Now you have been interviewing for several weeks for a new position. Honestly, you feel like the perfect fit for this role. you have the experience, drive and you have hit all of the key points from their job description in your resume. The salary is right in your range, plus you love the company’s culture and values.
You are scheduled to go in for your final interview next week. Everyone you have spoken to has loved you, and they’ve all implied that you have the job in the bag. You have been treating this last interview as a formality to discuss the details of the job offer and some final compensation negotiations.
Then, suddenly you called to confirm the interview time, the HR manager then indicates that they have one other person also coming in for a final round with you. You are shocked! You are not sure what to do. How do you make myself stand out in the final interview round against that one person in these last moments?
First, stay calm. There’s no point letting a little competition throw you off your balance. Going in focused on trying to “beat” the other person isn’t an effective strategy. Instead, get clear on your OWN values. Focus on what you can contribute, and express your interest in the position.
The fact is, you’re always competing when there’s an open position: Outside applicants, internal promotions, and even the threat of leaving the slot open are all options for the company. In addition, organizations often move multiple candidates to final interviews. Finding out that there’s someone else vying for the role in this stage is to be expected and shouldn’t be seen as a bad sign.
That said, Here are THREE (3) things you can do to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.
- Emphasize the Strengths You have Previously Covered
First, review your previous interviews and identify strengths you have already covered effectively. Make sure to highlight those strengths again and why they’ll be valuable to the organization. If you’re meeting with new people, mention the discussion you’ve had with others during the process and their positive responses to you.
For instance, make statements like “When I was speaking with Mr Johnson about the project management process, he mentioned that my experience in agile software development would be a great asset for the team.”
2. Reposition Points That Were Weak or you Weren’t Clear about
Another thing to do is think back on any points that you perhaps didn’t nail. Try to restate them in a more clear and direct manner. Don’t draw attention to the fact that you covered them poorly before, just restate them succinctly.
“In my interviews with Jerry and Alexa, they mentioned that teamwork is an important value. While much of my previous work has been individually focused, my most fulfilling and successful professional experiences have been with teams. I’m looking forward to more of that type of work here.”
3. Acknowledge the Competition and Suggest Criteria(s)
Finally, while you may not know the competition’s exact strengths and weaknesses, you can make sure that the scales are tipped in your favor. Acknowledge that the organization has a choice and then suggest the criteria they should use to make a successful hire. By influencing the criteria, you’re indirectly selling yourself without coming across as overly self-promotional.
You go like this;
“Mrs Janet, I’m sure you have several good options for this role. It seems to me if you really want to raise the bar on product development capabilities, you should focus on bringing in people that have both the technical knowledge of lean product development and the experience applying it in the healthcare space.”
While none of these automatically guarantees you’ll get the job, they will help make sure you’re presenting yourself in the best possible light to the panel. And, of course, now that you know you’re not being asked in as a formality or to discuss the job offer but to continue to demonstrate why you should be hired, you will approach it in the right way. You want to be confident but not overly so. It’s not time to stop hustling, not just yet.