A Game Plan to Prepare for a Final Interview

You’ve made it. You’ve been through one or two, maybe even three rounds of interviews and you just got the call that you’ve been asked to come in for a final interview. This could be the moment you’ve been waiting for.

So what’s next? Do you go into this interview like you did all the others? Of course, not. You’ll definitely use those skills and maybe even dive deeper into some of the questions and answers you’ve been through, but the final interview has a decidedly different tone and purpose. At this point in the interview process the hiring manager is no longer sorting and weeding out the bad from the good, but they have narrowed the field down to usually one to three people, and the determination on who they hire will be made with this interview. They know you have the skills necessary for the job, so there’s no need to rehash those details at this point unless you’re specifically asked.

That being said, how do you prepare for the final interview? We’re going to be taking the next four blogs to talk about exactly that. There are several elements to that final interview that you need to be keenly aware of as you prepare for it.

Before you embark on these next four steps that we will be discussing, always make sure to talk to your recruiter and find out what they know about the company and what they’re looking for that can help you in this final step. Once that has been done, then you’re ready to begin.

It’s All About Fit

Michael Pietrack, Owner, and Co-Founder of TMAC Direct, a pharmaceutical search firm, emphasizes that a hiring manager at this point is looking at four different things – they want to see motivational fit, functional fit, cultural fit, and logistical fit. These four elements provide a good template for you to refer to when going into the final interview process. Today we’re going to focus on motivational fit. What does it mean and how do you present to the hiring manager that you are wholly motivated to be a part of their team?

Motivational fit can best be summed up as the “why” for this job. Why do you want this particular job at this particular time and why are you the best fit for the company? Why should they hire you as opposed to the other candidate?

To answer this question, the hiring manager will dig a bit deeper into your job history. They will want to hear from you about the previous jobs you had, such as what motivated you to leave that job and move into the next position on your resume? Did you move laterally or into different departments in that previous job and, if so, why? A good hiring manager knows that whatever motivated you to move in the past will likely motivate you to move in the future.

The hiring manager will also be curious to know what research you may have done on the company. What is it specifically about this company or this position that makes you feel that moving right now is the best thing for both the company and for you?

Another way to show a hiring manager that you’re a motivational fit is to have in mind and ready to share a plan of action for your first 30-90 days. What are your goals within the job? Laying out these plans allows the hiring manager to see you in the position and envision your contributions to the team. It also clearly shows them that you are motivated and ready to make the move to be part of their company. This is also a good place to clarify what your day-to-day responsibilities are in this role. Again, this is just one more step that shows the hiring manager how serious you are about the position available and that you are actively considering what you can bring to their business.

So the first step to preparing for that final interview is to hone down your why and be prepared to explain your motivation for wanting this job. Go back and look at your resume with fresh eyes and be ready to address your past employment moves and why you made them. Be sincere. Don’t try to answer with what you think the hiring manager will want to hear unless this is truly what motivates you.

In our next blog post, we’re going to look at the second fit that hiring managers look for in the final interview: functional fit. For functional fit, the hiring manager is looking at your unique qualifications, credentials, and experience and determining how they apply to the position they need to fill. More details on how you can prepare for this in our next post!