‹ Back

Don’t get picked last for Dodge ball

I’ve had this conversation with several candidates in the last few weeks when they have called up at the last minute – torqued up and anxious – for their final round interviews.

Some candidates work themselves into a dither of anxiety and knots – their fear almost certainly going to undo their candidacy.  Others actually have gotten themselves so  overly self-confident – that if they go into the interview in that mental state – it’s clear they are going to blow this whole campaign.

And we end up having some version – as appropriate – of the “Don’t get picked last for Dodge ball” conversation.

Final rounds are NOT just about can you do the job.  By now – they have figured out you probably can do 85% of it.  The question is – do they want to teach you the last 15% of it.  The answer comes from them spending time with you while they ask themselves – can I spend 40 hours a week with this person.

That’s the professional question if you are interviewing for a regular job.

If it’s a busy, travel intensive, hour intensive, soul-eating job?  They are interviewing you thinking – “Can I spend more time with this person than my spouse?  Do I want to spend nights and weekends with this person?  Am I going to want to go to Europe, Canada – and (no offense to New Jersey) painful layovers at Newark with this person?”

You should too.  If you are sitting in your car in the parking lot – before your final round interview – you need to be thinking the same thing.   You are interviewing this team, this hiring manager – for work-spouse status as well.

The final round interview is not the time for a mindset of fear or arrogance. 

It’s  time for a calm determination of – “I’m not getting picked last for Dodge ball.  I’m good at what I do or I wouldn’t be here.  My goal for the next 3 hours is to be as charming, likable and as “ME” as I know how.” 

If they don’t like you for you – YOU shouldn’t be working there.  But during this last round – you need to absolutely be YOU at your winning, most happy shiny best. 

Give the hiring team a reason to rule you in.  Give them a reason to CHOOSE you.  You know what makes you “YOU at INCANDESCENTLY GREAT”.  Be that at  final rounds.  Be MORE of YOU. 

If you do that – the right things will happen.   

Don’t get picked last for Corporate Dodge ball.    You have this.