Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Career. I'm your host, Stacie Mayer, and super excited, as always, to be here with you again this week. I am so excited about what is happening inside of the Executive Ahead of Time and today's episode is really a reflection of that desire to get this information out to more and more people. And I take it for granted because I am teaching these women every single week how to interview at the executive level. And I realized recently that I haven't spoken about that interview process enough on this podcast. And you heard me recently when I was talking about the things that I suck at series and go back and listen to that because I give a really beautiful way of answering the question on, you know, tell us about your weaknesses or tell us about a time that you failed or whatever, that type of interview style question. I gave you some really great examples of how to answer that. And but I realized that there is a larger challenge and that is how to interview at the executive level. Now, when I started out as an executive coach and I was thinking about coaching women to get promoted into higher-level leadership positions, I didn't necessarily realize that 90% of the work that I was doing was going to be focused around the interview process because I used to think about interviewing as being pretty black and white.
Like you interview when you need a job, you interview when you need something, right? Like it's like you interview when you're out of a job. Like it's a very specific time of your career and a time of transition. And I didn't think that that was the type of coaching that I was doing. And as I developed my process that you, you hear on this podcast and everything that I teach week after week, I realized that what I'm actually doing is teaching people how to be better interviewers. I'm teaching you how to be successful at the executive level. I'm teaching you how to show up as an executive leader. And the way that we're doing that is through our communication which at 100% translates into interview skills. It makes you the work that we're doing inside of executive ahead of time, makes you a better candidate. It makes you literally a shoo-in, not just for your next promotion, but for a higher-level role, perhaps, if that's what you're interested in at another company. And one of the ways that this hit me in the face and I realized how important these skills were to the women inside of the group, was because how many of the women inside of executive ahead of time were getting multiple jobs offers from several different places at very high-level executive leadership positions. So they were using the process that I teach to get themselves promoted to land higher and higher-level executive positions at higher and higher salaries at external organizations.
And I was like, you know, this is very obvious to me. It's what I teach. But I realized it's not always obvious to you, the listener. So before I get into today's episode, I want to give you some success stories. So you've heard me talk about negotiating your salaries before and really asking for more and putting yourself and understanding your value. And that's been happening over and over and over again. We've had women inside of Executive Ahead of Time negotiate for higher salaries. We've had women negotiate for higher severance packages at their current organizations. We've had women negotiate for higher titles for more time off, for more flexibility on work-from-home schedules, for more access to executive leadership. There are so many things that these women are negotiating when they're starting a new role, but the way that we get there is the same and it's always the same process. And so in today's episode, I really want to break down the interview process that I teach, the executive level interview process, and what the fundamental characteristics are so that you can start to apply them to your own career advancement. And like I said, even if you're not thinking of interviewing elsewhere, this is still absolutely one. Your percent applies to you because we are always interviewing when you are having internal conversations, when you are showing up as the executive ahead of time, you are essentially being interviewed day in and day out.
So everything that I teach today is going to be relevant no matter what your situation is. And hopefully, it will show you that you have choices, that you have options, that if you are in a role that doesn't feel like the absolute best fit that you can, you have the freedom to go elsewhere, that you can find another opportunity at another organization that might be an even better fit. The other thing that I want you to know as you're listening to today's episode is whenever you enroll in executive ahead of time, you get instant access to my entire interview mastery course. In this course, I outline exactly this philosophy in more detail in a step-by-step process that you can follow in your interviews. I also have a training module on your resume, your LinkedIn profile, your cover letters. How what's the story that you're telling? I have a training module on how to enter, how to answer top interview questions. So all of this is free. As soon as you enroll in executive ahead of time, you get immediate access to this. And the other thing I want you to know is that when you're inside the program, we have women on our weekly coaching calls who will ask questions. They'll say, I have an interview coming up or I have a job offer and I want to negotiate my salary.
So these are some of the questions that we're answering on our weekly coaching calls as well. And I'm giving you tailored advice to your specific situation on how to better negotiate the opportunities that are available for you. So I want you to know that if you're listening to this episode and you're like, Heck yes, I'm on board, go to executive ahead of Time.com and register. Right now, enrollment is open and you will get instant access to the bonus interview mastery course. So whether you're interviewing now or interviewing later, you'll have lifetime access to that course as well. So do that run, don't walk, even pause the podcast episode. Join us in executive ahead of time, then come back and listen to what I'm going to share with you today. All right. So the first thing that I want you to know is that when you're interviewing at the executive level, there is a different set of rules. And I think that's really important to note, is that in order to interview as a vice president or a senior vice president, you're there looking for other things in the interview process, other qualities of executive leadership. And this isn't an example of faking it until you make it. So you're not going to be like pretending that you're an executive, that you're a really important person, and that you're going to go into these interviews, you know, wearing you're sitting up a little bit straighter, those types of things.
