It is not about you. It is about the employer.
It is most often the case that the job for which you are interviewing is not a perfect fit or worse, doesn’t have a clear path to your mid-term goals. It is human nature to want to get on track immediately, but in an interview for executive jobs, that is the most wrong thing you can do.
You want the job, it is a good fit if only you can get them to tweak it just a bit. All you have to do is let the interviewer know what you want so they don’t start talking about a job you don’t want. You feel you need to correct their approach immediately so you can tell them what you want. Don’t Do It.
- The executive interviewing you needs to tell you what they want, first. Let them talk, ask few questions and don’t let your body language betray your impatience.
- Say something to acknowledge what he/she wants to do/go before you launch into what you can provide for him. Explain what you can accomplish and give examples of having done so in the past. This is data, not opinions.
- Do NOT talk about what you need or want, but what you can do for the company over the next few months/years.
- Then, include the actions of that new role you want. For example: ”Are you hoping to take the products international?” If yes, talk about how you can expedite this process and talk about your experience doing so. This approach puts this into a form the interviewer can relate to rather than a demand from a prospective employee. It becomes a discussion of their goals.
- When you state what you can do in terms of accomplishments and not opinions your comments and desires are remembered.
- If the interviewer starts out asking what you are looking for, talk in terms of actions, not job description. I want to take a product line and xxx and xxx. At XYZ I did this and grew biz xxxx. In the mid term, I can build the infrastructure, (now list the additional responsibilities you are after).
- Don’t justify any of this with how long you have worked. Just let the accomplishments speak for themselves and know when to stop talking.
- Ask, “Is this the direction you see this role going,” and shut up. Better, ask “Are these the goals you have for this product?” and “Is this the sort of success you are hoping to see from this role?”
I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep this and any conversation in any interview about the company/department needs, not yours. Be patient, listen well then you will have a chance to make your needs known… in terms of their needs. This approach requires a lot of practice to get it right. Once you do, it becomes a good habit for any negotiation.