Recruiting Experts Reveal Top Tips for Interview Success

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an interview expert with you for each step of your job searching process? An executive recruiter is kind of like that, but unfortunately, you can’t bring them to your interviews with you.

Here’s the next best thing: the top interview advice from executive search specialists, who have guided many executives through the process and excel in understanding what makes a candidate stand out to a hiring manager.


We polled Executive Search firm specialist recruiters Curt Judy, Aaron Zupan, Ben Evans, Joe Monteiro, and Richard Crew to get the best interview tips for your next executive interview.

Here’s How to Prepare for the Interview

CJ: Do research on not just the company, but the person(s) you are interviewing with as well. LinkedIn is a great tool to learn some background on your interviewers. Prepare questions specifically for each individual’s background. For example, “Mike, I noticed you were once in a similar role to the one for which I’m interviewing. What made you successful?”

AZ: Research the organization you’re interviewing with extensively. This will give you a better understanding of what you’re walking into. Prepare multiple questions regarding the role and organization you’re interviewing for.

CJ: Be sure to scout the location prior to the interview. You don’t want to be late because you can’t find the building or which door you should enter. 

Answer Questions Succinctly and Clearly

CJ: Be confident, but not brash. Make eye contact. Don’t slouch. Be sure to describe significant accomplishments throughout your career, and don’t simply give the interviewer a job description of your previous roles. Companies don’t want someone who can simply do the job. They want people who are going to come in and make a significant impact, so articulate how you’ve done that for your previous employers.

AZ: Be engaging and act like you have interest in the role. Do not give one-word answers but keep responses to 1 minute.

BE: Have clear and concise answers to questions and be able to speak technically about your achievements and accomplishments. This will allow you to be confident when answering interview questions and will further demonstrate an in-depth technical knowledge of how your work affects the business.

JM: Do not over-explain an answer or assume what the interviewer’s next question is while answering. Answering directly will typically be much more effective and less distracting to the interviewer. If you feel there is more you can add, follow-up with, “Does that answer your question?” to give the interviewer a choice in continuing on the subject.

RC: Always keep in mind, “Stick to answering the question.” Mentally check yourself to make sure you’re staying on point and know when to stop talking. Hiring managers desire quality candidates that can deliver information efficiently and succinctly, so rambling will always hurt you more than having to clarify a short response.

Close the Interview the Right Way

CJ: How you close the interview is incredibly important, and many candidates make a mistake here. When an interviewer asks if you have any questions, always answer to the affirmative. Have set questions that show your research on the company, your interviewer, the role, and what they are looking for in a successful candidate. Asking no questions shows either a lack of preparation, a lack of true interest in the role, or, even worse, both. And, be sure you send out (at least) a thank you email that evening.


Ciresi & Morek is a team of experts with proven success in placing the right professionals in the best positions for them. Ready to see what’s available for you? View our Active Searches.

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