If you're a graduate looking to get into executive search and need to get a feel for the kind of questions employers might ask at interview, then make sure you research these graduate executive search interview questions below. These questions and answers are taken from real graduate interviews, and compiled to give you an idea of what to expect and how to prepare your answers.

Example Executive Search Interview Questions:

Describe your most rewarding accomplishment

In this question, it is important to think about your past efforts and use the STAR technique to convey them. Try and show a personal highlight to your interviewer and pick something that is relevant to the role of researcher. Speak of the motivation, the dedication and the time that such an accomplishment took.

Describe a challenge you encountered and how you dealt with it

The examples for answering this question can be diverse. Opt for an answer that is likely to make you stand out from the majority of candidates. Show how you can overcome a variety of different challenges, and how these can be applied to headhunting.

In what kind of work environment are you most comfortable?

Choose an example that is most relevant to the company you are applying for. If they are a small, family start-up, then your answer should refer to this type of environment. For example, you could mention your preference for an ambitious, closely-knit, driven, sociable environment. Most search firms pride themselves in exuding these qualities in their office. It is always good to ground your answer in fact, so think about the environment of your favourite part-time job, or group university project and back up your answer with reasons.

If you were hiring somebody for this position, what qualities would you look for?

This is very similar to the common: “what are your strengths” question, although it may not seem like it. Think about the key competencies of a Researcher: natural networker, confidence, attention to detail etc. Describe each of these qualities, and then back-up each answer with reasons why you personally fit this brief.

How do you evaluate or determine success?

At the centre of the executive search industry is profit and money; not mentioning money would be a big error. Having said this, apply a personal standpoint too. Talk about your successes and why you perceive them to be successes.

How do you plan to achieve your career goals?

Within this answer, you should show that you have thought about a long-term career within executive search. Talk through your goals logically and methodically, explaining where you see yourself and how you are going to get there. Hard-work is undeniably key.

When and why did you establish these goals?

Refer to a long-standing interest in the executive search sector. Talk through previous experience of in-depth research, and why it was enjoyable or interesting enough to whet your appetite for a research-based career. Try not to be too stereotypical within your answer.

What motivates you to put forth your greatest career efforts?

Look at the wider company research you have done: how do they motivate their staff? Look at their incentive schemes, for example. Also, reassure them that you are a naturally motivated person regardless.