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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?

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