Corporate Affairs: interview tips and insights

Alongside the use of an effective interview preparation technique like STAR (more on this below), as well as “practice, practice and more practice!”, here’s some simple advice to help you shine in that next interview:

Know your story: Craft a compelling and concise narrative that highlights your journey, your achievements, and what makes you unique in a crowded landscape.

Industry insights: Stay up to date with industry trends, challenges, and key players both within the sector and in corporate affairs. Demonstrating your industry knowledge can set you apart.

Results speak louder: Highlight tangible outcomes you’ve achieved in your career, and the specific part you played to make something a success. Whether it’s successful strategic campaigns or stakeholder engagement, data-driven results matter.

Show adaptability: Emphasise your ability to pivot in a rapidly changing environment. Discuss how you’ve navigated crises or managed communications during change.

Leadership skills: Showcase your leadership capabilities. Share stories of teams you’ve led and mentored.

Culture-add: Research the company’s culture and values. Be ready to explain how your values align with theirs and how your corporate affairs expertise can contribute to their mission. Read more here about our Cultureview tool, a bespoke culture diagnostic that maps a candidate’s experience and cultural preferences with that of the role and potential new employer.

Questions matter: It can be easy to forget that it’s a two-way conversation! Prepare thoughtful questions that demonstrate your genuine interest in the role and the business. What potential challenges or opportunities are they facing from a corporate affairs perspective?

The STAR method is an approach used in interviews to answer behavioural questions in a structured and compelling way.

Using STAR helps to ensure that you, as the interviewee, provide clear and defined responses as much as possible, while showcasing your skills and experiences effectively.

It stands for:

Situation: Describe the situation or context you were in.

Task: Explain the specific task or challenge you had to address.

Action: Detail the actions you took to address the task or challenge.

Result: Share the outcomes or results of your actions, preferably emphasising achievements or what you learned.

An interview is your chance to not only showcase your skills but also to find the right fit for you in the next step of your career journey. Go in with confidence, authenticity, and a passion for making a difference.

Birchwood Knight is a specialist executive search firm focused on corporate affairs leadership roles. We help CEOs to hire their Chief Communications Officers and CCOs to build successful teams on an interim and permanent basis.

Client or candidate, we would love to hear from you: hello@birchwoodknight.com

Tessa Catt is Head of Research at Birchwood Knight and leads our search delivery function.

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4th October 2023

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