Mastering the Executive Lunch Interview
So the initial phone or skype interviews went well, and you advanced to the next round of interviews.
In the following intensive first round in-person interview you were spot-on and convincing.
In the subsequent 2 round panel interview situation, you delivered a brilliantly outlined 30, 60, and 90-day action plan that convinced the executive level hiring authorities to shortlist you.
Now your target company has narrowed it down to 3 candidates, and the CEO or company board have invited you to a final lunch interview. Now, what to do? What else could they possibly ask you?
The intention of the Lunch Interview
Obviously, the lunch interview is supposed to reveal something about you beyond your actual subject matter expertise.
And no, contrary to the general interview advice out there it’s not primarily to test your eating manners (that is just a given). You are a seasoned executive, and you have been to more business lunches than you care to remember.
So please forget about the usual lunch advise on what to order and not order, or where to place your napkin.
What the company wants to see is your “real world” behavior in a supposedly more relaxed atmosphere compared to the sterile interview room with all sorts of canned interview talk.
Naturally, people are more inclined to “reveal their true colors” in a casual lunch atmosphere vs. the more “defensive” situation of being grilled by a 5 people panel. By that doesn’t mean it’s all cruise control from here on. You still have to outcompete 2 high-level competitors.
How to Prepare and Deliver
The lunch interview is really the scenario where you want to do your research on the people that are going to be present. Any shared interests, philanthropy, hobbies, common alumni, or industry networking groups? Make sure you know about it.
The lunch interview is a great opportunity to showcase that you are “the complete package” as you can demonstrate “great communication skills” and the “ability to connect with stakeholders at all levels” live and in action.
A natural flow to the conversation is a two way lane, so don’t just wait for questions. Look at the lunch interview as an opportunity to read between the lines and to determine actual cultural fit. You and your interviewers alike will want to gauge how well you might connect during everyday business.
Last but not least, do not forget to send a customized thank you note for the lunch invitation.
Interested in working with me to ensure executive career success? Let’s get on the phone and discuss how I can help.
Tim Windhof Earns Hidden Job Market Career Coaching Credential
Columbus, Ohio, 4/2/2018: Research shows that 80% of jobs are filled through networking, and that referred, qualified candidates, are 14 (!) times more likely to get the job.
With the majority of executive and C-level opportunities not advertised the traditional way, learning how to tap into the hidden job market and becoming the referred candidate is critical to achieving their goals.
Now, Tim Windhof of Windhof Communications – Career Services is better prepared than ever to provide international executives with a structured process for creating a job search strategy, networking measurably, overcoming job search fears, and taking steps to realize their career goals.
Tim Windhof has completed a demanding training program and earned the Certified Hidden Job Market Coach credential from Career Thought Leaders (CTL) – a certification that highlights understanding of coaching best practices and advanced job search strategies.
“My executive clients are facing tough competition in a global market and need strategies,” says Tim Windhof, and even after a number of years in the executive career field, I wanted to be sure that I was providing the best support during what is a complex job search process.
My recent training with Career Thought Leaders means that my clients can approach job search with confidence, knowing that they will have the structure, flexibility, and resources they need.”
Tim Windhof is an executive résumé writer and international career coach who specializes in international career advancement. You can read more about his services here.
This Week: National Resume Writers’ Association New Business Owners’ Call
In my function as New Business Owners Director of Industry, Eastern Region for the National Resume Writers’ Association, I will be co-hosting our first quarterly business call together with my esteemed colleague Kathi Fuller on Friday, March 30th, 2018.
Together we will share business strategies and best business practices to enable our colleagues to grow their resume writing businesses. You can find further information about the event on the NRWA calendar here.
We will also have special guest Teena Rose on the call. Teena has been a resume writer and career coach for the past 19+ years. She is the owner of the NRWA affiliated resource ResumeBiz.
Stay tuned for NRWA member access details later this week.
The Missing Link in your Toolbox:The Networking Resume
It’s no secret that jobseekers need a stellar resume. However, particularly when actively unearthing job opportunities through reaching out to your network you might not always want to send a full-blown resume to every contact you have.
The Resume Disconnect
Even if you feel comfortable circulating your full-blown resume, there is some vital information the receiving end will not pick up from your resume.
For example, your resume typically does not address some of the following questions:
I could go on, but you get the point. Typically, you would include this type of information in a respective email that you send to your network contact.
However, when doing so, you now face the dilemma that the “pointers and guidelines” for your network contact of what you are looking for are now separated from your resume.
Suddenly, it is up to your networking contact to put the pieces together when introducing or connecting you with another person.
And that is obviously not good enough. Why? Because you don’t want to depend on a third party for this important networking step. Everything that is “too much work” or “too confusing” for your contacts bears the risk of your outreach going nowhere. So, what to do?
The Networking Resume Fix
Enter the networking resume. The networking resume is a great hybrid of an abbreviated version of your resume combined with a section or two of highlighted guidelines where you specify how your network can help you and whom you would like to meet and talk to. For this purpose, you will want to radically trim down your resume to create the necessary whitespace for including the “networking part.”
I personally, have found compact 1-page formats to be very effective. Anything longer carries the risk of being too much to “digest” for your network connections.
Remember, attention spans are getting shorter every day.
Of course, you have heard the advice out on the web numerous times of how networking is all about giving first. Well, I am not advocating to be rude to people or sending your new networking resume out to people you haven’t spoken to in 5 years.
However, it is a simple fact in job searching as well as life in general that most people will actually want to help, but they usually don’t know how to help. And with a no-nonsense networking resume, you can avoid exactly this dilemma.
Let me know how it works out for you!
The #1 hack to make your cover letter actually digestible
The #1 hack to creating an actually digestible cover letter is really not much of a hack at all. All it takes is taking on the role of the potential cover letter recipient for a moment.
Do you like reading cover letters? If you are like most people, chances are, you don’t.
But why exactly is this so? Because the vast majority of cover letters is long-winded and full of schmaltzy and antiquated phrases.
Is it fun and informative to read long-winded texts full of antiquated phrases? Obviously not.
If you are hiring or recruiting yourself, you will usually have a pressing company need that your prospective hire is supposed to solve. So, you will want to know if the person that is contacting you can solve your specific problem. And for figuring this out, you don’t want to read a discursive essay.
Don't re-tell your resume
So help your reader out and cut-out all unessential parts and fluff. Eliminate anything that looks like you are simply retelling your resume.
Double check if you “filled” your text with unnecessary adjectives. Does anything sound too braggadocios? Where you can make it shorter without changing your message?
After implementing those steps, you will have greatly enhanced the digestibility of your cover letter.
Any questions about crafting a compelling executive cover letter or resume? Simply shoot me an email: email@example.com
PS: If not, don't forget to check out my job search checklist