How to beat your rival in the final interview round!

So you’ve made it through multiple rounds of interviews, and are now one step away from landing your dream job! The only hurdle left standing between you and a triumphant march into your new career is the final interview. However, there’s a catch! Enter your rival candidate, the one who almost matches you in skills, competencies and personality.

But don’t panic just yet! We show you 4 essential strategies to increase your chance of beating the competition!

1. Remain realistic, yet calm

Realistically speaking, organisations will often move multiple candidates to final interviews, so discovering that there's someone else vying for the role in this stage is to be expected and shouldn't be seen as a bad sign. However, there is simply no point in allowing a little competition to throw you off your game. Although you may want to stand out from your rival, it’s certainly an ineffective strategy to enter the interview room with a focus on trying to beat the other person, as this will only stress you out more.

Instead, you should get clear on your values. Focus on what you can contribute, and express your interest in the position. The fact is, you're always competing when there's an open position, whether it be external candidates, internal promotions, and even the threat of leaving the slot open are all options for the company.

2. Repeat your strengths

Rather than try to wow your interviewer by over-complicating your initial pitch and introducing flashy new quips and wise cracks, you should aim to rely on what has been proven to work in the past. Review your previous interviews and identify the strengths you've already covered effectively. Be sure to highlight those strengths again and why they'll be valuable to the organisation.

If you're meeting with new people, mention the discussion you've had with others during the process and their positive responses. For example, you could say: ‘When I was speaking to Rachel about the project management process, she mentioned that my experience in agile software development would be a great asset for the team.’

3. Reposition points that were weak or unclear

Now that you've repeated your strengths, you need to reflect on your weaknesses, and what you need to do to improve. Think back towards any points that you maybe didn't perfect the first or second time round. Do your research and bulk up your knowledge on those points, as this will increase your confidence going into the final interview.

When restating these previously weak points in a more clear and direct manner, don't draw attention to the fact that you covered them poorly before, just restate them succinctly. For example, you could say;

'In my interviews with Peter and Emma, they mentioned that teamwork is an important value. While I appreciate that my work has largely been individually focused, my most fulfilling and successful professional experiences have been with teams. I look forward to gaining more experience in that type of work here.'

4. Acknowledge the competition and suggest criteria

Finally, although you may not know the competition's exact strengths and weaknesses, you can take steps to potentially tip the scales in your favour. Acknowledge that the organisation has a choice and then suggest the criteria they should use to make a successful hire. By influencing the criteria, you're indirectly selling yourself without coming across as overly self-promotional.

You could say: 'Michael, I'm sure you have several good options for this role. It seems to me if you really want to raise the bar with lead conversion, you should focus on bringing in folks that have the ability to conduct thorough market research and pin point where your sell will be.'

In using the above strategies, you will be presenting yourself in the best possible light! Now that you are not being asked in as a formality or to discuss the job offer but to continue to demonstrate why you should be hired, you're more likely to approach it in the right way. Although confidence is essential at this point, don’t become complacent. Now is certainly not time to stop hustling!

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