Preparing for a Final Job Interview

Congratulations! You have made it past the first round of interviews for a job opening. You now face the prospect of a final round. How should you prepare for it? This next round will be a little different from the first, so you need to change your preparation a little to get ready for it. Here are a few tips.

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  1. Look back on your first interview

Consider how you performed during your first interview. What questions did you answer well and what questions do you feel you could have done a better job with? This will give you some indication about what you need to work on and how you can improve responses that fell short.

  1. Expect more detailed questions

The questions in the final interview are likely to go into more depth on your technical skills. There is also a greater chance that you will get more behavioral types of questions. You will be asked what you would do in different situations, what actions you would take, or how you would go about solving a particular problem.

And you may get more questions related to cultural fit. The interviewers will want to know if you are someone with whom they can work.

  1. Prepare to talk salary

You may be asked what you are looking for in terms of salary, so you should be prepared to give a range. This will require some research. You should find out what the salary is in your industry for this type of position. There are sites such as Payscale.com and Glassdoor.com that can give you the information you need.

  1. A broader perspective

In a final interview, you are more likely to have a member of senior management present. He or she will likely be interested in more comprehensive, broad-spectrum issues that impact the entire company, rather than the nuts-and-bolts aspect of the job.

So you need to be prepared to talk about the value you can add to the company as a whole. Learn about the company’s goals and mission, the problems it faces, and give input on ways the company can reach those goals and solve their problems. Be able to look at things from a big picture perspective.

  1. Some possible final round questions

Because there may be different people present for the final interview, you may get some questions you were asked in the initial round. Others are common in final round interviews and could include:

Tell me about yourself.

You probably got this question during the first interview. But you may get it again at the final interview from a senior executive who was not present during the first one. Keep your answer brief, focusing on recent accomplishments and why you are applying for the job.

What are your career goals?

The purpose of this question is to gauge how your ambitions fit with the goals of the company. The hiring manager or other senior executive will want to determine if you are a good fit with the culture of the company. So, your answer should show that you have ambition but that your goals align with those of the job.

Are you interviewing anywhere else?

Honesty is the best policy in responding to this question. If you are interviewing elsewhere or are expecting other job offers, let them know. This may actually enhance your standing with the hiring manager because he or she will see that you are coveted by other employers.

However, if at the time of the interview you have no other offers you need to be honest about that as well. Don’t pretend that you do. If you begin with a fabrication like this, it will likely only lead to more falsehoods later to support it, which in the long run could get you into more trouble.

Is there anything else you want to ask us about?

This is often the last question at a final interview. You can use it as an opportunity to expand on previous responses that may have been a little off the mark.

Ready for a new job in 2021? Take a look at Helpmates’ current job openings and apply for any you feel are a good fit. You also may contact the branch office nearest you for more information.

Motivating Passive Candidates When It’s Damn Scary “Out There”

Getting passive candidates to move from their current employer to your company is difficult in the best of times; it’s exceedingly so during a pandemic. After all, even though companies are still laying off workers – or even shutting down altogether – great employees are understandably loathe to take a risk and move right now.

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Still, it is possible to get candidates motivated enough to change employers. Here’s how:

  • Find out what means enough to them to make a move.

That is, what are the benefits, job duties, perks, career dreams, and more that mean the most to them and how can your company make sure the candidate will get them if they become your employee?

Are they looking for more PTO, flextime or continuing education opportunities (such as employer-paid graduate school)?

If moving to your firm means a promotion, how much of a promotion is it in their eyes? Is one step up the ladder not enough? Could you revamp the job so that it’s at least two steps up?

  • Be completely open and honest regarding your company’s current health.

Naturally, passive candidates are going to want to know how robust your business is before jumping ship. If ever there was a good time to be as transparent as possible, now is it. Discuss layoffs or furloughs already completed and any plans you may have for more in the future.

As candidates ask questions – and they definitely will! – make sure you’re as above board and candid as possible. If you not sure about something, say so.

Finally, if the candidate is so terrific and/or the position being filled is so critical to the company’s success, consider the option of providing the candidate with a “no layoff or furlough” promise (in writing), but only if you feel strongly that you won’t have them in the future. (You’ll want to make sure at least one attorney reads the document, of course.)

  • Understand it may take longer to woo passive candidates.

Trepidation about making a job move is more than understandable right now. Don’t be surprised if you’ll spend more time talking with candidates and encouraging/allaying fears. Schedule virtual coffee meetings. Be open to taking candidates’ “on the fly” calls, emails or texts. Let them talk about all their concerns; don’t be surprised if you answer the same questions more than once.

Depending on the position, consider having members of the C-suite engage with candidates. Ask employees who would become the candidates’ co-workers – or even subordinates – to reach out and engage with your potential new-hires.

Passive candidates often are the best workers at their current employer….

…and they understandably are leery of making a move now. Look at recruiting passive candidates as more a relationship-building exercise rather than recruiting. Let them get to know and become interested in your company and what you have to offer that their current employer does not. You probably won’t be able to go into the courtship with a “quick score” mentality and will instead need to nurture their candidacy while growing their trust and allaying their fears.

Helpmates can be your partner in your search for passive candidates for your direct-hire opportunities. Contact the branch nearest your Southern California business to learn how we attract, recruit and vet top talent.

The Job Search Has Changed: Now and for the Foreseeable Future

If you’re in the midst of a job search, you’ve no doubt learned that all interviews now are being conducted via video.

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While this will remain the status quo for the foreseeable future, we also believe video interviewing will remain a large part of the job search process even after the pandemic wanes and social distancing/stay-at-home restrictions begin to lessen.

What’s more – and this truly is unfortunate – as tens of thousands of employees have been let go in recent weeks from Southern California employers, job seekers are going to be competing with a considerable amount of other people looking for work.

Many people – used to having recruiters beat down the door to get to them during the recent (as in February!) war-for-talent era – have never looked for work during a recession and the “new normal” definitely will take some getting used to. (Not to mention the considerable extra work it will take to land a job.)

Times are tough, but so are you

Yes, the above is quite a saccharine ditty. But what’s your alternative? Falling into a puddle of woe for months? Yes, have a terrific wailing wallow for a few days, but the longer you stay there the harder it will be to get up.

You must get tough! And soon!

How the job search has changed and how you – tough guy – can make it work for you

You will need to stand out more than ever now

Because you’ll be competing with so many others for jobs, you need to sit with yourself and figure out how you’re better than other candidates. Are you the sales person with a fantastic close rate? Are you the distribution selector with the fastest selection rate? Are you the customer service rep with the above-average customer satisfaction rating? Have you won an award for the project you completed?

You need to place that fact at the very top of your resume! (And make sure you can back it up with actual statistics or data.)

You must show intense interest in the job. Intense!

You don’t want to grovel or plead. That’s not what we mean. Instead:

  • Research a ton about the company so that you can say something like “I heard you were planning on purchasing such and such. Has that been put on hold now?”
  • Show true excitement when you talk about the opportunity. (Especially how your particular skills will help the employer reach its goals.)

 

You need to understand that responses from employers will take a lot longer. And they may not be as “nice” to you.

Whether you’re waiting to hear from them about an interview, or waiting to hear if you got the job, hiring managers and recruiters are overwhelmed right now. In addition, the “power” now lies in their hands, not yours. No more “war for talent” for the foreseeable future (unless you have skills that remain in great demand, such as in healthcare).

And with this power, unfortunately, comes some unpleasant behaviors: ghosting, rudeness, etc. Just be prepared for it – it usually doesn’t happen – and never “give as good as you got” yourself.

How can we – the really nice – recruiters at Helpmates help you find work?

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