Tag: charles aris

How to answer interview questions like a pro

Whether you’re participating in a quick catch-up call with a recruiter or sitting down for an official interview, your communication style and the way you answer questions will play a large role in the impression you leave on that organization.

As you read through these tips, consider how they can also apply to conversations outside the occasional interview:

1) Listen and understand: Before you jump in to answer a question, ensure you fully understand what’s being asked. If you’re unsure … ask for clarification! It’s better to ask than to answer a question you don’t understand. Once you have a complete understanding of the question in front of you, don’t be afraid to take a moment to think through your answer. Most interviewers and recruiters would rather sit in a few moments of awkward silence than listen to you ramble because you’re not sure how to respond.

  • Pro tip: You can even say, “Great question! Can I take a minute to think through my answer?”

2) Answer first, provide detail later: When asked a question, it can be frustrating for the interviewer if you immediately start going into detail about an answer you haven’t actually revealed yet. Directly answer the question first and then start to give the key details that support it.

  • Pro tip: After answering the question directly, you could ask the interviewer, “How much detail would you like on this topic?”

3) Pay attention to how long you’re talking: If you feel like you’ve been talking for too long , you probably have. Our attention spans are shorter than ever, and if you spend five minutes answering a question without stopping to allow your interviewer to interject, it’s likely they’re not fully taking in what you’re saying.

  • Pro tip: Once you realize you’ve been talking too long, ask your interviewer, “Is this good, or should I give more detail?”

4) Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t have an answer: Here’s the deal, if you respond to a question you clearly don’t know the answer to but try to come up with something on the fly, people will notice. To avoid sounding like you’re rambling about a topic you’re not prepared to discuss, just admit you don’t have an answer and let the interviewer take the lead from there.

  • Pro tip: If you feel uncomfortable telling the interview you don’t have an answer, consider saying something to the effect of, “I don’t have that experience, but this is how I’d approach that …”

5) Stick to the question at hand: The interviewer will ask you all the questions they want answered, so don’t take it upon yourself to answer five more questions they never even asked. It’s also likely you’re going off topic a bit, so right the ship and answer the question that was asked.

  • Pro tip: Put yourself on the other side of the table and think, “If I was the interviewer, how would I want this answered?”

6) Quantify, quantify, quantify: Data supports facts, and whenever you can use concrete numbers to support your statements, the more likely your interviewer will have confidence that what you’re saying you can achieve is actually true.

  • Pro tip: Before your interview, think through project-specific questions you may be asked and write down [accurate] data points that can support your potential answer.

7) Ask meaningful questions: The questions you ask your interviewer are just as important as the questions you answer. Be thoughtful about them and make each one related to the interview. Avoid resorting to the generic questions that you quickly Googled right before. Do your homework and really dive in deep.

  • Pro tip: Imagine yourself in the role and write down three to five umbrella questions you’d want answered before your first day.


by Heather Kivett and Sydney Olszewski
Charles Aris Executive Search

charles aris, Executive Search, InterSearch, InterSearch Worldwide, interview

Executive recruiters’ favorite books and podcasts for 2021

It’s a new year, so you likely sat down before the end of 2020 to create a list of goals to accomplish in 2021. If reading more or finding a new podcast is on that list, we have a collection of great suggestions directly from some of our firm’s recruiting experts:


Chad Oakley, Chief Executive Officer
“The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz

Greg Harper, Senior Vice President
“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey

Caroline Wilson, Vice President
“How I Built This” by Guy Raz (podcast)

Steven Stewart, Vice President
“Revisionist History” by Malcolm Gladwell (podcast)

Jill Jitima, Vice President
“Crucial Conversations” by Kerry Patterson

Sarah Becker, Vice President
“The Other 90%: How to Unlock your Vast Untapped Potential for Leadership and Life” by Robert K. Cooper

Ashlee Wagner, Vice President
“Untamed” by Glennon Doyle

Jody Karavanic, Vice President
“Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

TJ Deal, Practice Leader
“The Last Palace: Europe’s Turbulent Century in Five Lives and one Legendary House” by Norman Eisen

Ryan Morgan, Associate Practice Leader
“Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup” by John Carreyrou


by Josh Kotelnicki
Associate Practice Leader at Charles Aris Inc.

