How To Get Promoted to C Level
How do I Get A Chief Role?
If I had a euro for every time someone asked me this question! The answer is really very simple, but requires a lot of courage. Most people I know have not got what it takes to get to a Chief role, whether CEO, CFO, COO, CTO etc. They like the idea of running the show and all the benefits and, presumed, ego rub that come with the position but they are not the right fit.
You need to assess whether you have what it takes.
Ask yourself these questions:
How did you get on with those questions? Leading a company takes massive amounts of courage because nothing is plain sailing. Answering yes, to these assessment questions, is a good indicator your aspirations may not be just dreams.
Now, think about your career. Maybe you are currently at a Director level or Managing Director of a division. That is great because that is where C-Suite are bred. But ask yourself these six questions:
Having owned an Executive Search Firm for seven years I know that C-Suite is not all about positive high achievements. It is knowing what to do when things go wrong, backfire or even explode in both ways. Having the theory of what to do is no match for having the experience.
If you are still gunning for C-Suite what have you done in the last three years, which can provide impressive answers to my six questions?
Yes, you may well have produced excellent results, but at this level expect questions like my six above. Have you got great examples to answer these? This is what makes a great C-Suite person and explains why so many high performers get leapfrogged by their grittier, varied experience, junior reports to the top table.
I know at the top level it is hard for people to find C level jobs, if they have only worked in a perceived easy company, or trendy company.Companies, such as Big Tech, Social Media, Big Pharma. These companies are just not attractive hunting grounds for C leaders because the perception is they will have no experience of turning around a business or working with lean budgets and breaking into new markets.
You will need to get way out of your comfort zone to prove your worth to most regular companies. If you are currently in a 'popular' company, I know these big budget companies often like to see varied C level experience and sometime take back former senior employees, after they have taken a diversion for a couple of years, to practice their leadership on someone else’s payroll!
If you need guidance and an assessment on whether you have what it takes to make it to the C-suite let’s have a call. I will be honest.
If you have the experience, and are preparing for upcoming interviews, we have a great Executive Interview Coaching Programme for these interviews. I can help you develop outstanding answers, which will pitch you perfectly for your chosen C level role in your interviews.
If you have the desire but are still lacking in the right rounded experience, I will be able to provide an actionable plan to get you on the right path using my Promotion Coaching system.
Book in a 20 minute call today to discuss your needs.
Re-interviewing For Your Job
Re-interviewing for Your Own Job
This is the most contentious of all internal interviews. Most of the time re-interviewing for your own job occurs when a company is going through a particularly tough time and need to shed employees, sometimes without much notice and hardly any more than a statutory redundancy package if you do a poor interview and don’t get your job back. Also, if they have merged or been acquired with or by, another company, and find themselves with duplicated employees.
This is often traumatic for the employees, particularly if they have been in the role or company for years. It is even more stressful for those in an older demographic relying on their job to secure their pension.
My heart always sinks when I hear about this practice, as I know this often signals we are definitely entering another big recession. And the collateral damage as always are job losses and misery.
I understand why employers are pushed into this. As an ex HR Manager, I understand this is the only way they can safely let employees go. By safely, I mean it is the only way employers can protect themselves from a bunch of litigation cases for wrongful dismissal. A re-interview is their way of proving evidence of their decision making on who to keep on, and who to make redundant.
Unfortunately, if you have not interviewed in years and find yourself in this situation you really need to get up to speed fast with interviewing techniques and formats used in 2020. I have just published a new course on Udemy titled ‘Interview for Success in 2020’. It is a thorough and comprehensive course, which explains how to interview and compile great answers for a range of interviewing formats, including: Structured, Behavioural Competency, Situational and Technical formats. And especially for these Covid-19 days, how to interview in a Video Interview.
Sadly, employees that are long standing, and often the highest paid, are more often than not targeted by HR for the re-interviewing shortlist. This is demonstrated by British Airways who recently announced they are planning to let all their pilot staff go and then they will re-interview them for their jobs. If you know anything about BA you will know that there is a disparity in benefits between different cohorts of their employees. Long standing employees have more benefits and higher salaries than the newer employees, hired more recently. This is BA’s chance to rehire their old employees on equitable terms, with new and less beneficial contract terms. It is currently being legally challenged.
A large technology company, who is also one of the wealthiest companies on the planet, are also re-interviewing, for what reason I do not know. I will leave that thought hanging.
Sometimes, companies have genuine reasons, and sometimes they see a recession as a great opportunity to restructure their workforce, for all sorts of reasons.
If you are re-interviewing for your job, do not panic. But, do get organised.
Treat the interview as if you are interviewing at the company for the first time. Explain yourself fully and prepare all the answers to likely questions completely. Do not assume or presume that the company know all about you and your achievements, you have to tell them about them fully. This is what an interview is all about, giving evidence for why you are great at your job. Likewise, with technical questions, answer questions fully, as if you were teaching someone who has no idea how to do the technical aspects of your job.
But, ultimately, this is the right time to get help with your interviews. A professional interview preparation coach can do wonders for developing your answers, ability to sell yourself and your confidence. It is vital that you work with someone who has a big track record in Recruiting Internally for companies. They will know exactly what angles to come at in positioning your answers in the best way.
With my background, as Head of Recruitment at global companies such as Deloitte and KPMG, I can help you to prepare for your re-interview. I have interviewed thousands for internal positions in my decades in recruitment roles. And I have coached thousands in the last 12 years of interview coaching, which vitally includes helping my clients secure their jobs through re-interviewing in the last recession.
Do not hesitate to book in for coaching. The Internal Interview Coaching Programme is best for anyone re-interviewing. The Internal Programme consists of 2.5 hours of 1:1 interview preparation coaching by video link. And as a bonus, I will also include my online course ‘Interview for Success in 2020’ for free, to give you a back up resource for all my 1:1 coaching.
Clare Reed is a leading global expert Interview Coach with over 24 years global interviewing and coaching experience.