Ready for the NEW NORMAL in executive interviewing?
Has the job market and interview process changed that much in the past two years? Absolutely.
MarketPro, the leading boutique marketing search firm, has been in the executive search business for well over 25 years, and we have yet to experience the level of drastic change to the interview process as we are now facing. As most top-level candidates already know, the competition for talent is hot. Consequently, organizations have adapted to moving quickly through the interview process. As executive search consultants, we are seeing some instances of 6-figure-salary candidates advancing to the offer stage within a week. While a timeframe that short may be rare, an accelerated pace is indeed the new norm, and you need to be ready.
Tell the truth—are you fully prepared to enter today’s hiring race? With this narrowed window to determine whether an opportunity is the right move, it’s your job to hit the ground running. It’s essential that you’ve considered every variable a job offer might entail BEFORE it lands on the table. So, if you’re hoping to move into a new executive marketing position in 2022, keep these important tips from the Pros at MarketPro in mind.
“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.” ~ Bobby Unser
At the executive level, it’s perhaps even more important to be informed and prepared before submitting that first resume. There is no time to lose, so check out these suggestions as you begin your journey to success.
In this world of Zoom interviews, it’s easy to overlook aspects of a company beyond the role you’re considering, so make sure you’ve done your research. Have you dug into all available information on the C-suite players or, more specifically, the people you’ll be interviewing and working with? What is the culture like? What are the company’s values?
Probably the first place most of us turn in researching a potential employer is Google, and there’s nothing wrong with doing so. It’s knowing what online information is reliable that can be challenging. People tend to believe what they read without too much consideration of just how much biased, incomplete and patently false information is out there. Wikipedia is extremely popular and a logical place to start, but most anyone can edit a Wikipedia page. Yet another common tool we see candidates use is Glassdoor. Company reviews from actual employees seem inherently credible, but do they tell the whole story? Our stance on the popular review site is outlined in this video:
You need to consider every resource available to properly scrutinize your options. If your values and goals aren’t supported, you’ll never be fully satisfied with the work. At MarketPro, we are here to help guide you and share our exclusive knowledge of the company, culture and your fit within the organization. That’s why we spend so much time with each candidate. Of course we verify your skills match the job requirements, but that is only the first step. We put the same amount of focus, perhaps more, into ensuring your beliefs and work style are in alignment with those of the hiring company. It’s only when all of these elements come together that both you and your new employer will know you’ve made the best choice.
Understanding your own non-negotiables provides clarity when it comes to decision-making. You run a higher risk of making the wrong move by going into the interview process without a core knowledge of what you truly want. Wondering what your non-negotiables are? Make a list of your priorities in life, then apply them to your job search. Family, money, fulfillment, work/life balance, lifestyle … each can be a make-or-break factor. Keep that list in your mind—better yet, write it down—as you proceed through the interview process. If the company or position doesn’t check all your boxes, it’s most likely the wrong move
Salary and Benefits
Money shouldn’t be your primary motivation, but we all know it’s near the top of the list. One position may offer a higher salary range, but at what cost? Bob Van Rossum, president of MarketPro, shares thoughts he has accumulated over decades of executive searches and puts that experience into practical advice for how to approach salary negotiations.
Should you consider relocating for an executive marketing position? The answer, again, is based on determining what is most important to you. Take the time to think long and hard about your career objectives and which locations will provide the best advantages.
It’s true that relocation comes up less often than it did just a couple of years ago. Still, plenty of companies continue to insist on office presence at the executive level, even if just for a couple of days a week. Deciding whether you should consider relocating is not as terrifying as it may seem. It’s really just a matter of knowing what you and your family value most. Think about things like:
- Is relocation even something you’re open to?
- What compensation and benefits package will be worth the move?
- What are the top requirements for your spouse and kids?
- What level of career boost justifies the potential challenges?
- Is the hiring company paying for your relocation?
- What does the housing market look like?
- What is my gut feeling telling me?
There are so many questions to consider, but working through them in advance can save you the heartache and risk of making the wrong decision in the excitement of the moment. The best advice we give candidates is to have a list of carefully prepared questions that will help you assess the overall merit of an opportunity. Make sure your list is fine tuned within the first few interactions.
No Man (person!) is an Island
Once you’ve defined the priorities of your career move, take every opportunity to network with peers, mentors and professional search consultants. First-hand knowledge and practical advice from those in the know can provide an invaluable upper hand. Do you have friends working in the industry you want to transition to? Looked into any conferences or professional groups? Maybe you know someone with an interesting job function. Reach out! Most people are more than happy to discuss what they know. The more you connect with others who share your goals or have already been where you’re looking to be, the more opportunities you’ll have to find the right job for you.
Connecting with an executive search firm like MarketPro can drastically reduce the time it takes to find those elite positions, the ones that will never be posted on most job boards. So often, it’s about who you know. Demand for executive marketing talent is high, but you must know where to look. Being open to conversations with executive search professionals will help you better understand your options in this post-pandemic marketplace.
Just remember the keys to success: be honest with yourself, ensure a great fit for the company culture as well as the role, and be prepared to move fast!