The Five-Hour Corporate Interview - Survival Tips
Imagine your surprise when a prospective employer asks you to come in and
interview for not one, not two, but FIVE hours of interviewing. Five hours...
can they really do that? Yes, and some companies who want to be particularly
selective will have you in for as long as TEN hours in a single day.
Interviews which last for several hours are typically conducted by Fortune 500
and other progressive companies. For busy executives with packed schedules, it
often makes the best sense to select a single day of interviewing and involve
all parties. The company schedules blocks of time where each interviewer can ask
the job candidate a series of questions pertaining to their particular role at
the company. If this happens to you, know that the amount of time that your
interview will be conducted for of course depends on the company.
Here are some career tips for surviving the 5-hour interview, and landing that job:
Be on the lookout for email updates leading up to the interview.
These days, email plays a huge part in most everything we do. That includes
keeping in touch with the hiring manager who will be your temporary contact
during the prospecting phase. First, be sure that this person's email address
has been saved to your address book (and doesn't go into your spam folder) so
you won't miss a correspondence.
Second, make a mental note of their email address (it may come from a hiring
company outside of the one you're applying with). Third, keep a watchful eye on
your email inbox in case you are sent instructions, dates and times, schedules,
driving directions, and other important information that may need your immediate
attention. When the interview day finally comes, you want to make sure that
nothing was overlooked in error.
Get your paperwork in order.
The same corporations which conduct such "marathon" interviews are also the ones
which do meticulous background checks on their potential employees. Not only
will you be asked for a resume, but you will likely be given a short stack of
papers to fill out. You will be expected to reveal proof of identity and
educational degrees/certification, background information, complete work
history, and other pertinent details.
Some companies prefer to assign you this task prior to the actual day of the
interview, so you will have ample time to gather any necessary identification or
documentation. While you're at it, double-check your resume for typos, and print
several copies to hand out on the day of your interview. Bring along more than
you think you need, just in case.
Do your career homework.
Extended job interviews with multiple people can be rigorous. On the plus side,
if you feel nervous during the first interview, you've still got lots more
people to speak to. That means several more chances to pull it together and make
a great impression. For this reason, you should be asking yourself the "big
picture" questions. Consider where you're headed in your career. What's
important to you? How does your past experience fit with the current position
you're applying for? What career path do you want to be on?