Ace your interview

Regardless of the interview platform – be it in-person (F2F), over the phone, or through popular video conferencing tools like Zoom, Google Meet, or MS Teams – thorough preparation is paramount. Most of us have already embraced technology as an integral part of business communication.

Drawing from our years of experience recruiting for premier positions in the Middle East and Africa, we offer these insights to guide you:

The recent pandemic has shifted the focus of interviews, it is not just about working remotely, managing remote teams, work from home, hybrid..3 years on it has centered around how you have navigated that time for yourself, your business and what aspects of your personality , thinking and capabilities got honed. We have witnessed a lot of changes across the multiple markets “Agility” has to become your middle name.

  • Delve deep into the organization’s history, culture, products, and services. Familiarize yourself with its recent achievements, challenges, and future goals. This not only demonstrates your genuine interest but also provides a foundation for more informed discussions.
  • Invest time in reviewing the profiles of your interviewers on LinkedIn. Understanding their roles, experiences, and the trajectory of their careers can offer valuable context during your conversation.
  • Ensure you are well-acquainted with every detail on your resume. If asked to discuss your experience, remember the keyword: “Summarize.” Succinctly encapsulate your journey without meandering. Many candidates falter here, either by unnecessarily elongating their response or merely reading out their CV. Stay concise and impactful.
  • Whether it’s related to market share, P&L statements, or any other significant metrics from your previous roles, be prepared to discuss numbers. Demonstrating quantitative evidence of your achievements can considerably strengthen your case.
  • Structure your responses using the STAR method:
    • Situation: Describe the context.
    • Task: Explain your responsibility or challenge.
    • Action: Detail the steps you took.
    • Result: Highlight the outcomes of your actions. This structure ensures your answers are comprehensive yet concise, demonstrating both your contributions and their impact.
  • While it’s essential to answer questions, it’s equally crucial to ask them. Pose relevant queries about the organization, the specifics of the role, potential career progression, and any other pertinent details. Your questions should reflect your eagerness, curiosity, and commitment to not just the role, but the organization’s broader vision.
  • How have you adapted your strategies in response to significant shifts in consumer behavior in recent years?
  • Can you provide an example of a time when understanding the changing consumer landscape directly influenced a decision or strategy you implemented?
  • Describe a situation where you anticipated a change in consumer needs before it became a widespread trend. How did you act on this insight?
  • How do you ensure you’re continuously updated on market dynamics, especially in industries that are rapidly evolving?
  • Share an instance where changing market dynamics posed a significant challenge for your team or project. How did you navigate this?
  • What strategies do you employ to forecast potential market shifts, and how do you ensure your team is agile enough to respond?
  • Resilience is crucial in today’s volatile business environment. Can you discuss a time when your resilience was tested, and how you led your team through it?
  • How do you foster a culture of resilience within your team or organization, especially when facing setbacks or failures?
  • Describe a situation where your team’s resilience directly contributed to turning a challenging scenario into a success story.
  • How do you encourage “out-of-the-box” thinking within your team? Can you provide an example of an unconventional solution that had a significant impact?
  • Discuss a time when a traditional approach didn’t work, prompting you to devise a novel solution. What was the outcome?
  • In what ways do you ensure that while thinking innovatively, you’re still rooted in the realities and constraints of the current market?
  • Can you share an experience where your leadership made a pivotal difference in a project’s outcome?
  • Describe a time when you had to guide your team through a significant change or challenge. How did you navigate it, and what was the result?
  • Talk about a project or initiative where you took a significant risk and acted like an entrepreneur, even if it was within a larger organization. What drove you, and what were the outcomes?
  • How do you foster and cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset within your team?
  • Describe a situation where you had to adapt quickly to new information that challenged your initial assumptions. How did you handle it?
  • Emotional intelligence is key in leadership roles. Can you share a time when your emotional awareness positively impacted a team situation or project outcome?
  • How do you ensure you’re continually evolving intellectually and staying abreast of the latest in your field?
  • In a world that’s always connected and constantly demanding our attention, how do you practice JOMO, and how has it influenced your leadership style?
  • Can you share an instance where deliberately disconnecting or embracing JOMO led to enhanced clarity or focus in your decision-making?
  • How do you strike a balance between being informed and updated versus taking time off for deep thinking and rejuvenation?
  • How have you promoted the concept of JOMO within your team, and have you noticed any positive impacts on productivity or morale?
  • In an age dominated by constant information flow, how do you personally strike a balance between JOMO and FOMO, especially when making strategic decisions?
  • Describe a situation where you leaned into JOMO for better clarity or focus, and contrast that with a time where FOMO drove a proactive approach. How did both situations pan out?
  • How do you help your team navigate the dichotomy between JOMO and FOMO, ensuring they benefit from both without being overwhelmed or missing crucial opportunities?

Remember, an interview is a two-way street. It’s not just about showcasing your suitability for the role but also discerning if the organization aligns with your aspirations and values.

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