How to stand out in the final stages of interviewing

Have you ever interviewed for a new role, advanced through several rounds, and then suddenly it felt like the momentum stalled?

You may have wondered, “Are they leaning towards someone else? Am I out?”

While that’s always a possibility, it’s more likely that the hiring team was just going through their process, coordinating schedules amongst busy executives, reviewing final candidates and getting serious about their decision. If you made it that far, clearly they liked a lot about you.

However, it’s hard to just sit back and wait. Especially for high achievers who are used to making things happen. Doing nothing is hard.

What can you do?

Here is what I typically recommend to my clients in this situation. Send a thoughtful email that helps the executives in the company see you as a natural fit for the role.

One approach I’ve seen some people take at this point is to send an email restating their skills and experience. While there might be some merit to this tactic, rehashing your background is very YOU focused.

I believe a much better approach is to flip it around and send them an email about THEM.

Summarize the challenges and opportunities in front of them, with some notes leading to why you are the right person to navigate these challenges and realize the opportunities.

The goal isn’t to have all the answers. At this point it would be surprising if you did. The goal is to get their attention by focusing on how well you understand the situation and how you are ready and able to dive in and get results.

The strength in this approach is offering a concise summary of the key issues in front of them. You are speaking their language/jargon as if you are already on their team. In many cases, the panel of individuals you met during your interview are covering multiple functions or departments. You are providing value by synthesizing a range of perspectives down to the core issues. When you do restate your relevant experience, it will be in context of how you can specifically help THEM.

To do this well, you do need to plan ahead and ask the right questions during your interviews. This can be as simple as asking each person, “What are the top challenges to navigate and opportunities to realize?” Or “Where could this new hire have the greatest impact?” Simply act like a consultant, and adapt as needed for your specific role – but ask questions, consistent questions, in each interview, listen deeply, and take notes.

Then when it’s time to write your summary, you’ll have a lot to work with.

If you remember that it is about them, this should help you stand out and connect with the hiring team in a way that the other finalists aren’t doing.

Picture of Allyson Campa, Career Coach

Allyson Campa, Career Coach

I help professionals and executives find work they love. My coaching process includes assessing your strengths and interests, identifying your best-fit roles, preparing you for the job search, and assisting you with resume writing, networking, interviewing, negotiating and onboarding.