So you’ve nailed the first couple of rounds of interviews and are now invited back to meet the team in person and take part in a final fit interview. Whether you are new to job searching or have been in the game for a while, you surely have heard of and perhaps have had several of these types of interviews. The fit interview is so important because it could really make or break the process.  

It doesn’t matter how much you fit the bill on paper, at the end of the day, the hiring team wants to be able to see how you fit into their existing work culture. To some, this is the easiest part of the interview process, and to others they get SO caught up in the ambiguity of how it could go, that their nerves get the best of them.  If this sounds like you, read on! 

First off, what the heck is a fit interview?  A fit interview is an interview that provides the hiring team an opportunity to assess whether or not your values, beliefs, and behaviours align with the current state of the organization OR where they are trying to evolve to. The more you align to this vision, the better your chances are of getting hired. 

Here are some ways to prepare for a fit interview! 

Be Authentic

Oftentimes, fit interviews are unstructured and questions are thought of on the spot, this is done intentionally so that the hiring team can determine if there is a natural connection and see how you handle on the fly’ questions. Since you can’t really prepare for what they’re going to ask, the best thing to do is to make sure your energy and nerves are calm and just be yourself. Interview questions can range from “why do you think you are a good fit for this role?” to “what are your favorite pizza toppings?” – seriously!.  You want to show your personable side as much as possible while still being professional, and if you are too nervous, it would be hard to really express that. 

Don’t Over Practice

Ever heard the term ‘too much of a good thing’? This applies to interviews as well – if you try to prepare too much and have a million answers memorized, you might freeze, get flustered and even sound robotic when you spew one of your responses out from your database.  Remember, you made it this far by answering all the technical questions about your experience and education, and those responses are still floating around in your head so you should be able to draw from it quickly without obsessively practising. Sometimes the best thing you can do is go into the interview with a calm head and answer the questions naturally. At the end of the day, a fit interview is done to see how you are as a person and not how much knowledge you can hold. 

Get To Know Your Interviewers

These interviewers might very well be your future co-workers so be sure to get to know them ahead of time. Check them out on through Linkedin – seriously, creep their profile! I wouldn’t send an invite just yet though, you can do that after you have had the meeting and then send them a thank you note in the connection request – bonus.  See if you have anything in common, did you both go to the same university or perhaps worked in similar industries in the past?  Anything you can leverage and have in your back pocket can be helpful. This knowledge can be very helpful when you’re answering certain questions because you can have the interviewers participate. For example, if you’re talking about the time you volunteered in Haiti, you can ask if anyone has travelled to Haiti before. This allows the interview to turn more into a conversation rather than just an interviewer/interviewee feeling.

Get To Know The Company

Not only should you get to know the interviewers but you should also do research on the company. You can always try to see if the company has an Instagram or Linkedin page that you can scour and follow.  You may get an insight into the types of activities they do for fun or other events you can leverage so you can better show ways you’d fit in.  You also, could see if they have been in the media lately, and if there are any relevant events that took place that you could bring up, bonus!

Remember that you may not be meeting with your boss or even your bosses’ boss at this point. It may be your potential colleagues, so you really want to make sure that you don’t come across as arrogant as this can feel threatening to them. They want to bring someone on board that will bring a positive attitude to the work environment, not someone that will belittle them. 

Why Do You Want This Job?

One thing you want to be clear on when going into this final interview is why you want this job. Is it the culture, the company reputation, the connection you felt with the hiring manager, etc etc.  The more you can embody this feeling of why you want to work there, the more aligned you will come across to the hiring team. If you don’t REALLY want this job but you’re just doing it to make someone in your family happy, then interviewers will see right through you. 

Have A Few Questions Ready To Go

Now I am not talking about your desired salary or room for growth – that was hopefully addressed in previous interviews.  Questions that show genuine interest in the company AND your interviewers.   Your active listening skills will come in handy as well and help you deepen the connections you make. Think about your research you did on the company, are there any initiatives or events that resonate with you that you could bring up? This will show the interviewers that you’re actually interested in what the company offers and are excited for the potential next steps of onboarding. 

If there is one final tip that will reduce the edge off your nerves, it’s remembering that this is a 2 way street. Did you feel a connection with your interviewers?  How did you feel you were treated in the entire interview process?  What is your overall gut feeling?  Don’t ignore those!  Oftentimes my clients come to me because they are quickly looking to leave their organization because of a toxic work culture.  You don’t want to make the same mistake twice. This is why it’s extremely important to also reflect during the interview and see if this company is a good fit for YOU. 

Now get out there and remember to be your most authentic self – you got this!

Jen Narayan, Career Consultant

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jen@careerrealtalk.com