Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How to Prepare for Third Round Interviews

Written by Lauren Lind

You’ve made it past the first screening and second phone interview, congrats! Now it’s time to really hone your interviewing skills and show why you are the strongest candidate for the job.

Here are some tips for your third round interview:

• Research the company you are interviewing for inside and out. You should have already done this by now, but this is the chance to get a grasp on anything you didn’t research before.

• Make sure you know the leadership team and be able to refer to them.

• Be able to slip some knowledge of current going ons within the company and be able to describe all of the companies'  products.

• Look up the people you are interviewing with on LinkedIn and find commonalities between you and the interviewers. Know the job titles of each person you are interviewing with and come up with well thought out questions for each person. Always have questions; never respond with “no” if they ask if you have any questions for them. Asking thoughtful questions shows you’ve looked into the position and you’re interested in what the company does, what the culture is like and how you’d fit in at the organization.

• Be sure to look up specific questions that are typically asked for the type of position you are interviewing for. Then use the STAR method and come up with specific examples from your previous experiences that relate to the position you are interviewing for to support your answer. Have at least four STAR responses prepared ahead of time.

• Practice, practice, practice. Before the big day, make sure to get in at least three mock interviews so that you can get comfortable with talking out loud and get all the jitter bugs out.

 Dress the part. Some companies will want you to dress in a suit and others might view you as uptight if you dress in a suit. Know what the company culture is like before showing up.

• Arrive 10-15 minutes ahead of time. If you are early you are on time, and if you are on time you are late.

• Exude confidence. This is extremely important for a third round interview. By showing that you are prepared and confident in your skill set you are giving the interview incentive to hire you. Exemplifying low confidence will automatically put you out of the running.

Refer to what you’ve done with “I” statements instead of “we.” The interviewer wants to know how YOU can best assist their team, not the company that you currently work for.

• Fake it until you make it. If you get a curveball question thrown at you, take a breath and reply with “that is a really great question,” then respond to the best of your ability.

Have your thank you cards with you and fill them out as soon as possible after the interview. Time is of the essence.

• When writing the thank you cards, be sure to mention at least one specific thing that you discussed with the interviewer. If you are talking with four people this can get confusing, so make notes about each interviewer after the interview.

These are some things that have helped me in the past with third round interviews. In summary, you should research, practice, ask questions, and most importantly be confident in your abilities. If you find you have some questions about how to prepare for your interviews, whether it’s the first or the last round, come in to see a career counselor. Career Services is here to guide you through this process and offers mock interviews, video interviews through Interview Stream (available through Career Buffs) and interview prep.

Hat tip: Ro Medina