You’ve made it to the final interview of your dream job and you’re feeling really happy with yourself. But don’t celebrate yet, you still have one last hurdle to jump. Preparation is key and to be honest if you’re reading this article you’re already on the right track. I’m a recruiter, meaning I’ve seen my fair share of interview slip-ups over the years and so I’m here to share 6 mistakes to avoid in your final interview to make sure you get the offer you deserve.
1. Interview Amnesia
Throughout your previous interviews, you will have garnered a lot of information about the company and the final interview is the time to piece together all that you’ve learned. If you don’t, it could spell disaster. I’ve seen candidates ask the same questions to the same people they’ve interviewed with before. Or turn up in a suit when the “laid back start-up culture” has been clearly explained to them. Using insights you’ve gained from former conversations will help you stand out.
2. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
There’s nothing worse than interviewing a candidate who clearly hasn’t done their research. Here are the two essential pieces of preparation you need. The first is to research the company heavily. Memorise their values, read their blogs and news articles, look up your interviewers and future team on LinkedIn, analyse their product offerings and if they’re a public company look at their last quarterly report. The second is to practice your answers to questions you think they may ask. Start by checking the job description and ensure you have an answer for each requirement. I also recommend looking at their Glassdoor page to see if past candidates shared interview questions they were asked. Always follow the STAR (situation, task, action, result) format when crafting your answers.
3. Show me the money
Don’t shy away from discussing money. If you haven’t discussed salary through the interview process yet then the final interview is a great time to do it. You ideally want to avoid a back and forth negotiation once the offer has been given as this can waste time and potentially sour a relationship. Get the offer you want the first time. Simply ask, “What are you looking to pay for this role?” and ensure the interviewer gives you a figure first. It’s better to know their expectations first just in case you wish to tailor your answer. You are under no obligation to let your interviewer know what you’re currently earning but you can inform them what you’re looking for.
4. Don’t drop your guard and avoid a knockout
By the time you get to the final interview, you may feel like you’re BFFs with the recruiter or hiring manager but make sure you remain professional. It’s easy to become complacent when you’re headed to a final interview as you think it’s in the bag. Being professional doesn’t mean don’t have fun, but don’t drop your guard as you’re still being assessed.
5. Ask questions, become the interviewer
It’s easy to forget that an interview is a two-way street, you need to assess them too. A big mistake candidates make is to ask no questions at all, this shows that you lack interest in the role and haven’t done your research. There’s always a question to ask, you can even ask the same question from a previous interview to a different person to get another point of view. The last thing you want to do is accept a job to find out you made a mistake down the line. Make sure you’re asking meaningful questions about the culture (both your team and company culture), expectations of the role, where the company could improve, career progression and opportunities for learning.
6. I want it!
The final interview is a fantastic opportunity to tell your future employer face-to-face that you want the job. Many candidates miss this opportunity. Take a deep breath and tell them straight, “I really want this job and, if you present me with an offer, I will accept”. This will make such a profound impression and could be the tipping point between you and another candidate who perhaps didn’t make it clear that they want the job.
Joe Burridge is a Senior Recruiter at Electronic Arts working from Guildford, UK. In his spare time, he writes for his successful website Joe Blogs covering topics like office politics, recruitment news and interview tips. You can follow Joe on Twitter here.