Everyone loves to receive that all-important phone call in which an HR representative requests an interview. It’s the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. After weeks – perhaps months – of job search, the goal is finally in sight.
However, you still have to get through the interview. While spending an hour or an hour-and-a-half with the hiring manager certainly sounds doable to most, what happens when you’re invited to an all-day interview?
Challenges of a Marathon Interview
While you may be personable and eager with the first company rep grilling you, that will probably wear thin by the fourth, fifth and sixth interviews on the same day. A recent article on Mashable explored concerns about:
- Providing the same answers to different staff members/interviewers
- Questioning the interviewers about their roles in the company
- Simply surviving such a prolonged process
The article’s author came up with four strategies to make it through the long, challenging day.
Request a schedule and a list of the individuals you’ll be meeting with
Given that the list may be lengthy, it’s wise to ask for this information a few days prior to your interview. Schedules frequently change, especially for higher-ups, and you want to make certain the list is as accurate as possible. With the information in hand, you can do Google and LinkedIn searches to learn the individual’s role in the organization. That can certainly give you insight into how to answer questions. Discovering that you’ll be meeting with seven individuals, instead of one or two, during your first round of interviews will help you prepare mentally for such a large crowd and will guide you in how to tailor your answers.
Begin and End Strong with Each Interview
While the all-day interview may be a marathon to you, it’s only a short sprint for the interviewers. Make certain that you treat each sequence with respect. Introduce yourself, shake hands, provide each individual with a copy of your resume. Don’t let your mind drift to what might – or might not happen – during the next interview. Stay focused. Stay on point. And always reiterate your interest for the job at the end of each segment.
Be Consistent with Your Answers
But do vary the content, adding additional relevant information during each interview. Be assured, after the day is over, the interviewers will discuss what you said to them. If they all heard the exact same thing from you during six different interviews, they may feel you have very little to offer. However, if you tried to wow one group with a story of how well you take charge while assuring others you’re a solid team player, they will wonder which person is the real you. Always be consistent. If during three interviews you’re asked how you resolved a company problem, focus on three different skills (eg: crisis management, employee training, customer service) to make the same point. You resolved the problem effectively and professionally.
If you’re always sluggish in the afternoon, bring an energy bar or some candy along as a pick-me-up. There may not be a vending machine on the premises. Women should bring along a compact and lipstick to freshen their makeup. Men may want to bring some face wipes. Make certain you have extra pens in case one runs out of ink. Bring along enough copies of your resume so that no one at the company has to share.
While daunting, an all-day interview can be won if you think ahead and prepare properly for the challenge.
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