It has been almost 20 years since Steve Freeman met with Steve Mclaren and he is still connected with the company to this day. During their first meeting, Freeman was hired as the Executive of Airways, the company that Mclaren started. Mclaren had worked with Freeman in another capacity before moving onto his role as CEO of Airways. Mclaren and Freeman became close friends and worked together for several more years until sometime in 1996. During their time together, Mclaren took the reigns of the company and turned it into an innovative, successful company that offer corporate packages, executive coaching, and executive education programs.
The first question that invariably comes to Mclaren’s mind when he is asked about his career is, “Did you have a good interview?” His answer to this question always starts with, “Not a great one.” Because he is so attached to the company, and because he loves the people in it so much, he does not want to let go of the control of the CEO position. This would affect his performance negatively.
So, how does he do it? He takes every interview as if it were a job interview. He talks to the potential executive in depth about the business, culture, vision, mission, and the future of the corporation. In fact, interview after interview, Mclaren takes each one as if it were a job interview. As a result, he never gets tired or discouraged with the amount of questions that are asked to him. Instead, he stays completely engaged and enthusiastic about answering all of the questions put to him.
What does this do for your performance? Well, if you are a strong communicator and extremely well prepared, then your performance as an Executive of Airways will be greatly enhanced. However, if you are not prepared, then your performance can also be negatively impacted. The point is that, at the end of the day, your performance as CEO of Airways is up to you. But if you prepare well, then it will be up to the Airlines and other corporations to decide if you are the right fit for the job.
To prepare for an interview, I recommend having a notebook handy with a couple (4) copies of questionnaires from past executive interviews. You can find these over on the Corporate Recruiting Webpage. Once you have the questionnaires, write them down, review them thoroughly, and answer them as completely and honestly as possible. This will show the interviewer that you are serious about getting the job, and that you are also willing to put in the time and effort to answer the questions.
As an aside, if you are in the Medical profession or have any sort of leadership role in another field, then you should bring up this issue at the interview. Usually if you ask someone about performance at their last job, they will not volunteer that information, because companies do not want to know what happened if they lose you. Ask them to elaborate. Be prepared for denial and excuses, but maintain persistence. If they acknowledge the truth, then you are ready to proceed with your career.
When preparing for an interview, the most important question to ask yourself is “What are your weaknesses?” You have to be honest here. Do not just come out with “My biggest strength is being able to communicate” or “My biggest weakness is having trouble making decisions.” You have to be specific here and mention what your weaknesses are. For example, are you the best salesperson in the company? Or the best financial officer?
Now you need to answer “Why do you think you would be successful as an Executive Coach?” Be very specific here and be sure to share with the interviewer exactly what you are expecting from the position. Be specific in saying that you are willing to be a team player and contribute to the growth of the Company. This is a critical part of being hired as an Executive Coach and doing well in the job!