‘ACE’ That Job Interview


We all know that interviews can be stressful and you invest a large amount of time and energy in the anticipation and preparation. What will they ask? Do I have the skills and what it takes? What from the past will set me up for the future? Will I ‘fit’?

Not surprisingly, by the time you get to the interview you can either be too strung out and exhausted, ambivalent to the process or racing ahead with confidence with ‘let me start’ enthusiasm.

In my work supporting people in transition and executive coaching, I have found the ACE framework to be of great benefit. ACE stands for – Authentic, Credible and Energised.

Authentic: You know who you are and why you lead (Thanks Bill George); Credible: You know what and how you lead in both word and action (Thanks Sheryl Sandberg), and Energised: You lean in and out when it is needed most, you learn and adapt to the context and the people, and leverage the resources both internal and external to sustain your impact.

The ACE framework can be applied in a number of ways including leadership development and resilience. Another area clients tell me it is really useful is when preparing for, during and as a reflection practice in an interview. It provides a way to tell authentic stories and weave a lifetime of achievements and experience detailed in a résumé into a personal and genuine narrative.


  • What are your strengths and vulnerabilities as a leader?
  • What examples give evidence of your impact as a leader?
  • What is the brand and reputation you bring to the job?
  • How do you know your strengths – what life experiences will make you a ‘fit’ for the job/ team?


  • Why this job (with this company, location, level, pay etc)?
  • Why now (at this time of your career, number of years at other, this year etc)?
  • Why this team (CEO, board members, values alignment, reputation etc)?


  • What is the vision (how you align with the existing vision)?
  • What is the opportunity you see for the business?
  • Why this strategic opportunity (growth, major change, market segment, or area of expertise that you uniquely can add value)?
  • What you will do and have already done to enhance your understanding and connection to the business / organisation – been observing, read financial and industry reports, listened with interest to clients etc
  • What risks exist and what alignment is needed?


  • Where will you start – your staging, timing and priorities?
  • What are your plans for first 30 / 90 days and 6 months?
  • What will success be like in 12 months?
  • How will you bring people along?


  • What are your personal values and beliefs? And how do they align to the organisation / team?
  • How (your behaviours) you do what you do?
  • Your personal story – who you are and what you bring – it may be a story of transformation and why you lead (e.g. humility, connection, trust from adversity etc)
  • How you connect and engage people to give their best? Etc

You know, by the time you get an interview the panel want to see the authentic leader who they want on their team. Use the ACE to get ‘YOU’ there and making the difference. (I want to acknowledge that I’m not the first to use consonance with ‘ace’ including ‘The Who’)

By Roderick Cross – Roderick is a Cause & Effective Associate and an organisational and people development expert.

About B-Cause

B-Cause is published by Cause and Effective. We help good causes find and attract effective leaders.

Thats our take on things. Over to you, please add to the discussion.

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