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.