Conducting interviews with senior managers is quite different from
those with junior candidates mainly because the people involved are
different. Junior candidates are often called Applicants because they
are usually applying for new employment. In interviewing these people,
the emphasis is on the candidate to sell himself to the employer.
Desirable senior candidates are the opposite. These people are
generally successful and satisfied in their current positions and have
no urgent need to change jobs. Confidentiality is of critical
importance and they do not send resumes to job postings or employment
agencies nor do they attend career fairs -- be worried if they do.
Nevertheless, such people can be enticed to discuss a career
opportunity if approached in an appropriate manner by people who they
consider respected and trusted in their business community.
Interviewing these people requires greater emphasis on the employer to
provide strong justifications for career change.
Executives Interview Executives
Senior managers need to be interviewed by people who are senior in the
organization. In status conscious Asia, recruiting department staff who are
great for interviewing individual contributors are usually not involved in
meetings with senior managers who will be above them in the organization. Veteran executives
should only be assessed by other veteran executives. There is probably
no better way to turn off a desirable candidate than to have him be
interviewed in a cubicle by someone holding a clipboard.
managers are almost always employed and self-actualized in their
current positions, and don't change jobs often or easily. In order to
recruit them, tremendous effort must be made to demonstrate that
the candidate is highly valued and his career would prosper
in the new organization. He is not an applicant applying for a job
-- he is a gifted manager who could be critical to the success of
the organization. If such a person is told to fill out an
application form and left alone in a dreary waiting room, you may
find nothing except a pile of ripped up paper when you
Be Concerned about Confidentiality
Senior candidates are stable career professionals with a history of
long-term employment relationships and are not desperate for work. They
are also well-known and recognizable in their business communities. For
these reasons, they take a very real risk at being interviewed by
another employer. Attention needs to be taken to ensure their
confidentiality. If they ever come to feel their privacy could be at
risk, they will discontinue the interview process or, at the very
least, down-grade their interest in the organization.
Use a Conversational Style
Senior managers have many years of experience interviewing others for
their own positions. You will do yourself no good by using a set of
questions that you would use for junior applicants. Manage the
interview as an intelligent conversation between industry
It’s Not a Beauty Pageant
Research has proven conclusively that tall, good-looking candidates and
good-talkers get the most job offers. Senior candidates, especially,
can be utterly captivating because they have developed their
personality skills over many years. A charming facade is certainly not
a bad attribute but it does not necessarily make the person an ideal candidate. Don’t let
this one quality overshadow the huge number of other important
requirements necessary for management success.
Ignore “New-and-Improved” Tactics
in other industries, consultants to the HR sector create novel
interviewing concepts regularly to catch each new generation of hiring
managers -- rather like fashion cycles. Many of these "highly-innovative"
interview systems employ techniques to either intimidate or relax
candidates in order to trick them into giving information they might
not otherwise have provided.
These should be ignored. Similarly,
interview questions like, “Give me a sales pitch for my tie,” or “What
kind of animal would you like to be?” are unsuitable for senior
managers (or probably anyone else). There are no shortcuts or sure-fire
systems to assessing candidates. It is a long process and a
comprehensive interview is just one component.
Sell the Opportunity AND Yourself
Managers are naturally more used to interviewing candidates for less
senior roles and sometimes assume everyone they meet will plead to work
for them. Desirable senior managers are almost always
successfully employed and happy in their careers. They don’t need a job
but are interested to improve their situation.
Many interviewers are so
focused on evaluating the candidate that they forget it is a 2-way
street – candidates are evaluating them just as much. Effort needs to
be made by hiring executives to describe the opportunity, the
organization and its people in a compelling but realistic manner.
Most importantly, don’t forget to sell yourself. Senior people
understand that the “who” is more important that the “what.”
Be Friendly But Non-Committal
selling-the-opportunity, it can be tempting to become overly
enthusiastic about “what can be achieved” if the candidate joins the
firm. Remember that if you give a range of income or bonus
opportunities, the candidate will almost always remember only the top
end of the range. It is no exaggeration to say that more than 50% of
all hiring processes are harmed (and sometimes destroyed) by
exaggerated expectations through such miscommunications.
Consistency is Your Friend
junior candidates, desirable senior managers are usually in no urgent
need to change employers. They understand that decision processes
require time. That said, a confusing or disordered interview process
that takes too much time will harm the candidate’s impression of the
opportunity and the organization. The hiring process should be
straight-forward and proceed at a pace that is consistent and credible.
