How do I make it through the final round of an interview? (See video answer inside)

Hi, everyone. 

One of our members wrote in with a really great question and I want to answer it for everyone here. The question is one that I hear a lot and it has to do with interviewing. Elizabeth says she’s getting plenty of interviews, but she’s not making it to the final rounds. 

When this is happening, I want you to stop and celebrate. Yes. Celebrate because there are a few things that are going right.

  1. The market is responding, opportunities exist, and your skill sets are in demand. So that’s very exciting!
  1. Your packaging is working — your LinkedIn is looking good, your resume is breaking through, and you’re getting the calls.

So why aren’t you making it to the final rounds? 

As with most things in the job search world, it can depend. I would pause to ask how many interviews are you making it through? I’ll walk you through a couple of scenarios if you’re making it only to the recruiter screen and you’re not moving beyond that. 

This means that the story you’re telling on paper isn’t sinking up to the one that you’re verbally communicating. 

Initially, whatever they’re seeing in your LinkedIn or your profile is resonating. Then, when you get on the call, there’s some sort of disconnect that they cannot reconcile. If you’re consistently making it through two or three interviews, and then that’s where it tapers off, then someone is losing confidence along the way. 

Now I will say that the market is extremely competitive so it could be that they’re losing confidence. And also maybe are you losing confidence? That’s something to consider. 

How do we mitigate this issue?

First things first is to observe. Observe the thing, the themes, and make a note of what’s happening and when the interviews are tapering off. 

Is it when you’re being asked more granular detailed questions or is it around more of the strategic high level questions? 

Is it around leadership questions? 

Answering these questions for yourself will allow you to understand where to hone your interview skills. Are there types of interviewers or interviews (like panel interviews) where you feel less confident or more confident? Pay attention to that.

One of the biggest mistakes that I see candidates making is around how they align their background to the role. It’s important to remember that the company (as harsh as this might sound) is focused on what you can do for them, not what you did 20 years ago, 10 years ago, or, or really even five years ago. 

They care about your experience, but only as it relates to the problem they’re solving. They want to know how you are going to solve that problem in the most cost effective and efficient way.

When you’re describing yourself in an interview, don’t say that you are a seasoned executive who’s been working in the industry for 22 years and then take them through the whole entire trajectory of your career. Just tell them that for the last number of years, you’ve been solving the exact problem and delivering the kinds of outcomes that you’re seeing as it relates to their job description. 

What I want you to do is make sure that you’re talking about that in every single possible moment. So how do you do that? How do you prepare to talk about outcomes that you can strive for? You just want to look at their job description or talk to the recruiter to figure out what is their overarching goal. 

Why are they hiring for this position? Think about the team that sat down to write this job description — from HR to the executive, to the recruiter, and when it was all coming together, what were they all saying this role really needs to do? 

Then go through the job description and pick a couple of key requirements for the role and be prepared line-by-line to speak to those and how you’ve done that in the past and how you’ve delivered results. 

When you do this, I think you’ll see an increase in the pass through rates and this will exponentially increase your confidence and their confidence in you. I hope this helps. 

Let me know your feedback and experiences in the comments! 

Responses

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  1. I agree – the interviewer wants to know what you can do for them and how your experience aligns with solving their problems. I used to hesitate to outright ask the recruiter for guidance, tips, insight as to the personalities I was going to speak to, their interview style, what their pain points were. I do a better job of leveraging them now to go in as prepared as possible.

    I feel like I trip over my words, my delivery isn’t polished but feel ridiculous doing mock interviews with people.

    1. Great point, Sandra!! Good recruiters are a great resource for this. They should be advocates who help you through the process.

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