Because the final job interview is so nerve-wracking it's easy to forget that this is exactly what you have been trying to make happen for the entire job search process. All the applications, letters, resumes, first interviews, thank you letters, practices, research and work has all led to the final job interview, the one that could lead to the job offer that you want. So before you take the next step of preparation for that interview, take a little while and pat yourself on the back for getting this far and doing so well. When you're finished patting, however, get ready to do even more work. To get this far, you've probably used a combination of research, preparation and practice for your interviews. To shine in the final job interview, you are gong to need to do more of the same, only with an even more precise focus.
For the final job interview, your outcome will depend on what one individual thinks about your qualifications and responses. For that reason, you should spend some time learning as much as you can about this individual, what he or she tends to value, and any other information that you can gather that could help you to predict what he or she will do in the interview. You might find some of this information on the internet, or on the company website, under "bios." Another place to find it is from other people who you know who have a familiarity with the company, the filed or the interviewer. Use this information to create a profile of what the interviewer will be looking for in an ideal candidate and begin preparing answers to possible questions in a way that would make you look like that ideal profile. Remember that answers with stories and examples are much stronger than simple informational answers.
More Final Job Interview Preparation Strategies
Before your final job interview, also spend some time reviewing and thinking about the interviews that have gone before. What have you gathered about the company's priorities, interests and desires? What hints have you received about the duties and responsibilities of the job? Have any of the interviewers praised or questioned specific aspects of your qualifications? These are strong clues that can guide your preparation for the next step. What areas do you feel like you should spend extra time strengthening? It may be worth your while to create an example or story that highlights an area you suspect needs highlighting and think of a natural way to work it into the next interview.
Performing a mock interview before your final job interview may be just the thing you need to give you that final polish. Get a friend or job search partner to pretend to be the final job interviewer and ask the questions that you have predicted. Also, have him or her ask other questions, which he or she randomly makes up to test your ability to think on your feet. Pay special attention to how well you can turn questions into answers with examples, stories and historical proof of the qualities you are trying to describe. You might even want to videotape or tape-record these answers to evaluate before your final job interview.
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