It's. How do you answer these questions? And the way that I'm going to show you today is you already know how to answer these questions. So that's why it's not fake till you make it. It's not overcoming your imposter syndrome. It's just answering the questions in an executive-level way. So I'm going to say that again, it's answering their interview questions as an executive and not as a manager. That's it. That is the difference. When you want to start mastering executive-level interviews, you have to start interviewing as an executive leader. And so I kind of already alluded to this, but the first thing that you need to know when you walk into an executive-level interview at the vice president, senior vice president, and especially at the C-suite level, is that you belong there. All right. You belong in this interview room. And the way that you're going to know that is because you got the interview, the way you're going to know that you belong in the room is because you're even in the interview process. So many of us use the interview process to reiterate what is already on our resume, to make sure that they know all of the accomplishments and everything that we've done and exactly why we're a perfect fit for this role and so on and so on.
And we waste, you know, multiple these are long, lengthy interview processes. Many of the women inside of executive ahead of time are interviewing nine rounds. Right. With all different types of leaders, because of these executive-level positions, they want to find a perfect fit. And for a lot of people, they think the perfect fit means that you have that skill set right, that you have that expertise. It's whatever's on your resume that you're talking about, your accomplishments. And I want to say that none of that in your actual interview matters. None of it. I don't care how many skills you have, it does not need to be brought up in the interview. And the reason for that is it's on your résumé. So definitely come look at an Interview Mastery course and figure out how to create an executive-level résumé. Right. You need to make sure that all of this information is on your resume as well. But assume if you got the interview that they have seen your resume and that you are qualified. This is huge. If you get nothing else out of today's podcast episode except for that, you're going to come into these interviews assuming that you belong there, then you're just already going to be off to the races. So that's the first thing. The second thing is, is that you're wanting to look at these interviews as more of a conversation than a one-way interview.
So when you belong there when you believe that you belong there, what do you do? Ask yourself this right when I am with somebody that I trust, if I believe that I belong in the room, how do I act differently? And I'll often tell the corporate badasses in my group, I'll tell them, Act like you're their peer, right? And what I mean by that is imagine if you're interviewing with the CEO of the organization. I want you to show up as her peer right, ask her questions, engage with her, ask her about how she's making decisions, how she's thinking about growing the team. What are some of the obstacles that are being presented to her at this time? Right now, you don't have to come out of the gate asking all of these questions because they obviously have some interview questions for you. But I just want you to know that this is a back-and-forth dialogue. Do it naturally, do it as part of the conversation, but don't feel like you have to answer every question and then stop talking. Right? They are going to remember you more if you engage. And when we're thinking about the best fit at the executive level, really what they're looking for is somebody who makes powerful decisions. They want to understand how you think, how you process information, how you problem solve, how you build a team, what you look for when you're building a team.
Right. That is the best fit as far as they're concerned. They assume that you have the skills to do the job if you are in the room at the executive level. You have the skills to do the job. Now, let's say that you interview in this conversational approach that you understand and you and you believe that you already have the skills to do the job. What does this project do to the person who is interviewing you? It projects confidence, right? And so when we talk about fake it till you make it. What we're trying to do is create confidence. We're trying to posture up and, like, be strong and have an executive presence and make sure that we're showing up in a big, bold, powerful way. And what I'm suggesting is to show up like a normal person that doesn't feel like they are constantly proving themselves and talking about their skills and making sure that, you know, that they've done all these amazing things. Instead, just talk to them like a normal person that they actually want to work with on a regular basis that is going to show them that you are qualified for this job, that you're overqualified for this job. I've had leaders go in and interview four director-level roles in this way and they're like, You know what? I think we have a VP role that you might be more suited for, right? A lot of times, once you get past the hiring manager, in particular, you're not needing to prove yourself.
You're not needing to show them that you're worthy. Now, another thing here to note is that every single person that you interview with is in or you're interviewing for a different in a different way. Right. So the hiring manager, some of the stuff might not apply like they have very specific questions that they're asking you. They want to make sure that your resume is a perfect fit. Right. They're trying to understand that. But once you get into the interview process, once you make it into the room, once you're actually talking to the hiring managers, once you're actually talking to the other executives, that's when you start applying these techniques that I'm sharing with you. So the first thing you're going to do is assume that you belong. Then you're going to speak to them casually, like a normal conversation, ask them questions, make sure that you are interviewing them as well, that you want to better understand the role. And then all in that process, what you're also doing is showing them how you make decisions. So you're showing them how your brain thinks, how you process information. So many of you are going to answer the questions very literally. So they'll say something like, So tell me about yourself. And you'll say, Well, I went to school at this place, and then after I graduated college, then I went and worked here for three years, right again, listing off every single thing on your resume.
