Hiring processes have become incredibly complex. Online application, assessment test, first phone screening, behavioral interview (or several of them), and then the third interview, occasionally even followed by the final interview led by the CEO, or other powerful figure from the company.
When you have already passed the screening and behavioral part of the hiring process, they already know that you are a good fit for the position. What they are trying to understand in the third interview, however, is whether you are the right fit for the organization. That means for the company culture, the atmosphere on the workplace, the values they try to promote.
They will also discuss the typical day in work, the goals you will set for yourself in the job, and they will set for you, and also salary and employee benefits, often in detail, just to ensure that everything is all right, and both parties are satisfied with the terms of the employment agreement.
In many cases, they will talk more than you, explaining you some specifics about the job and the company, and simply observe your reactions. Try to show positive body language, nod a lot, but to not hesitate to interrupt when something is unclear or you feel like confirming/commenting something they said. Let’s have a look at some questions they may ask you in your third job interview.
You’ve heard a lot about the job and the company up to this point. Can you describe your idea of your typical day here, if we hire you?
It is pivotal to show realistic expectations. You have passed two rounds of interviews (if not more), read the job description, and for sure you can tell what awaits you in the job. Or at least that’s what they expect…
I suggest you to narrate your idea of a typical day, with everything that belongs to it. That means at what time you plan to come to the office, and when you plan to leave in the afternoon. And, of course, everything in between, just as they explained to you during the previous rounds of interviews.
There will likely be a short team or department or working group meeting in the morning, and then you will work on your tasks, perhaps following a to-do list. This can include anything from meetings, computer work, doing analysis, sending emails, etc. It really depends on the job will you have with the company.
The key is to show realistic expectations, and to ensure them that you want to be busy and do not look for an easy ride at work.
What goals will you set for yourself in the job, for the first 90 days?
This question has many possible variations: Tell us about your goals in 30, 60, and 90 days; Where do you see yourself in this company in one year time?; What would you like to achieve on this position within the first year of working here?, etc.
In any case, you should have some goals. Of course the level of ambition depends on the seniority of the job. If you apply for entry level position, your only goal within the first 90 days will be to understand how everything works in the company, to complete your training, and basically to become fully accustomed to your role.
The question becomes more difficult when you are applying for a senior role in the company, or even intermediate level. In such a case you should propose some changes, and have some tangible goals you try to achieve within the first quarter, or the first year with them.
The exact goals depend on your role in the company. It can be achieving certain sales volume, improving effectiveness of this or that process, hiring new team, or even building a new branch of the company from scratch… Think about your role, and come up with a clear idea what you want to achieve.
But try to stay realistic. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you cannot change the company in 90 days…
After all the talks you had with people here, during the hiring process, how would you define our company culture?
Of course you should stroke their ego a bit. Or even a lot. Makes no sense to say too many negative things about their company culture, or how they treated you (for example if someone let you waiting for half an hour on your interview day, postponing the meeting).
At the same time, however, you should be realistic. It’s fine saying that you found the people extremely busy and hard working–as long as it is the type of corporate culture you enjoy being a part of. Even if the office is loud, and if things do not really seem to have any system, it’s fine saying so. Again, if you thrive in such an environment.
If you aren’t sure how to define their culture, or what to say, head to their corporate website and read their mission statement. Of course, and as you for sure know, what the companies write there is often far from the reality in the workplace (it’s their image after all, another marketing effort), but at least it can give you some hints on their culture, and what you should refer to.
Now, when you understand the role and your duties, what training needs to you have?
Just do not say that you feel completely ready, and do not need any training. Mark my words: even senior managers take part in orientation and some training sessions. Do not sound like someone who knows everything and is ready to take their company by storm…
Just think about the job for a while, the list of your duties. Maybe you need some help to get around the information system they use in the company. Or the system of self-reporting they have in place. Or some technology, terminology, safety rules and regulations, anything.
Hiring managers like humble job candidates, people who like to learn, and do not struggle to admit their weaknesses. Hence even if you cannot come up with any ideas at this point, you can say that you are sure you will need some training, but what exactly it is will become clear after first few days in the job. It better than saying that you do not need any training at all…
You’ve talked about salary with my colleagues already. What are your thoughts on the remuneration package we propose for the hired candidate?
If there is a right time to negotiate your salary during the hiring process, it is the third interview. At this point they already like you, and seriously consider hiring you (you would not make it that far in the process if they didn’t), and you are talking to one of the decision makers.
This person has the power to make your salary offer 10% better, perhaps even 20%, and to offer you a company car, laptop, 1 day of home office per week, or anything else you’d like to be part of the package.
Do not hesitate to share your ideas with them, but have something to back them up. Perhaps you know how much the engineers (managers, supervisors, sales reps) earn with their main competitor, and think a 15% higher salary will be more adequate, considering the situation on the employment market.
Or that given the amount of travel, it will be fair to get a company car, perhaps even a personal driver :), or one day of home office each week, so you relax a bit from the hours on the road. As long as you are reasonable, and open for discussion, you can definitely win for you better remuneration package in the third interview.
Other questions you may face in your third job interview with the company
- Tell me about the most challenging project you have ever worked on. How does it relate to things we do here, and how do the challenges you faced helped you get ready for the role with our company?
- You’ve seen a lot from our place, you’ve talked to many people up to this point. In your opinion, what areas can we improve on here?
- From the tasks you will be responsible for in your new job, is there anything you find uncomfortable, do not look forward to doing, or do not feel capable of taking care of?
- What do you expect from me, and from other superiors you will have in this job?
- After everything we’ve discussed here together, do you want to add anything, or do you have any questions?
Conclusion, next steps
Hiring processes in big corporations have become incredibly complex in the recent years. Instead of inviting you for one long interview session–and deciding right there and then, you often have to pass a series of interview, and travel to the corporation three or four times, often at your own expense. Interestingly enough, job hopping rates or rate of “bad hires” have not dropped, with the so called “improvement of interview process”.
It is as it is, however, and you cannot change much from the position of a job seeker. The only thing you can do is accepting the process, and preparing for each part, including the third interview. Read the questions and my hints once again, and try to prepare at least a short answer to each one. I hope you will make a good final impression, negotiate an excellent remuneration package, and eventually sign the employment agreement. Good luck!
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