How to Answer the Two Most Important Interview Questions

I’m happy to announce that Silver Branch Consulting has redefined its niche and core offering, which is interview coaching for executives. This intensive development program features resume review, mindset coaching, personal branding techniques, and interview training. The program is designed for corporate executives looking to make their next big career move. Leaders who complete the program will learn the strategies that set top executive candidates apart, and they’ll maximize the likelihood of reaching their desired next level position.

As such, for those of you considering your next job change, I wanted to share the two interview questions you’ll need to ace independent of the position level but especially essential for leadership roles.

  1. Why should we hire you? The interviewer is listening for your unique value proposition. That is, what they have to gain by employing you versus someone else. They’re also listening to see if your answer aligns with the needs of the organization and its culture. So how to answer?! Drawing on the work of Simon Sinek, start with your “why”. Tell them what inspires you and what you believe in. Share why you do the work you do, how you do it uniquely well and what you’ll be doing for them if hired. Most candidates talk about what they do and how they do it, but they fail to mention their strongly held motivations and beliefs. I have found that people want to follow leaders that believe in something, so make sure you’re leading with your “why” when answering this question.
  2. Why do you want to work here? Candidates do themselves a disservice when they don’t have a specific answer tailored to the organization. They say things like, “I want to make an impact on an organization I believe in”. Everyone says that. You need to be able to paint the picture for the interviewer of how your specific talents, in the role you’re interviewing for, will advance the mission of the organization.

With both of these questions, practice your responses several times in advance of your interview. They need to sound conversational but not overly scripted. The idea is to become so familiar with your material that you can regurgitate it in a natural way. So, there you have it! The two essential interview questions you must nail (at all levels) but especially executive level leadership roles. Good luck!