What to expect from a Third Interview

Having been dissatisfied with my current position, I have been looking for a new job for the last few months. I have now been called in for a third interview. Given that they have already interviewed me twice, what sort of thing do companies look for in the candidate for a third interview? Also how many applicants (give or take) tend to get to this stage?

Would have asked this in GQ, but I figured there isn’t one factual answer.

Any insights appreciated.

The third interview usually means the job is yours.

You’ll probably be asked to meet the supervisor of the person who’s doing the hiring. As long as you act presentable, the supervisor will likely tell the person hiring, “if you like him, hire him.” You don’t have to do a killer job – you’ve already convinced the person who will do the hiring – but you just don’t want to give his boss a reason to say, “what are you thinking?”

I REALLY hope that’s the case Reality Chuck. I already bought a new suit for the second interview (1st interview was over the telephone), I think i’ll splash out some more and go and get a new shirt / tie combo to complete the ‘looking presentable’ image. Must remember to get my fiancee to pick the new shirt and tie though. I have a limited skill set when it comes to clothing and colour coordination.

I would add that it would be best if you are completely prepared on what you would like to recieve in salary and benefits. Do you want stock options? How much vacation time would you like? What’s the minimum salary you’re looking for? Think of all those kind of details and have a ready answer. Some employers will try to lowball you in this situation. Be prepared.

At risk of sounding pessimistic, I’d be very weary of this answer. This is not always the case. Tho it sounds like the position is yours do not let your guard down, stay with the same demeanor and do your best! 3rd interviews can also mean the high muckety-mucks have someone else in line, and they want to have a final comparison to see who stands above the other. Just go in and knock-em dead…you’ll do fine.

FWIW, the company I currently work for always brings candidates in at least 3 times, and has been known to bring people back as many as 4 and 5 times, not including phone interviews (myself included). They will have you talk to different people, or discuss subjects that they were not satisfied with the first time around. By that time, the interviewee’s nerves should lessen, so they watch for changes in behavior to see how you are most of the time. They tend to focus at first on your skills and then subsequent times if you will fit into the culture. Once you work here, it is nearly impossible to be fired and they don’t do layoffs, so they take hiring pretty seriously. You are not guaranteed a job until they offer it to you - we have brought people back 4 times and yet decided not to make an offer. I would say any position that is paid more than $50k goes through this extended process. I was terribly annoyed by it and almost didn’t take the job at the time, but I understand it now that I work here.

Before I worked here, the third interview was usually time to turn the tables - the third interview was your turn to interview them and ask all the questions about things you care about.

In most (but certainly not all) cases, they have a short list of “any of these folks would be fine”. Given that it is highly unlikely at this point that anything new and positive about you will come out at this time (“Say, did you know I wrote the book the CEO uses as his personal management guide?”), they are probably looking for negatives. I.e., make all of you sweat and hire the one with the dryest armpits.

So be positive, express positive interest. Assume “forthright” questions and turn them around with positive answers.

Thanks for the advice folks. I have plenty of time to prepare as the interview isnt for another 2 1/2 weeks.