interview with someone you know who is already in a high level director position for perspective and guidance.
Resist the temptation to overstate your accomplishments. You never want to be caught in a situation where you are scaling back on an exaggeration.
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