These days, no one gets appointed to a job after one interview…..no matter how senior or junior the role, there is a process to follow.
Meet the line manager, meet the other ‘dotted’ reporting lines in the matrix, meet the other members of the management team (peers), meet the direct reports, meet the representatives from the divisions where there will be interaction, and then (just when you think it’s all over)…. meet a few other interested stakeholders.
Then after everyone agrees that the candidate is perfectly suitable, there is some form of psychometric assessment (these can range from a quickie online, to several days of high pressure testing). And then, if the candidate miraculously manages to pass through all of this, sometimes a final test awaits……the Panel Presentation!
The presentation topic is sent to the candidate at least a few days prior to the interview so that one can do some research and prepare ‘at leisure’. Don’t be lulled into believing that this is going to be a walk in the park, because it’s at this final phase of the interviewing process that candidates actually prove themselves truly worthy…..or not!
After some analysis of the success and failures, I can provide some pointers to candidates facing this final hurdle:
- It’s NOT about how great a presenter you are (although a crash course at Dale Carnegie won’t do any harm)
- It’s NOT about how brilliant the content is (but you will need to be above average, at least)
- It IS about your confidence and ease in an often stressful situation (we recently had finalist candidates be required to present to a full Board of 15 people).
- It IS about demonstrating your strategic thought process and ability to think on your feet.
- And it DEFINITELY IS about doing your research on the company, its philosophy or mission, its people, products, competitors, etc. Even if the presentation does not require you to engage on these topics, NOT knowing enough about the company could be the ultimate deciding factor.
Now go ace that final interview!