The best way to perform during an interview is to clearly articulate and get your point across on three things:

Organisations hire people to solve problems. 

If you can make it clear that you understand their problem(s) really well, you’re motivated and want to solve them and that you have evidence or proof that you can do it, chances are you’ll be shortlisted as a suitable candidate. 

If you generate enough trust and can also showcase that the value you’ll bring to the organisation is more than what they’re offering in terms of salary, more so than the other candidates applying, the job will be yours. 

So how do you actually show that you get it?

  • You have a clear understanding of the main objective of the role.
  • You know how your performance will be measured.
  • You understand what the biggest obstacles are.
  • You showcase empathy and think one (or two, or three) steps ahead.
  • You have clarity on all team dynamics (relationships with the boss, the boss’ boss, your colleagues and direct reports).
  • You know and align with the organisational (and future team) values.

First get clarity on all of these in every step of the process. Make eye contact. Ask questions and listen well to the responses. Summarize and repeat back to them what you have heard. If they clarify further, repeat the process. This shows your interest, that you’re engaged and want to help. It builds a relationship. It builds trust. Wet their appetite by sharing your observations and perhaps even sketch out general ideas about what you think some preliminary potential solutions could be. 

How to bring it all together

I understand the main challenge to solve in this role is to take ownership of the product roadmap and successfully launch product X. Is that right?

And I also get that we’ll be successful if product X is launched before March ends, so we can  tick that off the list in Q1 and focus throughout all of Q2 on improving it while increasing the customer base. Correct?

I see, it’s going to be challenging to do so if we don’t have clarity on the roadmap priorities, and especially if the new CTO won’t hired until July or August. As I understand it, I would need to operate as an interim CTO, make some decisions and move everything forward until things get back on track, is that accurate to say? 

From what you told me, we do have over 200 survey results from the soft launch which we can use and I could jump in to user story calls to fine tune and adjust the roadmap. I think we could bridge this obstacle in this way and will most likely have good food for thought to make the final decisions.

The new CTO might not be 100% confident with our results, but he most likely will be OK with this approach if we evaluate it accordingly and proceed in a focused and lean way.

In the end, “Getting things done” is one of your core values, and I totally resonate with that in my way of working. 


So during your next round of interviews, make sure you let them know you get it. And if you don’t really get it, make sure you ask the right questions so you do get it. 

To your success!

Mr. Cover Letter

Looking for a job is time consuming and frustrating. Mr. Cover Letter has everything you need to clarify your story and value, engage with hiring managers and get shortlisted and land a great job, faster.

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