Tag: interview

The search for the CEO of unity: an interview with Shruti Bhargava

We are pleased to be working with Unity Homes and Enterprise on the search for their new CEO. Last week I was pleased to interview the organisation’s Chair, Shruti Bhargava, to understand more about the role of the CEO and the part it will play in helping Unity Homes and Enterprise achieve its strategic vision.

#ShrutiBhargava, CEO, Executive Search, Green Park, InterSearch, InterSearch UK, InterSearch Worldwide, interview

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“Executive Search needs to recognize the opportunity in new technologies ” – Interview with Klas Karlsson (Talentia – InterSearch Sweden)

The future of executive search in Sweden and other Western European countries is facing significant changes. Many of these developments have been accelerated by the radical change in people’s work lives due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting restrictions on travel and meetings. In addition to more flexible remote work models, the world of work seems to have taken a big leap, especially in the area of digitization. Klas Karlsson, executive search consultant in Stockholm and CEO of Talentia AB – InterSearch Sweden, sees the challenges for recruiters – as well as their clients – in identifying technological developments early on.

Professional social networks are changing all the time – executive search must keep up

Karlsson is convinced that an excellent headhunter cannot rely solely on his network and negotiation skills, but must keep an eye on technological developments. He sees the rise of social networks as particularly crucial: “All executive search consultants work with LinkedIn. Those are the basics. But are we perhaps missing candidates there?” Every executive search consultant would need to be aware that even now, candidates may be falling through the cracks because they are not signed up on LinkedIn. Therefore, to stay competitive and reach early adopters of new technologies, a recruiting firm must anticipate where the journey is headed. “LinkedIn has already taken over some of the functions that Facebook used to fulfill. People are also sharing more personal updates and interacting with personal acquaintances.” So, according to Karlsson, a new network that is more distinct from any “private” social networks might emerge in the near future. Such a network would be the place to look for promising executives in the future. “These are precisely the developments we need to help shape, not merely react to.”

The consulting process is becoming more transparent – and starts earlier

Karlsson sees the increasing technologization of the recruiting market as an opportunity for executive search firms to advise their clients in greater detail on other parts of the process  that are not “purely transactional”. A consultant should at least anticipate if not initiate a client’s expansion activities. This includes questioning established assumptions that clients might have and also bringing less obvious candidates into the mix. These might for example not currently be working at a competing firm in exactly the same position that you are looking to fill. Discovering young talent and lateral entrants who take unexpected paths is part of that evolution, he says. “We as recruiters need to be more active in helping the clients in their decision making process by providing insights and data – qualitative as well as quantitative –before we start a search or even advise them against a traditional search and instead to go for an acquisition of a company and then support them in the due diligence process.” Although large companies and corporations already have insight departments that work with extensive quantities of data, Karlsson foresees a greater focus on quantitative data for executive search, looking not only at the individual and more at big trends and developments. “This will allow us to approach companies – especially mid-sized companies – directly and to anticipate their needs as part of our services.”

Entrepreneurs and startups in particular demand flexibility from recruiters

Karlsson specifically emphasizes the importance of flexibility when working with entrepreneurs and the startup sector. This concerns established fee structures in particular. “It’s not about pushing a ‘cut-rate’ approach, but developing flexible fee structures that reflect the reality of young, agile companies.” For example, a combination of cash and equity compensation could be a feasible model.” Traditional benchmarks that might work for large corporations cannot not be applied to startups in the same way. The advantage of an international network like InterSearch, Karlsson emphasizes, is not least the opportunity of cooperatively developing innovative approaches and learning from partners in other countries. “I’m excited about what our Indian colleagues are doing, for example, they are real entrepreneurs. I’m definitely closer to them in this aspect than to some companies here in Sweden.”

Klas Karlsson
InterSearch Sweden

Klas Karlsson is the founder and CEO of Swedish executive search firm Talentia AB. The company has been focused on proactive recruiting in the Swedish executive search market since 1999 and has offices in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. Talentia AB has been a member of the global InterSearch network since 2015 and is leading the global Practice Start-up. Scale-up, Venture Capital & Innovation

#KlasKarlsson, Executive Search, global executive search, InterSearch, Intersearch Germany, InterSearch Worldwide, interview

Why Do We Fail In Job Interviews?

What brings an interview to failure?

We’ve all asked ourselves why this happens after a bad job interview. Even though we mostly like to blame our resumes, a resume actually has only one function in reality; to buy a ticket for an interview. If you get an invitation and the process has not continued, the reason must be sought elsewhere.

Generally, the small nuances that we live or encounter in the dynamics of the negotiations can put the negotiations on a negative course. Individual frictions with the interviewer, inability to express oneself, technical problems, might be some of the reasons in the list.

Let’s look at the most important reasons together.

1. Not Conducting Sufficient Research

Some professionals tend to ignore this step. Success is not a coincidence; it is result of hard working and preparation. This is not so different for job interviews.

Having not made required search neither for the company nor for the interviewer, or having not studied on the role brief sufficiently, may cause the candidate to miss critical information that will be required during the interview. It also risks being perceived as sloppy person or uninterested for the role.

In order to prevent this situation, it will be useful to search the company to be interviewed, obtain information about the corporate culture, examine the details of the role, check the information for the professionals that you will meet on social media, and talk to people who are related in your network.

