Kendell Brown is a member of the iRelaunch Career Coaching team and our resident expert on resume-writing serivces for relaunchers. Founder of Ascension Careers and a relauncher herself, She works with clients with to ascertain and achieve their career goals via strategic planning, positioning and branding assessments, identifying transferrable skills and providing counsel for working through challenging work situations.
You’ve made it through a phone screen with a recruiter, an aptitude test, a personality assessment, a Skype call with HR and one face-to-face interview. Now, you’ve been invited for an all-day onsite interview. This is great news, you’re still in the running. Although, you need to recognize that full-day interviews are not a sprint, they are a marathon! Companies use a full-day onsite interview as a final step – it’s a chance for a wide variety of people to assess and vet whether you are the right fit. So you need to be on your game from start to finish.
The prospect of selling yourself for hours and hours is daunting. Here’s a list of tips you can employ before, during and after the interview to ensure you perform your best.
BEFORE the interview
Request the interview format and schedule - You’ll meet with people from a variety of departments and levels within the organization. Start thinking now about how your future role interacts with these people and put together a few questions. If you get names, check them out on LinkedIn. Be flexible – schedules change frequently, so who you thought you were going to meet is subject to change.
Get rested and fueled – You’ll be nervous, and sleep may be difficult. Yet, a decent sleep before a long day will serve you well. Eat before the day starts so you can focus. Additionally, bring a quick, easy to consume snack. If you feel yourself start to drag or if you get hungry – a quick bite between interviews can help keep you on going.
Dress comfortably – If your lucky interview shirt, is best suited for July and you’re interviewing in February – ditch it. You can handle being chilly for a short 45-minute interview, but you need to be physically at ease when you’ve got interview, after interview.
Schedule a babysitter/caregiver – Get someone to help you take care of the personal. You don’t want to arrive late, because you had to handle a minor home crisis. Moreover, interviews often go long – you don’t want to worry about how the kids are getting home from school.
Congratulate yourself on making it this far – A company only offers this much employee time, if they are truly interested in you.
DURING the interview
Act as if every interviewer has the final say - Open the interview with a firm handshake and a confident smile. Close each interview by letting the interviewer know you want the job and why you should have it. Be as energetic and engaging in the final interview as you were in the first.
Focus on the here and now – It’s too late to re-word an answer from an earlier interview. And you don’t know what’s going to happen later in the day. Concentrate on your current interview.
Rinse and repeat – It’s ok to tell the same story to multiple interviewers. Consistency is valued. Know your stories well. You’ll want to vary your responses so that they fully answer the questions asked.
Refresh as needed – Head to the restroom between a couple (not all, they’ll think you’re weird) interviews. Take a few moments for a pep talk, splash water in your face, comb your hair – it will help you begin each interview anew.
Congratulate yourself on making it this far – Lots of people are taking time out of their busy day to meet you. They clearly think you have something to offer.
AFTER the interview
Send thank you notes – Get each interviewer’s contact info. There are often changes between the itinerary and who you actually meet.
Congratulate yourself on making it this far – It was a long, long day, but you survived!
A full day of interviews is physically and mentally draining. These tips will help you outlast even the longest day of interviews.