Of all the interview questions job applicants prepare for, the most obvious ones sometimes get the least attention and often times result in a rejection before you’re even out of the blocks, to use a rather corny sports analogy 😉
You came ready to share some development insights, your greatest strength, and a moment when you shined, but what do you do with a broad but direct question like “Why do you want to work here?
Like a similarly problematic interview question — “Tell me about yourself” — “Why do you want to work here?” requires you to focus on a specific answer without any clues, contexts, or prompting from the interviewer.
It’s a blank space, but that doesn’t mean you can wing it and fill it with just anything.
Drawing from my 17 years of experience as an executive recruiter and executive coach, as well as someone who’s sat on both sides of the interview table many times, I recommend three basic approaches:
💡 Express your personal passion for the employer’s product/service/mission
💡 Explain why you would enjoy the responsibilities of the role.
💡 Describe how you can see yourself succeeding in the role, given your skills and experience.
You can use any combination of these three approaches so long as you keep your answer concise!
Tip: Be Specific
As you develop your answer, understand that the more specific you are, the more powerfully your answer will resonate. Conversely, the vaguer you are, the more generic the response will seem.
DO YOU THINK IT IS APPROPRIATE TO PUT SENIOR GM/EGM LEVEL STRATEGY CANDIDATES THROUGH CASE STUDY INTERVIEWS?
I guess I’m not too surprised by the latest poll results asking whether the consulting community (and alumni therefrom) think or feel it appropriate to be testing senior strategy talent at the GM or even EGM level with a case study style interview.
The results are almost split down the middle
✅ 37% of you said ABSOLUTELY, no questions asked!
✅ 36% of you completely disagreed and felt leadership skills and capabilities are much more important at that level. AND…
✅ 27% felt it depended on the role complexity.
Whilst the optimal answer isn’t apparent or clear, perhaps what we can take away from this poll result is as follows:
♠ Some form of assessment of problem solving ability and strategic toolkit is definitely needed. Perhaps what that looks like and how it’s applied is up for interpretation.
Whether it’s a typical consulting style case study, a presentation to a panel of interviewers on a business problem or a mere deep dive on past experience around the application of problem solving is clearly required.
♥ Demonstrated leadership skills and capability are just as important as the strategic skills and capabilities, so make sure you aren’t over-indexing on just the problem solving and toolkit parts in your career development plans.
As one progresses, its the leadership piece thats likely to trip you up OR be the differentiator between two similar candidates strong on the toolkit.
If you haven’t invested equally in this capability as you climb the corporate or consulting ladders, you might find it more difficult to land the bigger roles down the track.
♦ Many of you felt role complexity is a key determinant of whether a case style interview is required. The perception here is that if a role is really complex, then having the mental agility, horsepower and problem solving ability would be of paramount importance.
Well, in my experience, at this level, there are multi intelligences at play that ultimately lead to role success. Most roles in Enterprise clients (global multi-nationals and ASX) at this level are inherently complex at both the job and organisational level and problem solving isn’t merely applied to the business problem itself. It can oftentimes be more human centred and about aligning and influencing senior stakeholders which is a key skill within itself.
So, I can’t help but wonder if complexity is just a given at this level!
Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section, I’d be keen to keep the dialogue going.
Our client is on the lookout for a dynamic Transformation Program Lead to join their forward-thinking, digitally focused Strategy & Transformation team. You will work closely with stakeholders enterprise-wide and at all levels of the organisation to achieve desired outcomes quickly and efficiently. Your strong business acumen and stakeholder influencing skills will be highly valued here.
In this position, you will work closely with the transformation & agile delivery teams to ensure successful enterprise wide execution. This entails overseeing portfolio management tasks, taking charge of key programs, and enacting strategic change initiatives to provide better business agility. You will be part of a team that encourages collaboration and celebrates diversity. You will be a key player in helping this sort after business reach their company goals.
Your key responsibilities include:
To maximise results, optimise the process of delivery, and improve the speed and quality of strategy delivery within the company.
Plan and implement portfolio delivery efforts across the company to include operating model and change projects, ensure they are delivered efficiently and effectively.
Ensure that everyone within the broader ecosystem is working collaboratively.
Partner with Platform leadership and strategy to build, oversee, and deliver an annual operating plan.
Embrace and drive agile ways of working across the business.
Work with leadership to reduce risks associated with the planned initiatives include mapping informed business decisions.
Work in tandem with the Senior Leadership Team, Platform Lead, and Strategy Business Partner to ensure they are delivering against the annual operating plans.
Be aware of changing competitor strategies as well as wider economic trends and adjust accordingly.
Key qualifications in this role include:
5+ years in senior transformation leadership role in a reputable organisation driving enterprise-wide transformation.
