Interviewing Skills - Financial Job Search

Interviewing? What’s your strategy?

Strategic thinking is the must-have skill that is usually cited first by our clients.

When we interview candidates we spend quite a bit of time assessing strategic thinking. So let us give you a heads-up: If you have some interviews lined up, especially if you’ve made it to the long list and you want to graduate to the short list, it would be wise to be well-prepared for a drill-down on your strategic thinking skills.

Skilled executive recruiters don’t lead by saying “Now, let’s talk about your strategic thinking skill. How do you rate yourself?” Experienced executive recruiters will come at the question “Is this candidate strategic?” from several angles and perspectives during an interview. We explore your ability to anticipate future trends and identify unique opportunities. We look for strong evidence that strategic thinking is part of your DNA. We look for a propensity to challenge conventional thinking. Have you been in a leadership role in crafting strategy, or was your role more associated with implementation?

What is the take-away here? Be prepared to provide concrete examples of how your strategic thinking has provided a competitive advantage for the companies where you have worked. After all, isn’t competitive advantage what it’s really all about?

Strategic thinking is actually a skill that consists of several components, such as creativity and curiosity. We’ll explore those components in the near future. In the meantime, we would like to know: When you’re on the other side of the desk interviewing prospective candidates for your team, how do you assess a candidate’s strategic thinking ability? Can you share with us some interview questions that you have found to be effective at revealing that uncanny strategic thinking DNA?

And if you're ready to start your next executive search, find out how our experienced consultants at GAAP Executive Search can help you recruit top-performing financial executives.