The final interview during any onboarding process can be stressful. I have mentored countless candidates going through the final round (some confident and some skeptical), but almost all are going in without a strategy to seal the deal.
This article is for professionals who want to feel more confident in a final interview and walk away with a better sense of accomplishment and understanding.
For information on “Interview Tips,” “The Best Way to Work with a Recruiter,” or “How LS3 Works with You,” please follow the hyperlinks to other relevant and helpful content.
HOW TO SEAL THE DEAL
Sealing the Deal in the final interview is not a one-size-fits-all because every last interview is different. There are different stakeholders, different itineraries, and undoubtedly different expectations depending on the position and company.
However, everything the interviewer does is with the hope of knowing they left it all on the table, differentiated their value, and got the job.
YOU CAN’T DO TOO MUCH RESEARCH
By this point, you should have researched the company (History, aspirations, clients, products, etc.) and the position (how it’s evolving, how it fits into the organization, etc.) every step of the way.
Interviewers will make two major mistakes when it comes to performing their upfront research.
Candidates don’t do enough quality research. This lack of preparation tells the interviewers that you aren’t interested enough in the company or position actually to learn about it.
Candidates don’t continue their research throughout the interview process. If you haven’t learned anything new between the first and final interviews, interviewers will pick up on that.
For the final interview, pull out all the stops. You will be asked generic questions like “Why do you want this job” or “Why are you leaving your current company.”
This is an excellent opportunity to WOW your interviewers by responding based on the data and facts from your research. It will help you sound intelligent, thorough, and confident in your capabilities and experience.
QUANTIFY YOUR VALUE THROUGH SOLUTIONS
LS3 has already coached you on how to discuss your capabilities and experience in terms of “solutions” rather than “skillsets.” This mindset tells the interviewers that you understand the impact of your work, can look at the bigger picture, and allows the interviewer to quantify your value more easily by equating it directly to business impact.
The most significant difference in quantifying your value through solutions in the final interview is that you should have learned enough about the company and the role that you are interviewing.
You should NOW be able to OFFER SOLUTIONS THAT YOU WILL BRING TO THIS SPECIFIC POSITION AND SHOW THAT YOU UNDERSTAND HOW IT WILL DIRECTLY IMPACT THE INTERVIEWER’S BUSINESS.
This can be a very timely reminder for the interviewer and make it much easier to hire in the final interview. LS3 has candidates follow this process. Interviewers come back HAPPILY SURPRISED because they did not realize some of the business impact and value that the candidate would bring to the table. Show the interviewer that you want to be part of the bigger picture and are ready to help the company and team!
UNCOVER AND HANDLE OBJECTIONS
During the final interview, we want you to feel as calm and confident as possible. However, potential employers will likely have concerns or objections because it is still a risk to hire someone. The interviewer will rarely come out and disclose those objections, though, so let’s rephrase the (“Do you have any concerns with my ability to perform this job?”) to where it doesn’t install doubt.
“Is there any other desired experience for this position that you would like to ask me about that we haven’t discussed? In case there are aspects about the position that we have not touched on yet, I want to make sure that there aren’t any concerns on whether I can succeed in every area of the position.”
So, whether the concerns directly come out or whether you must uncover them, YOU SHOULD NOT ONLY HAVE AN IDEA OF HOW TO ADDRESS THEM BUT ALSO MAKE SURE THAT YOU DON’T BRUSH THEM OFF. Now is the easy part! Do these two things…
Show the interviewer that you understand why they might have this concern and why it is essential to this position (Maybe it never came up, or maybe you can just better address it than you had previously).
This is a GREAT opportunity to ask more clarifying questions around details of that specific need to make sure you understand it fully. Once you feel you are on the same page, you can now fully relate your experience to address the concern thoroughly.
PERSONALIZE YOUR CONNECTIONS
LS3’s strategy is to help you (the candidate) feel as comfortable, confident and prepared for the interview so that it can become as conversational as possible. HOW DOES THAT MAKE SENSE? Simple, the more comfortable you feel in situations, the more capable you are of making the interview flow like a conversation.
We want every step of the interview process to be comfortable enough to connect personally or at least learn something about the interviewer. (For a more detailed article on building an emotional connection with your interviewer, stay tuned or reach out today to discuss further).
This is the final interview, so your interview will likely be with someone of significant influence in the decision-making process. Within some of the research that we had discussed previously, make sure that you take time to get to know the interviewers. This isn’t just small talk that serves no purpose; this is LIQUID GOLD that the interviewers are giving you!
You are in the final interview and are meeting with Emily, the VP or C-level of the department (your potential boss’ boss). You have already met with Janet (your potential boss) in the 1st interview and Frank and Rosie (your potential peers) in the second interview.
Emily asks, “Who have you met with?” or “What have you learned throughout the interview process?” or “What do you think about the team?”
To follow is the secret to making a solid impression…
In your response, briefly mention some key points that you learned about the position, the company, AND SOMETHING YOU RELATED TO ON A PERSONAL LEVEL, WITH INDIVIDUALS YOU INTERVIEWED WITH PREVIOUSLY. Imagine Emily’s surprise when she realizes that you showed a legitimate interest in building relationships with your potential teammates and manager BEFORE YOU EVEN STARTED! WOW!
Personalizing your connection to the company and the people might end up being your biggest differentiator in securing the position.