Uncommon Executive Interview Tips to Be Legendary

How to Get a Second Date as a Job Candidate

Your resume template did the job you personalized it to do. You’ve got your first date (or, in executive search parlance, the interview). How do you progress from this first meeting to a second date?

Your performance needs to be legendary. Think Beatles at the Shea Stadium. Or Woodstock. Man’s first steps on the Moon. Create a memorable, historic moment, right here, right now.

Feels a bit of a tall order? Read on, we have some fabulous tips to guide you through the date that will leave the hiring manager ready to get down on one knee.

Let’s Go Rock the World

“Gonna make you sweat” – Led Zeppelin, 1971

Just like first date nerves, it would be normal to feel some anxiety at your interview.

Fact: feelings of anxiety and excitement are indecipherable from each other. Tell yourself you are excited, not nervous.

Interview tips to help you drive away nervousness include:

  • Don’t sweat – wear a decent antiperspirant and the appropriate clothing weight for the season.
  • Do not overdo the perfume/cologne – strong scents can be very invasive and off-putting to those around you.
  • Breathe – normal breathing is the goal here while you are waiting, not deep breaths. Make your exhale slightly longer than your inhale. This will naturally slow your heart rate.
  • Don’t be afraid of the panic – people normally say ‘don’t panic’ right? Well, we are saying, (brace yourself) no-one ever died of a panic attack. Bit harsh, but if you can get your head around not being afraid of the panic, it loses its power.
  • Grounding – check out some grounding techniques online and have some in your metaphorical tool kit that you can use without being obvious.
  • Purpose – remember why you are here. Yes, they invited you to interview, but it’s a two-way track. You are here to see if they are a good fit for you, as much as they wish to measure your fit for them. Hold this in mind to help keep things in balance.

Dress for the Occasion – What to Wear

The rule of ‘first impressions’ here still counts.

Think about colors. Do some research on the company and its ethos. Check out the psychology of colors and match to the image you want to portray – and aim to be a subtle match for the company.

You may choose to visit an image consultant, who can help you select the colors that truly flatter you. (Take note that black neither suits everyone nor makes everyone look slimmer.)

The right colors can make you look more vibrant and together – exactly the aim for an interview. An investment in an image consultant can pay real dividends, helping you to look and feel confident and portray executive chic.

On Your ‘Date’

You are invited to take a seat with one or two people waiting to ask you questions, what next?

·      Be Prepared

Read and reread as much content about the company as you can. Also, memorize your resume. Roleplay answering questions with a friend/colleague or your recruitment consultant until you feel confident in your answers.

·      Mind Your Language

Body language, that is. A firm handshake is normally a good opener, COVID permitting. Make it warm and friendly, but not too long. Sit with an open posture, and don’t over gesticulate. Try to relax while remaining professional and interested.

·      Gaze into the Hiring Manager’s Eyes

Kind of. This one is great for a first date, but not quite what we want for an interview. Eye contact is needed as it offers reassurance, but avoid being too intense. You might find it easier to glance away at times to answer questions as it will help you concentrate better.

·      Tell Me More

Don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat the question, and be honest if you need to pause to compose an answer.

Think about the key words and language they want to hear from you. Remember the things you matched to on that killer resume of yours?

·      The Curveball

Be prepared to answer questions about your faults or failings.

You might be asked about the things that you find challenging. Show awareness of your less favorable traits, but give a solution. For example, “I can struggle fully listening at times, but I have been overcoming this by consciously turning away from my computer or phone when I am approached”. Show humility by admitting weaknesses, but always turn a negative into a positive.

·      Question Time

You may be asked if you have any questions – the answer is always ‘yes’.

Get your notebook out and go through the list you prepared earlier. Have about six or eight prepared. Tell them they have answered most of them, but could they tell you a bit more about…

This demonstrates interest and diligence.

Make your questions open questions which help to develop conversation, rather than closed ‘yes or no’ answers.

To Kiss or Not to Kiss?

At the end of a first date, this is always the dilemma. What to do and say next?


Carve out the opportunity to tell the hiring manager how much you have enjoyed meeting them and learning more about the company.

Even if you are not sure that you want the position at this point, make it clear that you are really interested and you look forward to hearing from them. Let them know you want a second date.

Always leave the other party wanting more.

Ask if there is any reason, they would not want to see you again, or hire you.

Summarize the meeting, what they are looking for, and how your experience aligns – close them.

Be legendary – you may be the only candidate of the day to do this and it will make you memorable.

You can always change your mind later, but you can never go back and revise your closing.

Lincoln Group specializes in candidate placement for the following industries: Accounting and Financing, Technology, Human Resources, Marketing, and Legal. Contact us to find out how we can help you be legendary throughout the hiring process.

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