Several of our Interview Doctor clients have had final interviews recently.
We call them “final” because we are hoping that after this particular interview a job offer will be forthcoming and the job search can be over. It is very exciting!
It got me thinking about how this final interview is different. Remember whether consciously or unconsciously every hiring manager is trying to answer three questions: 1) Can you do the job, 2) Will you love the job, and 3) Will you fit with the team.
After several interviews, the hiring manager already knows you have the skills so you can do the job. Otherwise you would not be invited back so often. Because you interviewed well, they probably know you will love the job.
The final question that differentiates you from the other final candidate(s) is whether you will fit with the team.
Or rather, which of the final candidates will fit with the team the best. Your challenge in a final interview is to make clear what you offer and be the best version of yourself that you can be. You cannot turn yourself into someone you are not. You don’t want to be a round peg in a square hole. If you really don’t fit with the team if you are hired you will not last long. So how do you walk this fine line to get the offer you want?
Here are seven tips to find the right balance so you can succeed in a final interview:
- Don’t assume, don’t be overly confident and don’t brag. You don’t have a job offer yet. This is another fine balance. You want to act like you are the right candidate for the job but if you assume, are over confident and brag then you risk turning the hiring manager off. Read your audience and give them the right balance of confidence and stories to make them fall in love with you.
- Ask questions to clarify your understanding and learn more about the operation and the people you will be working with. Don’t wait until the end of the interview to ask questions. Intersperse questions with the conversation as you and the hiring manager are talking. This makes the interview into more of a conversation than an interview.
- Know the two or three points you want people to remember about you. Find places to insert this information in a casual, conversational fashion.
- Calm, confident and courageous. Be the best version of you. Look people in the eye, sit up straight and be confident even if you have to fake it. Don’t be overly confident though. The job is not yours yet. Be aware of what is going on around you so you can provide the information that will seal the deal.
- Laugh and be real. Be friendly. Demonstrate through your behavior that you are a good person to work with, that you will be a good colleague. You want them to be able to imagine you sitting in the next cubicle.
- Make a connection. Do your research in advance. Get the names of the people you will be meeting in the final interview. Research them on LinkedIn. You can send them a request to connect with a personal note saying, “I am so excited to meet you next week at our next interview.” Notice their personal interests so you can make a connection over an interest or a professional experience. This gives you something to talk about that will make a connection, make you real so they can image working with you.
- Be prepared. Have extra copies of your resume. Bring business cards. Research the company and the employees on LinkedIn, their website, and Google. Know how you can solve the company’s problems then figure out places where you can insert that information into the conversation.
To be fully prepared for your Job Interview, download our ebook, “The Top 30 Most Frequently Asked Questions at a Job Interview“. It’s Free!
Are you getting the impression that a final interview, even more than other interviews, is about making a connection? Make a connection so the hiring manager can imagine you working in the office next door and you will get the job offer!