2. Presenting Inconsistent Statements During the Interview.

During an interview, the interviewer examines how consistent the candidate is. Since it is not easy to analyse an adult in an interview that lasts for 40 minutes on average, interviewer will get tired and feel distrustful when he/she encounters contradictory and superficial answers. Unfortunately, this can lead you to a negative result in the final.

In order to prevent this situation, sending as clear, consistent, detailed and non-contradictory messages as possible may help you. This attitude will also create trust and make the interviewer feel that you have the required competencies for the position.

3. Fail to Express Yourself Clearly During the Interview.

Expressing yourself clearly and being able to set out the goals are indicators of a strong personality. The lack of interview experiences of candidates, their lack of clarity along with inadequate preparation or excitement, is often negatively evaluated by recruitment professionals. To rehearse before the interview, to get prepared psychologically and to express yourself as clearly and honestly as possible may help to prevent this situation.

4. Lack of Motivation.

A strong motivation puts a candidate ahead in the first place. The recruitment professionals who manage the interview, specifically question the candidate’s motivation for the company and position that is discussed, among many other characteristics. Even the process easily may go on negative, because a candidate simply shows an arrogant stance or considered as unmotivated by appearing irrelevant. One of the most important reasons for this is that candidates think that expressing their interest to the firm or position is an unfavourable thing.

When you come across an opportunity that really interests you, stating this and reflecting your motivation and goals clearly puts you ahead of your competitors.

5. Extreme Modesty/Extreme Arrogance

Since we are taught that “self-disclosure” is a negative thing in our culture, most candidates can be too modest in the interviews, leading them to be reluctant to reveal their strengths. Occasionally, some candidates may be extremely arrogant in order to retain the control of the interview. Unfortunately, in both cases, the result becomes negative.

Being able to express yourself without slipping to both sides, expressing your achievements without exaggeration, will support you in the way that the result of your interview can be positive.

6. Creating the Feeling of “Unrouteable”

Especially in an interview for a managerial role, candidates tend to over-emphasize their managerial competencies, tend to show that they are successful in this regard, and thus pass on the feeling that they can move away from team spirit in general. Today, in parallel with the importance of continuous development, institutions are looking for leaders who can support this development and who will develop in this way. And for sure, rather than trying to be Superman, those who will run for success with the team are preferred in this quest.

In order not to create such a negative perception, it will be to your advantage to correctly mention yourself and your “already existing” competencies, while correctly addressing your development areas, how you think you can reach them and how you can express yourself within the team.

7. Looking Sloppy

An interview isn’t just a process where you walk into a room and tell them what’s on your resume. From the moment you reach the place where the job interview will be held until the moment you leave there, your appearance, smell, movements, the way you express yourself will tell you as a whole. Therefore, not taking sufficient care when going to the interview, fail to be dressed in accordance with the culture of the relevant institution and the requirements of the role, of course without exaggeration, can cost you points.

In addition, this attentive appearance and integrated posture are no longer limited to your physical appearance. It’s also very important how you look on social media, especially on your Linkedin profile, and how much your profile in these media reflects you. It should be noted that many recruitment professionals are now getting to know you through your social media accounts before the interview. That’s why the footprints you leave on the internet are just as important as how you express yourself in the physical world.

Making sure that your social media profiles reflect you correctly, displaying adequate and non-contradictory content on your profile, especially your profiles in professional life channels, reflecting full and accurate information, will make it easier for recruitment professionals to reach you and make a positive impression before the interview. Afterwards, going to the interview in a punctual and prepared manner, choosing a dress that is compatible with the culture of the relevant institution together with the requirements of professional life. Also during the interview, taking a confident, comfortable stance, expressing yourself in a clear, detailed, energetic way will also make you stand out.

8. Failing to Capture Mutual Interaction.

Everything went well, you paid attention to all the key points, but you couldn’t express yourself because you couldn’t catch enough interaction with the other person in the interview, and one more process ended in a way that you didn’t want. In fact, this happens much more often than you think; a study conducted in the USA in 2017, shows that this reason is behind 68% of failed job interviews.

Research in the field of behavioural psychology shows that people’s impressions of someone they’ve just met occur within the first 10 seconds of their encounter. It takes an average of half a minute for the judiciary to become a verdict. So in fact, before the conversation even begins, the interviewer may have made up his mind about you. So how does this judgment form? Our smell, our body language, then our tone, our articulation, and finally what we say, builds this judgment.

That is why, as we explained in the previous sentences, showing a painstaking and consistent appearance will give you the chance to achieve the necessary interaction with the interviewer and, as a result, to express yourself effectively.

9. Technical Problems.

Perhaps one of the least mentioned, but one of the factors that stands out with the introduction of online interviews into our lives is technical problems. Many glitches, from your connection speed to equipment performance, can cloud your interview success. And unfortunately, these technical glitches are not limited to on-line interviews; your car may not work that morning, and your computer charge may run out of the time when you are starting your presentation.

Checking everything before the interview, being able to predict the problems that may occur by testing, will allow you to control these technical glitch risks by reducing them.

Paying attention to all these small points will change the course of a conversation, increasing your chances of success. But first of all, all these studies aim to raise your awareness, increase your chances of expressing yourself correctly and achieve your goal at the end of the day.

We support professionals who want to receive consultancy on these issues individually with our detailed designed and one-to-one coaching products.

#fail, Executive Search, InterSearch, Intersearch Turkey, InterSearch Worldwide, interview, job

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

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