People are Mainly Honest
is our experience that most senior leadership people are essentially
sincere. Something that helps keep them so is that most industry
sectors are small communities where people know each other -- this is
especially so in the relatively small economies of Southeast Asia.
While there are exceptions, the pressure to “say anything to get the
job” is overwhelmed by the stronger coercive pressure to not get caught
One obvious mark of a deceitful candidate is a person who rarely admits
to past failures or meaningful flaws. They will either use verbal
calisthenics to evade “weakness” questions or they will twist around a
negative attribute to make it seem positive: “I allow myself to get
burned out because I work so hard.”
People who don't admit to
their own faults are actually admitting to many.
By using your own
highly developed people skills and some commonsense, it is possible to
find high-quality people. It starts once you connect with the candidate
on a personal level and then the 2 of you work together to determine if
the job you have is, or isn't, best suited for the candidate.
this e-book to learn all you need to know to
get the best people on your bus and drive it to greatness.
A global manager's failsafe
guide to dominating any industry
by employing its dominant
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& Management Consulting:
Associates provides its Executive Search and Recruiting services throughout the emerging countries of the Asia Pacific
region with specific focus on Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos.
proactive and well known in our sectors of focus. Regional
Managers use us to help bridge the gap between local environments and
the world-class requirements of multinational corporations.
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CEO Forum presented by PLDT ALPHA Enterprise is the largest
regular business event in Philippines and considered one of the
most important in the Southeast Asia region. The forum serves as a
hub for the spreading of ideas that help executive managers
overseeing enterprises across the Asia Pacific region.
Attendees are both expatriate and Asian management personnel
overseeing multinational and regional organizations. Held in
Philippines, presenters are leaders in their industries and
engaged in momentous pursuits of significance to the entire
CEO Forum is operated as a CSR (Corporate Social
Responsibility) activity of Chalre Associates, one of Southeast
Asia's most prominent senior management executive search firms, to
promote Philippines as a premier business destination in the Asia
Here to go to Asia
CEO Forum now!
CEO Awards presented by Aseana City represents the
grandest alliance of local and international business people ever
created to promote Philippines on the world stage. As one of the
largest events of its kind in the Asia Pacific region, it is
considered a must-attend occasion for business leaders active in
The star-studded Board of Judges of Asia CEO Awards give
away 10 awards to many of the most accomplished leadership teams
and individuals currently operating in Philippines and the region.
The awards recognize extraordinary leaders who have demonstrated
outstanding achievement for their organizations and contributions
As one of the fastest growing nations on the planet, the world's
business leaders have their eyes on Philippines like never before.
The annual gala was established as a natural outgrowth of Asia
CEO Forum, the largest regular networking event for the
business community in Philippines.
to go to Asia
CEO Awards now!
throughout the world call upon the Principals of Chalre Associates for thought leadership.
Below are some examples of published material written by our
consultants or international journalists who refer to them. For a complete list of published work,
Getting Ready For The
Deluge: Outsourcing in Philippines
Chalre Associates senior staff
Economist Intelligence Unit of the Economist magazine
asked Chalre Associates' Chairman, Richard Mills,
to write a chapter about the Philippine outsourcing sector
in its annual Business Guide Book. The material
provides a Executive Briefing on the progress and major
issues facing this industry that is certainly one of most
significant growth stories in the world.
Asia Pacific Mining
Conference 2007 - Report
Chalre Associates senior staff
The 7th Asia Pacific Mining Conference put on by the Asean
Federation of Mining Associations was perhaps the largest
such event in the region. Richard Mills, Chairman of Chalre Associates
gave this report on what was said by the prominent mining
people who presented.
State of BPO in Philippines: Dan Reyes Speaks
Chalre Associates senior staff
Mills, Chairman of Chalre Associates,
interviewed Dan Reyes of Sitel for ComputerWorld (US) recently to get
his views on the state of the BPO industry in Philippines. Dan
presented US readers with compelling information to support his view
that Philippines is currently seen as the "Number 1" option by global
companies sending BPO work to offshore destinations.
Dan Reyes is easily one of most experienced Business Process
Outsourcing (BPO) managers in the Asia Pacific region and the world. He
is head of the extremely successful Philippine operations of Sitel, the
world's largest call center organization. Among other things, he is a
founder and former president of the Business Processing Association of
the Philippines. more