Ask Becky

High-level interviews and Mawrter Connect upgrades

I have an interview with the CEO of an organization. How should I prepare for this level of interview?

Becky Ross

Given how the experience will vary by industry and by the size and sector of an organization, it is

challenging to provide a comprehensive answer. Nevertheless, some general considerations come to mind.

Leaders at the highest levels of an organization are less likely to be interested in granular details and more invested in the bigger picture and the longer term. This does not mean CEOs are not interested in concrete examples, but your discussion will more likely focus on strategy and trends rather than day-to-day activities. Be direct and concise, get to the point, and back up what you say with accomplishment and outcome statements.

Given their responsibility for the future of the organization, they will be interested in forward-looking perspectives, and individuals who are attuned to key industry-specific, economic, and other factors that influence the work of the organization.

At this level, it is important to be an exceptional communicator, with the ability to engage across the spectrum, from highly complex and “technical” topics to small talk. They will want to assess how well you can develop and foster authentic professional, relationships (with stakeholders such as clients, board members, donors, community partners, etc.), so be curious and authentic.

Do your research by scouring the job prospectus/posting and other materials provided for likely themes and questions. If there is a recruiter or headhunter in the mix, ask for their insights on the key things to anticipate and prepare for. And make sure you do your homework on the organization and leadership, as well as current and future trends.

Asking thoughtful questions is vital at this level since they will reveal your grasp on the major issues, opportunities, and threats to the organization and industry. Consider tapping your network or seeking out specialized executive coaching to ensure you are getting targeted advice and preparation.

What’s new in Mawrter Connect?

Bryn Mawr’s personal and professional networking community Mawrter Connect ( is growing every day! We set an annual goal of attracting 700 new users between September 1, 2022, and August 31, 2023, and we achieved that goal by March!

A platform upgrade last summer introduced several new features:

  • Career Paths: Occupational profiles that enable users to research hundreds of career options, including the ability to see which community members have experience in that field or occupation.
  • Groups: The Ask & Offers Group replaces the Discussions feature. We hope to introduce other groups over time as our strategy evolves.
  • Job Functions: A new field was added to the Profile, enabling users to identify job roles from their experience. This makes it easier to distinguish between one’s industry and job experience. If you joined Mawrter Connect prior to fall 2022, you are encouraged to log in and update your Profile with complete information!
  • Pathways are guided learning experiences to enhance skills such as networking and informational interviewing. New Pathways rolled out this year focus on Life Design concepts.
  • Jobs Connections: Opportunities posted in the Jobs Board now highlight members of the community who are connected to the organization, role, or industry represented in the post. This is intended to encourage applicants to speak with someone who worked for the organization (or in a similar role at a different organization) before applying.

Need help navigating the world of work? Career guru (and Bryn Mawr’s senior associate director of Alumnae/i Career Services) Becky Ross is happy to take your questions at