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How to Ace a 3rd Interview

by Ellie Williams, studioD

Making it to the third round of interviews indicates that the employer considers you a serious contender for the position. Though you sailed through the first two rounds, that doesn’t mean you can relax now. In fact, in an effort to dramatically narrow down the applicant pool, the interviewer may make this meeting the most challenging of them all.

Review Your Previous Interviews

Go over your notes from your first and second meetings with the employer, paying close attention to what made a good impression and what failed to wow the interviewer. Also note questions you had difficulty with. Now that you have time to prepare, you can refine your answer taking into account the interviewer’s response. Also look for themes in the interviewer’s questions. You may find clues to help you anticipate what you'll be asked in the next meeting.

Offer Specific Examples

If an employer invites you in for a third interview, he’s convinced you have the basic skills he’s looking for and that you’re a good overall fit for the corporate culture. During the third interview, however, he wants specific examples that demonstrate your competency. Prepare several anecdotes illustrating how you used specific skills, implemented changes or solved problems at previous jobs. Walk the interviewer step-by-step through the process you used so he can evaluate your critical thinking skills and your response to challenging situations. Review the job description and focus on examples that match those qualifications.

Prepare for Social Settings

During the third interview, some employers take the meeting out of the office and ask you to have lunch or dinner with them and a few other employees. They want to assess your social skills and ensure that you know how to handle yourself both in and out of the office. Brush up on your dining etiquette and be ready to make small talk. Remember this is still a job interview. Keep your conversation friendly but professional and don’t veer off into personal topics. Order food that’s easy to eat and take small bites so you don’t talk with your mouth full.

Train Your Brain

The interviewer may ask you to take aptitude, skills or personality tests to assess your technical proficiency, work style and interpersonal skills. He may also ask you to complete brain teasers or problem-solving activities. For example, he may give you a case study and ask you to come up with a solution. Often, interviewers judge you less on your reply and more on the process you use to develop it. Focus on logic, creativity and thorough analysis when formulating your answer. To prepare, practice taking skills and personality tests and hone your critical thinking skills with brain teasers.

About the Author

Ellie Williams has been a journalist since 2001. Her work has been recognized by her state's press association and by her local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Williams graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications and humanities, with minors in French and theater.

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