In previous posts, our executive search consultants outlined how to differentiate yourself in an interview by asking questions and Questions A/E/C and Facilities Management Professionals Should Ask During Interviews. Both blogs discussed how you, as an Architecture/Engineering/Construction (A/E/C) and/or Facilities professional, can differentiate yourself among candidates by asking questions that demonstrate your knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing these industries. Interviewing for an executive level role is no different - you have to ask intelligent, pertinent questions that demonstrate your abilities and expertise.
Additionally, due to the extreme competition for these types of positions, you need to be aware of other ways to make yourself stand out during interviews such as:
Provide as much substance as possible in initial meetings to establish yourself as a viable candidate and to set the tone for future discussions.
If the prospective position is responsible for managing profit and loss, quantify past experience and successes with hard facts and data. Highlight key financial initiatives that you have led as well as the scope of staff, geography and vertical markets that you have covered during your career.
When appropriate, do not hesitate to project yourself into the role that you are interviewing for by citing relevant experiences. This shows that you have the abilities to perform similar tasks to what the employer would require while also emphasizing that you are actively interested in the position and thinking about the tangible results that you could achieve if given the opportunity.
Ask direct and candid questions to extract information which will allow you to fully understand the pros and cons of the position and the organization.
In the A/E/C communities, it is likely that you have shared acquaintances and colleagues with an interviewer. If the opportunity presents itself, discuss those connections as it is usually beneficial to do so. This shows that you are well connected within the industry, and it can also provide a discreet avenue for the potential employer to get an outside opinion on your capabilities and reputation (with your permission).