5 unwritten qualifications to help you bag a senior job
After rounds of evaluation, the interview panel has just zeroed in on two candidates for a leadership role. There’s little difference between the two profiles, with both candidates coming across as strong contenders with equivalent experience, track record and degrees.
That’s when the interviewer looks for qualifications that go beyond the job. Read on for the ‘surprise qualifications’ when it comes to bagging that senior role:
1. Are you a good listener? You speak and write well and communication has always been your strong point. But are you as good a listener? Don’t underestimate the importance of listening during the interview process. You need to demonstrate active listening, the kind where you ‘get’ not just the words but the other person’s point of view. While you need to make sure your point goes across, it’s mission critical to demonstrate that you are open to other people’s ideas. As Robert Schuller, motivational speaker and author, puts it, “Big egos have little ears.”
2. Can you manage cultural diversity? Whether it is handling a diverse domestic workforce or running a business with a global footprint, cultural competence is in demand. Today’s organisation recognises a definition of cultural diversity that goes beyond nationality, colour and years of experience to capture all that differentiates employees and bridge & leverage those differences. Show respect for diversity issues as diversity management is no longer just a term that gets lip service.
3. Can you build your team? Mentoring, training & coaching others is equally or more important than your own performance, depending on the seniority of the role. In your resume and during the interview, shift focus from your own achievements to your role in catalysing others. It’s your job to get others to be the star performers and to ensure that in your team, the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. Another factor that counts: your ability to draw and retain talent.
4. Do you have a take on gender diversity? Here’s the tough question that interviewers are asking. What percentage of managerial roles in your current organisation/team are held by women? Women executives offer skills and experience that boards need and organisations are serious about tapping into this talent pool. You show your progressive credentials when you’d like to see more women in leadership positions. Be aware of the strengths that women can bring to the team at each level – grass-root, middle management and the board.
5. Do you possess intellectual curiosity? Intellectually curious people are passionate about learning and make better employees. They are driven by an intrinsic interest in learning for the sake of learning. It’s important for the HR team to know whether you ask ‘Why’ questions and are able to answer them, if you as are staying invested in continuous learning as technology evolves and skill-sets morph, and whether you display intellectual inquisitiveness.
Companies view employees at senior levels as a long term investment, with a role that influences others and shapes the company and that’s what they are out to check!