The difference between successful leaders today and those who have less successful careers is often around their ability to take meaning from experience. Defined as Learning Agility, the ability and willingness to learn from experience is a well sought after trait in contemporary leaders.
The interview process can provide a useful learning experience even at the most senior level. Whilst it is not easy to receive the bad news that you were not the chosen candidate for the CEO role you had your heart set on, there is often valuable information to be gained from the process you have invested in. A professional and reputable consultant provides the most open and constructive feedback even when it is a turn down. Senior executives have found the following four questions valuable when seeking feedback from their search consultant through the process:
- “How open was the hiring organisation to candidates from outside their industry?”
As a candidate this sort of decision is a little outside your ability to influence no matter how convincing you are.
- “Did the feedback you received from your client align with how you viewed my candidacy?”
As search consultants we are looking for consistency in how you present at interview whether you are successful or not.
- “Which questions could I have answered better?”
This question will allow the search consultant to share where you did not do adequate research, could have provided a more relevant example, or provided more detail and context or where you simply did not have the prior exposure to answer the question well.
At senior levels there is an expectation that you will have researched the role and the organisation thoroughly.
- “Please leave me with a piece of advice for future interviews”
This will allow the search consultant to be honest and candidate about what you can think about doing to improve your interview approach and if you have made a fatal mistake this question should ensure you do not repeat it.Often the difference between getting the role and not getting the role can come down to your ability to portray the passion and genuine enthusiasm you have for the role and the organisation.
The way you handle rejection and the manner you seek constructive criticism can go a long way to developing a deeper relationship with the search firm. There have been countless instances when a client decides they want to go back and re-engage with someone who has been released early in the process and how you communicate your disappointment can go a long way in bringing you back into the process.
Adapted from original article written by our Panorama Alliance firm PFM Executive Search based in Vancouver.