Job Interview Preparation: How to Ace the Final Interview (Part I)

The process has been long, but congratulations, you’ve made it to the final interview! It’s now decision time between you and one other person. One person will get the job offer, one person will fade into obscurity. A lot is on the line, and any competitive edge would help. At a time like this, there’s no finer resource than a world-class recruiter. (lucky for you, I am one, and you’re reading my blog. It doesn’t get better than this people! ; )

You see, a recruiter’s job is not to “get you the job”.  A recruiter’s job is to guide you through the process and to help you assess the opportunity and represent yourself with excellence. We’re the coach, you’re the athlete. We help you with insight to run the race, but we must always await your performance on the sidelines.

Folks, with this example I’m really not speaking to those initial interviews where you are assessing the fit, evaluating the company, trying to determine if you’re really ready to make a change. This isn’t the “seeing what’s out there” interview. This is the “Oh, my gosh this is IT… I really want this job and I KNOW I can do it!”.  By the way, you’ve already determined this is NOT the “Grass is Greener” syndrome I wrote about earlier (be sure you read this one here.)

If that’s your sentiments and you feel that adrenaline in your veins, well, that’s good. Now all you have to do is to calm down and prepare your strategy. The strategy of how you are going to close the deal, squash any thoughts of hiring the other candidate and in doing so, set the tone for you coming on board as an Ace hire!

In order to hit a homerun in the interview, you must slow down, think and PREPARE. You need to write down what you know the interviewers care about. This is really not an exercise in mind-reading. You see, by the final interview, you’ve already spoken with the hiring team on several occasions. What have they drilled down on in the first meetings? There’s a pretty good chance those points will be re-visited in the last meeting. Prepare accordingly.

Remember- regardless of industry, most employers and hiring teams are busy people. They have a lot on their plates and respond the best when a candidate is calm, collected, professional, pleasant, genuine and very thoroughly prepared. I mean, seriously, who wouldn’t want to work with someone like that?? I know that in the virtual hurricane of work on any given day, I sure would!

So assemble your notes from the prior interviews, phone conversations, and meetings. Create an outline of what you think you will be asked based on this information. Then, jot down the bullet points of the key concepts and points that you want to be sure they “take away” from your message. Practice crystallizing your thoughts so your remarks are concise and hit the points solidly- do not ramble!

As you can see, we are just getting started here.  Please go back and re-read this short entry before moving on to Part II of this series here.  Each detail is vital for your job interview preparation if you truly want to hit it out of the park!

Lauren Goodson, Founder and President of Cornerstone Recruitment Group and Career Expert Academy  is a nationally renowned expert in Job Search Strategies, Career Coaching and Hiring for the Professional audience. She has helped thousands of job seekers to achieve their potential and grow their career.  Through ,  Lauren has redefined professional job search training by establishing an all-in-one resource for extensive and exceptional expert information.  Be sure to visit for more info.


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