2021, books and podcasts, charles aris, Executive Search, InterSearch

Kijak earns promotion to senior associate recruiter at Charles Aris Executive Search

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Executive search firm Charles Aris Inc. has promoted Cates Kijak, a valued team member who recruits across multiple practices, to senior associate recruiter.

Since 2018, Kijak has been an active participant in each stage of the firm’s 14-Step Priority Search Process. Her support alongside Charles Aris practice leaders and clients – locating and landing leaders who are qualified, available and interested in mission-critical roles – has enabled her to build and manage strong relationships with those she serves daily.

Cates Kijak

“I feel fortunate to be part of an organization like Charles Aris,” Kijak said. “We have the constant support of a dynamic leadership team, and working alongside such passionate and hardworking team members is incredible. To know that every day we get the opportunity to partner with hiring authorities and help them find world-class talent to strengthen their teams and organizations is an amazing feeling.”

Before joining Charles Aris, Kijak worked as a regional office manager for the American Heart Association to connect corporate sponsors and volunteers, positively impacting health and wellness across communities. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communication and media studies from Flagler College after obtaining her associate’s degree in mass communication from the Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Charles Aris practice leader TJ Deal considers Kijak a rising star in the firm – and one who has grown to be invaluable in the corporate development space.

“Her natural ability to recruit, advise and build relationships with top corporate talent is far beyond her tenure,” Deal said. “We’re lucky to have her.”

Kijak’s commitment to world-class service, strong work ethic, grit and resilience sets the gold standard for current and future associates alike, said Charles Aris chief operating officer Allen Oakley.

“The Charles Aris family is excited about Cates’ well-deserved promotion,” Oakley added. “She consistently leans in with assisting critical firmwide initiatives, and her innovative approach to solving problems is exceptional. We’re eager to see what she’ll do in this expanded role!”


by Madison Nance

Marketing Associate at Charles Aris Inc.

Cates Kijak, charles aris, earns promotion, Executive Search, InterSearch

Stronger Together

Charles Aris stands against acts of racism and bigotry toward underrepresented communities as together we demand equality and inclusion.

Too many individuals in our society are failing to see the humanity in each person. Let’s stop, listen and learn from one another. Let’s remember that it is our responsibility to create a better tomorrow together.

As our team strives alongside hiring authorities and candidates to transform businesses and enrich communities, we remain dedicated to diversity and inclusion initiatives within our firm, our client organizations and communities around the nation and beyond.

charles aris, Executive Search, InterSearch, Stronger, Together

Engineering & Operations practice now emphasizes supply chain as well

Charles Aris Executive Search is excited to announce the rebranding of its Engineering & Operations recruiting practice to Engineering, Operations & Supply Chain in 2021.

Why the change? Supply chain is playing a more integral role in the operations of organizations around the world, and the firm’s executive search team thinks it’s time to better recognize and share its expertise in the space.

Many factors continue to demand more sophisticated supply chain practices: Increasing customer demand for delivery speed and precision; competition from countries new to the arena; COVID-19; and political tensions are all resulting in more dynamic supply chain challenges and opportunities than ever. The residual shift to e-commerce — alongside the impact of tariffs — has led to a greater need for radical-thinking supply chain professionals.

Having the right people in place to meet the growing demands of today’s supply chain requirements is crucial for identifying and addressing the needs of consumers. Business consumers are expecting and demanding that correct product assortments be available at the proper location(s) with prompt delivery times and quick customer service. We expect these trends to grow throughout 2021 and that supply chain needs will continue to be a focus within the consumer and industrial sectors for years to come.

In addition to the 14-step Charles Aris Priority Search Process helping find top talent for hiring authorities across the globe, the executive search firm is doubling down on delivering the latest insights in the space. Subscribers of the Engineering, Operations & Supply Chain Newsletter will be first in line to receive unique content, word of career opportunities we’re looking to fill and what our own experts are reading. Increased knowledge leads to more informed decisions, so make sure you’re subscribed, regularly visit our website and follow us on social media channels to ensure you stay one step ahead of the competition.


by Greg Harper, Sarah Becker, Heather Kivett and Madison Nance
Charles Aris Inc.

charles aris, Engineering & Operations, Executive Search, InterSearch

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