by Martha Heller

Advice for managing your interview

Apr 27, 2011

Candidates need to communicate better during interviews

When a client decides to pass on a candidate I have submitted for an IT executive search, the reason I hear most often for the rejection is ineffective communication skills.  “She gave me high level answers with no depth,” the client will say, or “he had difficulty being concise and staying on topic.”  This always blows my mind because these candidates already have successful careers. They present to boards, lead large teams, and drive effective change.  Why can’t they manage an interview?   My advice is basic:  when asked a question, say about your leadership style, give a well thought out, high level answer, and support it with a compelling example.  Then, pause to learn whether the interviewer is satisfied or wants to know more.   It sounds simple, I know, but it works… 

Now, onto the news!

 AMD has named Mike Wolfe as the company’s new chief information officer.  Wolfe was most recently vice president of IT for product development and engineering at Hewlett Packard.  At AMD, he is responsible for managing the global technology infrastructure, and reports to Thomas Seifert, senior vice president, CFO, and interim CEO. Innotrac Corp. has appointed former Equifax Inc. executive Salil Kulkarni to chief information officer.  Prior to joining Innotrac in 2003, Kulkarni was an IT executive at The John H. Harland Company, and held CIO-level positions at Capital One Financial Corp. and Pleasant Company, a division of Mattel Toys. 

Jack in the Box Inc. has elevated Michael E. Verdesca to be vice president and chief information officer. Verdesca, previously division vice president of systems development for the company, has been acting CIO since October 2010. In his new role, Verdesca is responsible for all IT functions and company call centers, including guest relations.

Prashant Nema, SVB Financial Group’s former Chief Technology Officer, has been promoted to chief information officer. Nema will head SVB’s information technology initiatives, including the global IT infrastructure and upgrades to SVB’s core banking system. Mark Boxer has become chief information officer of Connecticut-based CIGNA.  In this position, Boxer will lead CIGNA’s global technology strategy.  Boxer succeeds Philip Emond, who is retiring from the company. NVIDIA, Santa Clara, CA, recently appointed Bob Worrall as chief information officer, reporting to CEO Jen-Hsun Huang.  During his 21-year tenure with Sun, Worrall has held a variety of senior technology roles, including CIO from 2005 to 2010. 

Zynga has named Debra Chrapaty as the company’s chief information officer, the latest in a string of recent hires for the CA gaming company. An industry veteran, Chrapaty was the senior vice president of Cisco’s Collaboration Software group, and president and COO of eTrade at Microsoft.

CIBER, Inc., a global information technology consulting, services and outsourcing company, has selected Eric Goldfarb to be executive vice president and chief information officer.  Goldfarb was formerly CIO of Bearing Point.

Joseph Held has been promoted to senior vice president and global chief information officer at The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., and becomes a member of the company’s Executive Committee.  

That’s it for this edition.  Thanks for sending me news and keep it up!


Martha Heller

Heller Search Associates