EXECUTIVE ETIQUETTE

Survey Suggests Smug Attitude Can Hinder Management Prospects

MENLO PARK, CA -- Confidence is critical when interviewing for a job, but executives warn against too much of a good thing. In a recent survey, 50 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) said arrogance is a management-level candidate's biggest pitfall.

The survey was developed by RHI Management Resources, North America's largest consulting services firm providing senior-level accounting and finance professionals on a project basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with more than 20 employees.

CFOs were asked, "Which one of the following is the worst mistake a candidate can make when interviewing for a management-level position?" Their responses:

Display arrogance 50%
Avoid difficult questions 13%
Be unprepared to discuss specific achievements 13%
Ask up-front about compensation and other benefits     10%
Demonstrate a lack of knowledge of the company 9%
None 1%
Other/don't know   4%
  100%

"When hiring at the senior level, companies pay particular attention to a candidate's ability to lead, motivate and communicate effectively," said Paul McDonald, executive director of RHI Management Resources. "Firms value applicants who not only convey authority and aptitude but who also have the interpersonal skills needed to direct a team and collaborate with top executives."

McDonald added that professionals should be prepared to address challenging interview questions, such as how they handle business setbacks or sensitive personnel issues. "Employers are seeking managers who can think strategically, troubleshoot problems and provide innovative solutions."

RHI Management Resources has more than 90 locations in major cities throughout North America, Europe and Australia, and offers online job search services at www.rhimr.com.

 

 

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