9 Ways to Ace the IT Executive Interview

Your networking and resume work has paid off. You finally landed an interview for your dream job as an IT executive and you couldn't be more excited. The only thing that stands between you and the executive washroom is the interview itself.

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Dress appropriately. Experts agree that unless you're told otherwise, a suit, and if you're a man, a tie are likely necessary. If you've got an inside contact you can ask them the dress code; whatever it is, dress up one level higher.

"A suit and a tie should always be the default, as it conveys respect. The last thing you want to be is under-dressed for the occasion, as it makes the candidate look less than serious or at worst disrespectful or clueless," says High.

Ask the Right Questions

The questions you ask can be the difference between having the job you always dreamed of and being shown the door.

"Ask questions that help you to delve into the corporate culture and/or the strengths of the people you're talking to. Ask open-ended questions that explore company the company mission, corporate values, the executive's leadership strengths and the department's performance targets for the position the candidate is being interviewed for," says Simpson.

"What is the one key priority that you want me to accomplish coming in here?" You're essentially asking why are you hiring me? If you found out you were a replacement, says Burns, you could then follow up and ask, what was the problem with the other person or what was the challenge they had? It shows you're in tune and not reading from a script," says Burns.

Close Strong

"Offer a brief, two-minute, achievement-rich summary of your candidacy. Restate your interest in the job and ask when you may contact the hiring executive to learn their decision or next steps. Make an appointment for this call and don't let anything prevent you from making the call on time," says Simpson.

You need to come off as excited about the position and the opportunity without seeming desperate. "You want to make sure that they know that you really want the job. You need to leave a lasting impression that you'll do whatever it takes," says Burns. Continue to follow-up, a successful job search requires persistence.

Follow-up (and Send a Thank You Note)

Directly after the meeting, while your memory is fresh, write down any notes you have or any areas that you would like to follow-up on. Incorporate this information into your thank you note.

"Always send a thank you note and raise points that were discussed in the interview as a means of reconnecting. If there were any loose ends from the interview, address those in the follow up email," says High.

The experts agree that following up with a handwritten note as well as an email will leave a lasting impression on the hiring manager.

"Always send a hand-written or signed note within 48 hours. I strongly advise my clients to supplement email thank you cards with cards or personal notes since you can never be certain your email will be delivered," says Simpson.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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