Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Recruitment/talent Acquisition, Career Counselling
[email protected]
Production & Operations Management, Quality
+1 Other

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Hi there, I applied for a Risk director position for a Cancer Agency in Canada. The Risk Director will be responsible for Risk Management Department for the management of the Agency's risk related matters for 6 of its centres across the province including its research centres as well. I have direct risk management experience from my previous role and I am a strong candidate for sure. I passed the panel interview which was with the corporate director who I will be reporting to and two other risk directors from different departments of the organization. The corporate director contacted my references immediately which I believe is a good sign. She actually is very close to one of my references (also a risk director) who trained me. I know that my references provided awesome references for me. But the process isn't over yet. I have to meet 4 of the VPs at the Cancer Agency for their approval. I was told by the corporate director that this meeting will NOT be a formal interview and that it will be quite informal.

My question is, I've never been through this type of 2nd interview with people at that level (VPs) so I'm not sure what to expect or how to prepare. I'm guessing that they want to meet me and see what kind of a person I am more so than to assess my competency in the role. Also, I'm wondering if this might be an opportunity for the VPs to meet a couple or three possible candidates and pick the best one. My colleagues think that this is unlikely since the corporate director who I will be reporting to was so eager and contacted my references already and that she would be presenting the best candidate to the VPs.

Anyone have similar experience or can shed some light onto this mystery?

From Canada, North Vancouver

While I surely cannot say how the further process CAN pan-out, IN GENERAL suggest be prepared for the following mental scenario......from a recruiter's experience perspective.

When your corporate director mentioned that "this meeting will NOT be a formal interview and that it will be quite informal", in all probability, he meant that what will be in focus would be anything else BUT your functional & technical knowledge.

Usually such discussions entail focus on attitude, pressure & people handling capabilities [THIS could be important for you, as your job role would have many situations that test this aspect of your personality], ethics, ability to convey bad news softly but clearly.....and individual attributes such as these.

Coming to your line "I've never been through this type of 2nd interview with people at that level (VPs) so I'm not sure what to expect or how to prepare"--FIRSTLY forget about 'what' to expect.

Just be YOURSELF....the more you begin to think in terms of 'what's right or wrong to prepare', the more you get into a trap of constricted thinking, that hinders your ability to 'think & act on the fly' [guess you know what it means]. Just plainly respond as things manifest themselves during your meetings. In situations where 'intangibles' are under test, 'preparation' can be a limitation than asset.

SECONDLY, pl realize that this position COULD be very critical for them.........hence their preference for a II senior-level Round. It COULD also be a pointer to their possible past experience with the earlier incumbent......sometimes it happens. IF you can, suggest make some discrete checks about the reason(s) why this position fell vacant. That COULD give you some inputs on what to expect....though suggest DON'T take it as the Bible.

As far as your line "I'm wondering if this might be an opportunity for the VPs to meet a couple or three possible candidates and pick the best one" goes, just WIPE IT OFF YOUR HEAD.

Whether they intend to meet 1 or 2 or 3 or more is NOT in your hands.....but what's in YOUR HANDS is your response mechanism for the Interview. Just focus on it........more one thinks of situations/issues that aren't in one's control, more self-pressure gets builds-up--do you need any now?

Look forward to hear the Happy news of your Selection from you soon :-)

All the Best.



From India, Hyderabad
Dear dehahaha,

You have written that "I have to meet 4 of the VPs at the Cancer Agency for their approval. I was told by the corporate director that this meeting will NOT be a formal interview and that it will be quite informal."

If the meeting is informal then possibly they might try to judge your psychology. While talking to you, they might toss such questions so as to understand your psychology. They might not try to judge your knowledge as that part is over in the preceding interview. Therefore, there are no specific questions as such. They will also try to judge whether you are able to read between the lines (listen between the sentences as it will be conversation).

Even though it is informal meeting, I recommend you following the business etiquette completely. Avoid giving negative comments. Nevertheless, if they try to check your conviction then say it confidently. Try to find out who are these VPs. Try checking their profile on LinkedIn.

Will it be group meeting? If yes, then try to engage with everyone. Never engage with only 1-2 persons neglecting others. If it is separate meeting then will you have four meetings?

What is your nationality? Are you from India or Canada? If you are from India then keep yourself abreast of latest affairs of Canada.

All the best!

Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Thank you for your replies! This is so very helpful. I will provide an update when all is over. I welcome more comments if anyone has more to add. Thanks!
From Canada, North Vancouver
Dear Sateesh,
This is as much a qualifying round as you went through with the higher executives in the first place. Some companies practise the selection process in a sequence they feel best suits their time & the criteria that is to be met with different people being met by each of the candidates. Here, it looks like the Corporate Director along with two others constituting the panel evaluated specific areas of interest for them & in which they were the best judges. The round proposed with the VPs' - call it informal or otherwise - needs to be amplified to some extent by the panel which evaluated you in the first instance. Do ask them the purpose of the meeting with the VPs as also how this has a bearing on your selection & what the organisation wants from such a round. I'm saying this as to me it is quite a time consuming and elaborate process to meet up with 4 more senior mgmt personnel.
Please get your doubts cleared about this meeting and only if fully satisfied prepare to meet the 4 VPs. Once you have decided to participate, give it your best without taking any chances. All the best & will like to know your feedback whatever the outcome.
R.Ravi Kumar,
HR & Business Consultant

From India, Bangalore
Hello R.Ravi Kumar,
It's NOT ME but Dehahaha who's taking the Interview.
I think I am past that phase now--being on my own since years :-)
Let's wait for an update from Dehahaha.

From India, Hyderabad
Hello all, thanks so much for your interest in this process and your thoughtful and helpful comments. A little dissapointing news that my meeting with the VPs got cancelled for this Wednesday and rescheduled for Nov 18th. Also I will be meeting 3 of them and will probably have to have another meeting with the remaining VP. Oh well.
My current boss (who is close with the corporate director that interviewed me) found out that they are considering another candidate, however, i am their top candidate. This is good news but it looks like i still have competition!
With regard to the purpose of the meeting, my understanding is for the VPs to make the final decision about my fit. I will be working closely with them I believe so they want to probably have a chance to talk to me and see for themselves. The meeting is only 30 min...

From Canada, North Vancouver
Why should you be afraid of meeting VPs in interview? Afterall they are also human beings. be bold and convincing in your answers. Do not hesitate too much. That will project you as nervous person to them. Everyone knows no one can give 100% correct answers.
From India, Hyderabad
I am not afraid. I just want some tips as i have no experience in this kind of a meeting. If anything i am excited to meet them and going in there knowing that i am their top candidate makes me even more confident. Not sure why you are assuming that i am afraid to meet them?
From Canada, North Vancouver
Dear ,
The job candidate is not afraid per se. He is anxious. There is a difference between afraidness and anxiety. This kind of anxiety is common amongst the job candidates.
Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore

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