But instead what I want you to do is to tell them how you think, what you value, what you care about, what's important to you when you're making decisions. So you could say something like, Well, one of my favorite things is to tackle projects that have never been tackled before. I love it, especially if that's part of this job. Right. That's an even better bonus tip. Like, take something that is in the actual job description if it's true and reflect it back to them in in a story that's about you. So how what you care about, right? How do you like to take on projects that have never been accomplished before and make them work? Right. Why do you like to work with difficult teams, right? I mean, you know why you like to make the impossible possible. Anything like that that you feel is part of your leadership style, it's part of your core values. That's how you're going to start to answer these questions. And that brings me to my third point, which is to never answer the questions literally. So in this case, what you're going to do is you're going to think about ahead of time what are the key things that I want to get across in this interview? So what do I want them essentially to take notes on when they go to write something down? She's this, she's this, she's this.
What do you want? The this, this, and this to say. Okay. And you're going to plan that out before the interview. You're going to know what that is. And then no matter what question they ask, if it's so, tell me about yourself or it's so telling me about a time when you did X, Y, Z, right? You're still going to use these same points as the main talking points, and then you're going to storyteller as part of it. So in marketing, they'll talk about a theory that is called burying the lead. And so I guess you would think of this more like in journalism, right? So you have this fantastic story, but you put the most memorable part at the end of the story, right? Like all the way at the bottom. And what we're going to do is we're going to start with the most interesting part. We're going to move that up to the top. Right? You're going to basically give them the summary and then tell the story. So if you have these three things like let's go back to making the impossible possible, right? So that's how you're going to start. You're going to say, well, one of the things that I really value about myself is that I can make the impossible possible, for instance.
And now you tell the story, right? So do you see where I'm headed here? So a lot of this is communication, but I really want you to see is that its executive-level communication, because when you were interviewing for manager-level roles and even though the director level, you didn't have to interview in this way. Or if you did an interview in this way, you may have not gotten the job right because they were looking for very specific technical skill sets in order to master that role. But at the executive level, they're looking for leaders. They're looking for people who can problem-solve, who could make powerful decisions, who can think outside of the status quo, who can have difficult conversations with team members, who can solve problems for the organization at an even higher level? Who can manage up to the executive team, who can be concise, who can spell out these bullets and tell a good story without it going on and on and on and on and on into the weeds, right? So that kind of stuff. When you start to show up in that way on your interviews, that's when you're going to get called in for the second round, the third round, the fifth round. It's also when you're going to make more money. They're going to make a higher job offer for you because you're going to be standing out in your own lane.
It's also when if you do get turned down for an opportunity, let's say that they tell, you know, that they are looking for the specific skill set. It's when you have completely dodged a bullet because if you didn't have that technical skillset, you weren't going to be good in that role anyway. Right? So I would rather interview this way, learn something about the company, learn something about myself, show up confidently, give myself the opportunity to make even more of an impact at the new company that I'm going to be working for. And then on top of it, you're setting yourself up for success in this new role. So you're telling them essentially, like, I am a corporate badass. I would absolutely love to bring my leadership skills to your organization, and I am honored to be here. Right. And here are all of the things that I want to tell you about. And here are all of the questions that I have for you. This is such a profound way to interview, and unfortunately, not a lot of people are doing this. And fortunately for you, that's great, because once you start interviewing in this way, you're going to get multiple job offers, you're going to get your dream role, you're going to be making 25 K, 50 K, 75 K, 200 K more than what you're currently making. You're going to be able to note negotiate other parts of your compensation as well.
When you start interviewing in this way, people will take notice and you will be set up for success in the new role. This is so, so, so important and I'll leave you with today as we go that it doesn't end at the interview. So whether you hear back from them or not, you're going to follow up with a thank you. If you're genuinely interested in the conversation, in them if you're genuinely interested in the company, you're going to follow up with a LinkedIn connection. You're going to make sure that you keep in touch. You might even follow up with a 15-minute ally meeting six months down the road because you really enjoyed the interview process and you want to get to know them more, right? So all of these things are possible when we treat other people as human beings, as people who are looking to expand their own personal network. Last but not least, when you start to show up this way, whether you are desperately looking for a new opportunity or you're just brushing up on your interview skills, you are going to become a better executive leader. You're going to start showing up as that powerhouse leader that you were meant to be. So go out there, do executive-level interviewing, and I can't wait to see what comes out on the other side. Thank you so much for listening and I'll see you next week.