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Old 07-03-2018, 12:50 AM
9 posts, read 2,981 times
Reputation: 30


Hello all!
Bear with me, the story maybe a little long, but I want to give you the full scope. I recently was offered an interview for a policy analyst with a company and although I kept getting reassuring responses to my answers, my resume was passed to another manager with their non-profit for a program manager position. Interviewed with that manager, went well. Interviewed with the HR manager, went well. The HR manager even set up a conversation to have with the person that would be my counterpart if I did get the job and that went well and she booked a plane ticket for me to interview with the CEO in two weeks. All went well, and all were phone interviews. Its a small to medium sized company that has a non-profit (which I would work for the non-profit side). What is your read? Any specific advice? Thanks for your time!
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Old 07-03-2018, 05:59 AM
3,779 posts, read 2,994,985 times
Reputation: 7533
That was not a long story at all.

What type of "specific advice" are you looking for? Advice on your in-person interview? What do you want us to advise you on?
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Old 07-03-2018, 06:04 AM
5,910 posts, read 6,707,131 times
Reputation: 15252
Think of the phone interviews as preliminary screening.

Learn as much as you can about the company and be prepared to be in their wheelhouse if you get a face to face. Know everything from history to current operations to how they dress.
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Old 07-03-2018, 07:22 AM
Location: Western Washington
8,929 posts, read 8,390,690 times
Reputation: 15495
Very difficult to provide advice with such a non-specific post.

Wear nice clothes, refuse alcohol of offered, make eye contact, be positive, don’t denigrate previous employers.

All pretty standard stuff.
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Old 07-03-2018, 09:20 AM
9 posts, read 2,981 times
Reputation: 30
Thanks all. I have never been flown in to an interview, much less met with a CEO so I didn't really know what to ask about it. I guess there isn't a specfic question. Maybe guidance for what to expect since I have interviewed with all of the upper management I would directly work with and have been asked all the typical questions (even salary expectations), I thought there may be something else I could prepare for? You've all answered that though, so I'll take it into consideration!
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Old 07-03-2018, 09:56 AM
1,881 posts, read 801,112 times
Reputation: 2075
I doubt many people on here have interviewed with CEO's to give you advice. Usually when I have a final interview with someone above my manger, it is just for them to give a final approval. I would ask this person how they got to where they are today, what makes people successful with the company, and some small talk of course. Ask it they golf if you do.
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:24 PM
9 posts, read 2,981 times
Reputation: 30
Oh, I didn't realize...well thanks for the insight anyway!
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:44 AM
Location: Western Washington
8,929 posts, read 8,390,690 times
Reputation: 15495
That gives some additional info.

I have had CEO level interviews 3 times, resulting in three job offers. Took two, declined one.

As with most things in the job seeking world, differences abound, and the personality of the person interviewing is a significant factor. Here are my experiences.

One company (privately held, acknowledged to be multi-billion) flew me in and out the same day. Car service from airport to office, then back to airport. Met with CFO, C-HR, and CEO, all one on one. The office was definitely a suit and tie place, and I did not look out of place with my suit, dress shoes, briefcase, etc. Lunch was in an executive dining room with some senior directors.

This company didn’t really have a job for me. They had heard I was looking and approached me, ultimately offering me a position lower than I was looking for, but with a salary in my range, which was definitely out of hand for the position. They wanted me on their bench for promotional opportunities when something did open up. I turned it down, which was probably a short term error, but looking at the company 20 years later, definitely the correct long term decision.

The conversations were not technical. They had much more to do with business philosophy, leadership style, whether I was interested in traveling/relocating, etc.

Second interview was within driving distance of my home. F500. Breakfast with the exec-VP, a series of short meetings with the senior VPs of finance, marketing, HR, and Operations. Lunch with the CEO. Back to the exec-VP (who several years later is the CEO).

Again, suit and tie was the norm. A series of conversations in well-appointed private offices. The finance questions were a bit technical, but I think that was the personality of the CFO, as the job wasn’t particularly finance oriented. The rest were about management philosophy, and a fair bit of social conversation. The job did have a good bit of personal, high level interaction associated with it, and it was a premier location for the company. They mostly wanted to see how I represented myself, and by extension them, in a variety of situations with different people.

Third job. Much smaller operation. 200+ employees. I had previously had an inperson interview with them, and they paid for a second trip out. No car service, but they did fully reimburse me for all expenses. The second trip gave me two days to check out the local area, loom for housing, etc. The CEO discussion was pretty informal, and I was probably the only person wearing a suit.

Once again, the conversation wasn’t very technical, but it really could not have beeen. They were looking for a person to fill a gap and operate a floundering department. They didn’t have anybody with any technical expertise on staff, which was why they were seeking to hire me.

Based on my experience, the conversations are non-technical discussions focusing on personality and fit. Meals are often included. Be casual, be social, be positive.
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:35 PM
Location: Whidbey Island, WA
12,270 posts, read 11,315,840 times
Reputation: 6109
Get a crisp haircut, dress sharp, polish your shoes and smile.

1st impressions go miles....
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Old 07-07-2018, 07:29 AM
754 posts, read 866,587 times
Reputation: 971
CEOs are big picture people. Most of my interviews with CEOs were just formalities before the offer. I would do research on him or her and ask some good high-level questions. Usually, the CEO doesn't get into the details of your experience unless it's a smaller company.

Take this opportunity to try to build rapport with this person. Ask he or she what they like to do for hobbies and maybe you'll have something in common.

Nothing like walking down the hallway after you have been hired and saying, "hey, Jim or Sue...did you go fishing this weekend?"

This doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared for tough questions as you just never know but again, try to keep with big-picture questions and build rapport.
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