3+ years of experience in an agile environment, ideally in a large business
Relevant background in transformation, agile, organisational change, delivery
Successful record of accomplishment in delivering complex programs and/or transformations
B2C/ Consumer industry experience desired
Excellent organisation, planning and coordination skills
Exceptional stakeholder management skills, ability to build rapport and networks
Energetic, confident, and charismatic leader with the ability to inspire teams
If you are passionate about business operations and have a strong interest in agile ways of working, then you will enjoy partnering with this organisation. Be part of a strong, high performing team, known for having a fun and collaborative culture, and be part of a team that loves solving complex problems. Send your CV to us to be considered for the position.
We have been retained by a market-leading Entertainment business to identify a preeminent strategist to step into a newly created GM of Strategy position.
The General Manager Strategy in Melbourne will develop the long-term Strategy and Transformation agenda, managing the Planning process, monitoring near-term strategy execution, focusing on innovation and diversification, consulting on business unit strategies and initiatives and leading and developing a team of high performing strategists.
What you will be doing:
Creating a 5-year growth Strategy and Transformation agenda that will support the company’s global corporate strategy drive.
Working with senior local stakeholders, such as the CEO and CFO, as well as global counterparts to coordinate the execution of this strategy on an ongoing basis.
Guiding the entire strategy planning process from start to finish.
Developing, aligning, and implementing plans in collaboration with budgets and across functional leadership teams, while also tracking against delivery to ensure success.
Collaborating with and assisting key functional leaders make high-value decisions, such as responding to competitor innovation, shifts in the external environment, or benchmarking against global trends.
Following a hypothesis-driven project approach, including problem structuring, scoping of deliverables/milestones, collecting data, conducting deep analysis and providing recommendations for improved decision-making as well as developing an implementation plan where applicable.
Providing oversight and guidance with the implementation of strategy, monitoring execution against the near-term (1 year) plan, and updating local teams on financial performance and benchmarking.
Ensuring that company goals and objectives are met in a timely manner while ensuring progress is tracked, measured and adjusted where appropriate.
Experience and qualifications include:
5+ years Strategy consulting within a top-tier strategy house.
5+ years corporate experience leading an in-house Corporate Strategy team
Proven ability of leading and developing high-performing teams of up to 8 people.
B2C/Consumer experience highly regarded.
Strong academics in relevant undergraduate degree -Commerce, Engineering, Law, Science. MBA advantageous.
Strong stakeholder management and influencing skills.
Highly proficiency at analysing data, extracting key insights and having a propensity for finding the real commercial value.
Solid financial & commercial acumen.
If you’d like to develop your career with a market leader in the Entertainment industry and are seeking to make a significant and positive impact in a business, then this is the right role for you! Please send your CV to Ilan Leshetz (email@example.com) or Anika Stokes (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Our client is a bona fide exciting Technology company providing small businesses with an unprecedented level of efficiency and connectivity. Through their solutions, they are not only helping these businesses but also building a stronger economy. If this type of business is what excites you, then this role is for you!
We are on the lookout for an Executive General Manager for Program and Delivery in Sydney or Melbourne (Preference). The position will be responsible for driving business success through delivering projects that support innovative products and services. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with product leaders, product engineering teams, and other cross-functional senior business and technology stakeholders to ensure projects and programs are completed on time and within budget.
Your experience in managing complex projects, collaborating across teams, utilising planning/delivery frameworks/methodologies, uplifting capability and improving service delivery within a B2C or B2B2C environment makes make you an integral part of the leadership team – ensuring successful outcomes for their products and services. With your expert knowledge and skillset, you can help take the company’s vision from concept to reality.
Your responsibilities for this role are the following:
Ensuring the right capability is in place, processes are optimaised, and priorities are clear.
Coordinating with different teams to ensure the most important business programs are executed properly.
Boosting customer relationships and increasing the pace of delivering value to the company through the use of topnotch delivery and program practices.
Supporting the team of project and program managers and ensuring their development.
Ensuring the team has the right internal practices in place to prioritize strategic objectives and track progress.
Continuing to develop and incrementally improve processes to best practice so as to remain competitive and up-to-date with industry trends.
Solidifying global identity by improving transparency and dependency management across all teams.
Your qualifications include:
Experience leading large, complex projects across multiple functional areas and geographies within a B2C or B2B2C technology product environment.
Experience in a management consulting firm desirable.
Experience working in a Saas environment highly desirable.
Excellent stakeholder engagement and communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively with executives, cross-functional teams, and external stakeholders to build rapport, trust and buy-in quickly.
Experience in transforming organisations to operate in an agile environment at scale.
Proven experience improving business processes across complex teams and organisations.
Strong demonstrable commercial experience
Experience establishing and leading high performing teams
If this sounds like you, then we want to hear from you. Please send in your CV to Ilan Leshetz for a confidential chat.