You’ve made it to the home stretch. You’ve nailed your first interviews, and you’re onto the last round with senior management. If you knock this one out of the park, the job is yours—but if you don’t, you could see it slip from your hands, offered to another candidate.
Prepping for an executive interview with senior management can be anxiety-inducing and time-consuming. But doing your homework and prep work is critical to make the final interview smoother.
According to a study from JDP, ninety-three percent of people feel nervous going into a job interview. You can ease the nerves by following these steps.
5 Steps to Prepare for a Final Interview
Do your research on the senior management leaders interviewing you.
If you don’t know who is interviewing you in the final round, you can ask the interviewer with whom you’ve already spoken. Researching the senior management leaders interviewing you will better equip you to meet with them.
You can start by quickly searching for who they are and their roles within the company. This information may be readily available on the company website. If it’s not, you can search for their LinkedIn pages or other professional profiles on similar networking platforms. Find their job title and how you might work with them if you land the job. You can also search for any mutual connections, common interests, or shared experiences about which you can talk to them.
Practice your answers to the most common final interview questions.
One surefire way to prepare for an interview—especially a final executive-level interview—is by practicing your answers to common questions. While you can practice your answers in the mirror or aloud to yourself, it’s worth asking someone you trust to role play with you. Ask them for candid feedback on your responses—they may think of something you haven’t.
Ivy Exec offers a wealth of common and important questions to practice. For example, you should be able to talk about why you want to work with that particular organization and what you already know and like about it—as well as a time you displayed leadership or what you believe you can bring to the table.
Make copies of your application materials.
While you may have already given out application materials to the recruiters or managers in the last round or rounds of interviews, you should always have more with you. Many people prefer digital versions of your resume, and you can certainly send them that. But you shouldn’t walk into a final round of interviews empty-handed.
Always have your tangible application materials with you, just in case, someone asks to see your resume or you have to refer to an example you happen to have on hand. Bringing a folder with your materials looks clean and professional. Whether you hand out your supporting documents or not, you looked prepared.
Know your worth.
The final round of interviewing is typically when you talk money. After all, you can’t accept the job offer they may or may not give at the end if you haven’t yet discussed pay. And the company leaders aren’t likely to offer you the job if you’re not aligned on salary expectations. For that reason, you should know your worth.
Do your research on the average pay for the job you’re interviewing for. You can also look to websites like Fairygodboss and Glassdoor to read reviews from current and former employees and better grasp whether they feel they were compensated fairly. To know whether or not an offer is fair (on the company’s end or your own), however, you need to know what fair means. You also need to be confident in what you’re willing to accept and negotiate, including other benefits and perks that may make up for lesser pay.
Consider your questions.
Remember that interviews are two-way streets, and the company needs to be the right fit for you, just as much as you need to be a fit for the company. If you’ve already been through a few rounds of interviews, chances are that you know a little bit more about the company and what they’re seeking in a candidate for the open role. And part of learning more is learning more about what you don’t know. Questions will likely crop up for you along the way; the final interview is your last chance to ask them.
Write down a list of questions you still have about the company or even the people with whom you’re interviewing. Make sure that you know what you’d be getting yourself into—and that you’re ready for it. Plus, asking questions at the end of an interview shows that you’re curious about the company and eager to learn more, which are ideal qualities. If you’re unsure where to start, here’s a list of good questions to ask in an interview.
The final interview with senior management might feel overwhelming, but the reality is that you made it that far for a reason. And you didn’t go that far only to come that far. So follow the steps above to prepare for and crush the interview.