Rory joined DMJ in July of 2012, a graduate recently moved to London and looking for a fast-paced, people-orientated and ethically-driven business to give his all. Today he is a director at DMJ, splitting his time between helping governance professionals develop their careers and leading DMJ’s fast-growing In-house legal team. Rory focuses on training and developing the next generation of professional governance and legal recruiters, as well as running senior searches within the Insurance, Manufacturing & Engineering and Support Services sectors.

Rory’s strengths include the experience he’s able to pass onto his clients and his deep connections with the legal and governance employment marketplace. He’s known for giving sound, long-term advice which has the client’s best interests at heart, not his own.

"I’ve worked with Rory on both sides of the recruitment fence and found his knowledge and understanding of the CoSec and Governance industry invaluable when seeking a role and when seeking the right candidate. His honesty and confidence when having a frank conversation have also been very welcome attributes when we’ve worked together. It’s good to know there’s a sensible voice at the end of the line when needed.”

Group Company Secretary - Zurich Financial Services Ltd

Like with anything new you'll be feeling excited and nervous as you hope to bag your first senior goveance role. So, alongside the basics, what should you expect and most importantly prepare for? 

What differentiates senior level interviews?

  • Depending on departmental structures you’ll very likely not be interviewed by an experienced Company Secretary. The closest you may get is a General Counsel & Company Secretary.
  • Your likely interviewers will be from the SMT and/or Exec; Finance Director, HR Director, General Counsel, CEO, Chairman.
  • The process will on average take 2-3 weeks longer than the more common mid-level role you’re accustomed to. As well as include more separate meetings due to the input needed on the hire from senior stakeholders and everyone’s diary availability.
  • During the pandemic and successive lockdowns virtual interviews have become very popular. While an increasing number of junior-mid level roles are being hired completely virtually, roles at the Deputy level and above require a minimum of 1 face-to-face interview.
  • Your style and approach are the most important factors. Technical skills become more of a given and therefore how you apply and communicate your goveance skills and knowledge within a business and with stakeholders is the key trait your interviewers will be wanting to understand.

How to prepare?

  • Context is king! Particularly when being interviewed by individuals with limited to no background in goveance. Therefore, ensure you prepare to deliver good detail around your experiences and skills. Ask yourself why is that example impressive, why is that skill a value add? Sell it.
  • Know your audience. Think about how a CEO/CFO/GC perceives a Company Secretary, and most importantly how does this interviewer perceive a Company Secretary. If you’re unsure before the interview prepare how you will steer the interview with questions that will give you an insight into their expectations/experience of goveance professionals. Armed with this knowledge, sell to your audience using language and context they understand/can relate to. Consider their perspective.
  • Confidence. Unlike mid-level interviews you’re unlikely to be grilled on the minutiae of your experience. The ability of the interviewer to even grade your answer maybe be limited, therefore the confidence in which you speak about your skills is critical. Be honest but don’t undersell yourself! Know what makes stand you out. Know what makes you an excellent goveance professional, and most importantly why is that important for the company and role you’re interviewing for.  

 

Hopefully this provides some useful insights ahead of your first Deputy or Group Company Secretary interview, and don’t forget the basic interview prep!

Whatever the outcome the experience you will gain in understanding how to sell the value and importance of your skills to senior stakeholders is invaluable. It has helped Assistants and Deputies reflect more on the strategic impact they have on their current employer from multiple perspectives.

If you have any general questions or your 1st senior interview is on the horizon and want a tailored and confidential discussion on how to prepare please feel free to contact me – Rory@dmjrecruitment.com /  0203 058 1443  

 

Posted 18/11/2021 By Rory Strong

Share

Ready to work with us?
Let's Talk!

Office

2nd Floor
67 Clerkenwell Road
London
EC1R 5BL

Subject:
Social