You’ve done it. You got through the sometimes tricky applicant tracking system. You survived the phone screen. You performed well in the first interview stage. Now you are in the final interview stage. This is the job search Olympics and you are going for the gold. You are feeling really good about this. You prepare like you are studying for your college finals all over again – except you are serious this time. You do everything right and feel like the interview goes really well. You leave feeling as though you nailed it. You know you had a great rapport with the hiring manager and are confident you are getting this offer.
Then you don’t.
You get a call that says they went with someone else.
Maybe this wouldn’t bum you out if it hadn’t been the third time in as many months as this had happened.
Always the bridesmaid….
So what happens? What is it that keeps happening in the final interview stage that relegates you down to the silver medal? Why do they keep choosing someone else?
I may not have an exact answer.
In fact I know I don’t.
I can tell you about the process though. I can tell you what is happening in this final stage and things you might be able to do to increase your chances of being the bride.
At the final interview stage your skills have been assessed. Through every interview they have accessed your ability to do the job. For the most part, they are now confident that you can. This final interview stage isn’t really about that. It’s about your ability to fit in. Your ability to fit in with the culture. Your ability to fit in with your co-workers. Maybe most importantly, your ability to fit in with your boss.
Everyone at this stage is asking themselves the same question. Can I work with this person?
Typically at this stage it comes down to two to three candidates. The one whose personality seems to fit into the overall environment better will usually come out the victor. Even if some skills are lacking, personality trumps at this point.
While you obviously can not be something your not and figuring out what type of personality they want may be difficult, you can ask questions early on to help.
Starting with your very first contact, ask questions about culture. Not just culture of the company, but of the particular team you would be working with. Also ask questions about what makes the right person successful, personality wise. What types of characteristics would make someone in this role fit in nicely? Asking these questions early on will give you a better idea of what they are looking for at the final stage.
Hiring managers and recruiters talk about this stuff, so leverage the recruiters knowledge of what that hiring manager may be looking for to ace that final stage.
While the interview process can be nerve wracking, you want to try to relax as much as possible and give your true personality a chance to shine through. Letting them see who you are and that you would be an easy person to work with will help solidify your spot as the final selection.
Of course if you are not an easy person to work with…..we’ll save that for another day.
How to Ace the Final Interview