How To Interview Like an Executive

How To Interview Like an Executive
Image Commercially Licensed From: DepositPhotos

By: Nik Korba

A good resume can get you noticed, but it will not get you the job. To get hired, you must win the interview. You will face plenty of competition, most of which will have the same skills and certification that you would bring to the job. How will you stand out? You must have exceptional interview skills.

“Over the past two decades, I have trained countless people on how to win the interview and get their first job or get the promotion that they want,” says Michael Gibbs, CEO of Go Cloud Careers. “What I share are the skills that I gained in my 25-year career in tech — the skills that helped me to get job offers from more than 90 percent of the companies with whom I interviewed. What I have seen is that almost anyone has the ability to get the job of their dreams if they simply take the time to master the skills required for winning the interview.”

Michael has spent more than 20 years training people in the cloud computing and networking industries. His unique approach to training provides his students with technical competencies as well as elite career guidance. The proven methods of applying and interviewing for positions have helped an exceptionally high percentage of those who complete the training go on to secure six-figure jobs.

“The best way to prepare for securing your dream job is to approach interviewing as if you are going to war,” Michael explains. “Only one person gets the position. There are no second-place trophies. It is a ‘survival of the fittest’ situation, which means you need to show up with a great battle plan and be prepared to execute it well.”

Build rapport with the hiring manager

Building rapport, which can be thought of as establishing a solid connection with the hiring manager, is a critical component of your interview battle plan. Building rapport establishes a bond. It positions you as someone who is not just technically adept, but also socially adept. Building rapport during the interview makes you a standout candidate.

Identifying shared interests and experiences you have with the hiring manager is one way to quickly establish rapport. This can be done prior to the interview by doing some research. Look over his or her social media profiles. What hobbies does he have? What schools did she attend? What gets her excited?


“Doing research on the hiring manager as well as the company at large allows you to establish common ground right away, which is a critical part of the interview process,” says Michael. “Everything you say during the interview will sound sweeter once you have established rapport.”

Ask the right question

For the most part, interviews are about answering questions. It is critical that you be well-prepared for this. Be ready to answer common interview questions as well as questions about the specific position and the experience and skills it requires.

When answering questions, keep in mind that hiring managers won’t hire candidates whom they feel they can’t trust. Therefore, resist the temptation to lie in an interview. If you are caught bluffing or lying, you will quickly disqualify yourself from the job. Rather than bluff, take advantage of questions for which you do not know the answer to pivot the conversation toward your strengths.

“If you have no experience with a certain technology, for example, be honest about it,” says Michael. “Then turn the discussion to your areas of expertise. Say, ‘I’m sorry. I haven’t learned that technology yet. But I am highly motivated, energetic, and enthusiastic about technology and I love to learn. If I was part of this organization, I’d stay up all night to make sure I knew how to do what needed to be done. Honestly, that is not my area of core competency. However, I am highly skilled at…’ Point the interviewer to the things at which you are most skilled. This will help you to control the interview and direct the discussion back to your best strengths.”  

Before the interview wraps up, however, you will most likely be asked if you have any questions. Avoid the temptation to ask about salary and benefits. Those details can be obtained after you are offered the job. Rather, use this as an opportunity to ask a question that shows you are committed to the company’s success over your own.

“When you are given the opportunity to ask questions, the best question to ask is, ‘What are your goals?’” Michael explains. “Explain to the hiring manager that you want to know his or her goals so that, if you were a part of the company, you would know what you needed to do to make the company successful. That is the question that will win the interview. It establishes you as the standout candidate that the company needs for the position.”


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