Secrets to Getting Hired – What Every Executive Should Know

lock-in-cloud-Louise GarverExecutives are pretty savvy when it comes to knowing how to navigate job search, but do they know the #1 secret to getting hired?

If you think networking is the answer, you are on the right path. If you think building social media connections is the secret, you have the right idea. And if working with recruiters is the best secret of all, you are partially correct. In fact, all these guesses contribute to getting a chance to interview, but individually or collectively, they do not add up to THE answer.

The most effective strategy for getting hired is to have a positive influence on the hiring manager.

How do you do that? By thinking like a consultant.

Know your target industry’s trends and issues (business pain points). Know what skills you can offer to help your choice employers solve those business issues. This, together with post-interview follow-up, is the secret sauce.

Build a Relationship With the Hiring Manager

One of your overall goals should be to build a relationship with the hiring manager. Try to engage him or her so you can identify what is important for them to know about you in the interview discussions. What is he or she looking for in an executive candidate. What impresses them about someone in an executive position? Finding the sweet spot may ultimately lead to a job offer because the hiring manager sees you as the perfect person to fill the position—the solution to their business need.

As you know, building relationships take time, so be patient, especially because hiring managers are generally cautious. They need to make the right decision, so they may move slower in the hiring process than you expect.

Never Leave an Interview Without Asking…

“What are the next steps in the hiring process?” Hiring managers expect executive candidates to ask. Inquire about a reasonable time frame to follow up. Without fail, be sure to send a thank you note immediately after the interview. This small action is imperative and demonstrates that you respect the interviewer and the time he or she spent with you.

Post-interview Follow-up is Key

A follow-up phone call is an acceptable mode of communication to inquire about the status of the hiring process. While some interviewers will share where they are in the decision-making process, many won’t. However, if you are able to engage them on the phone, keep the conversation focused on building your relationship, and offer your help where appropriate.

Don’t be a pest with too many emails or phone calls, however, a follow-up note (sometime after the thank note has been sent) also helps reaffirm key points that match your unique skills and talents with the job requirements.

The executive that makes the best impression stays on the hiring manager’s radar. That person has the best chance of being called for another interview or offered the job.



Louise Garver

Louise Garver

Louise Garver, part of ExecuNet's team of Coaches and Career Strategists, is a career industry expert for executives, has a successful 30-year history as an Executive Coach, Resume Writer, Branding and Job Search Strategist, with recruitment and corporate management experience along with 13 career-related certifications, a master's degree and post-graduate certification in career counseling. Executives work with her to capture their brand message and clearly, consistently and effectively communicate it in their career documents and communications. Louise is co-author of Win Interviews! The New Must-Have Game Plan and her work is featured in over 20 career publications.

3 Replies to "Secrets to Getting Hired – What Every Executive Should Know"

  • Beth Mancini
    June 6, 2016 (9:09 am)

    Terrific article – thank you!
    Beth Mancini
    Seeking new opportunities

  • Jennifer Lincoln
    June 27, 2016 (5:59 pm)

    This article was a little bit helpful. Knowing I am on the right track does help build confidence but cozying up to a hiring manager needs a little more explanation. Prior to throwing my hat in the ring I do extensive research on the company and their business model but how on earth would I be able to connect with a person I’ve never met?

    • Marc Ogil
      April 14, 2018 (2:06 pm)

      Be a detective. Find that person on Linked In and see where you may have overlapping interests, education, influencers or best of all mutual contracts. Google the hiring manager’s name to see if there is public news about them that you can reference in a conversation or note. Have they worked in a company that you have in the past or would want to? Along with having the requisite bona fides and experience, making an early and targeted connection with the hiring individual, preferably in advance of any interview, is crucial. You’re selling the relationship just as much as you’re selling your qualifications.