I have an interview that is three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon with six different people. I have done interviews much shorter than this one and I was dog tired at the end. I’m not even sure why a company would have me come in for such a long time because it seems like overkill. What is the best way for me to prepare for this interview?

4 replies
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    The trick to doing this sort of a day well is to know your answers cold. Here’s why:

    1. They are deciding if they like you. It’s a likability interview. The best way to get them to like you is to tell stories as answers to their questions. People like to hear stories and they make people feel more connected to you than straight-up answers. You want to leave them that day with them feeling like they are already connected to you and hiring you is naturally the next step.

    Here’s a post about how to tell stories:
    http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2007/02/04/be-memorable-by-telling-good-stories-about-yourself/

    Here’s a post about how to be more likable in general:
    http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2010/01/06/how-to-make-yourself-more-likable/

    2. If you know your stories cold, and each question is a breeze for you then you are less likely to get tired throughout the day. If you don’t know your stories cold or you haven’t practiced answering the obvious questions (and turning non-obvious questions into more obvious ones so you can answer them) then you will be more tired toward the end of the day and this will affect your ability to connect with them.

    Here’s a post on practicing interview questions:
    http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2005/11/20/interview-mistakes-you-shouldnt-make/

    The best thing about practicing for one interview is that the practice works for all interviews. Each time you practice talking about yourself, and steering the conversation you are preparing for all the interviews in your future, not just the one the next day.

    Penelope

  2. Lindsay
    Lindsay says:

    I just went through this and you DO get tired. I went into it thinking it was a panel interview, and it ended up being 6 hour long interviews. When I had to answer the “walk me through your resume” for the sixth time I think I sounded a little annoyed. I also started to lose my voice, so make sure you bring water or ask for some!

  3. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    It occurs to me the interview situation with six different people over the period of six hours could be worse. You could have all six people together in the same room with yourself asking questions at random with maybe a five or ten minute break at the end of each hour. That’s how I imagine it must be for an attorney giving oral arguments in front of a panel of judges (e.g. – Supreme Court). At least that’s what it sounds like when I listen to the Supreme Court audio on C-Span.
    Anyways, I have done this six hour interview circuit with six different people in one day. I thought it was a smart thing for them to do. It gives each one of them the opportunity to ask questions and get answers from you. They can then all get together as one group or separately to discuss their impressions of you. By doing it this way, I think they can formulate a better overall and balanced opinion of you and determine if you would be a good fit for the company. And if you are a good fit for them, where in the company it would be … at least initially.
    I would recommend getting a good night’s sleep before this long interview day so that you’re at your “relaxed best”. I think it’s most important to be yourself with everyone that interviews you. If you can do that, then I think you will project a single, consistent personality which will not raise doubts about you or your abilities. It is about likability. It’s also about trust and ultimately they’re asking themselves – Could I work with this person x hours a day and x days a week? Then they select whom they consider the best candidate for their needs.

  4. emily
    emily says:

    You want to leave the day of interviews feeling like every single person you talked to gave the thumbs up about you after they left the room. When you leave write down your impressions of every person you talked to and even ask to have a repeat interview with someone that may have struck you a little differently than the others. That person will most likely be the one that you will have to work with most closely to make your job meaningful and manageable.

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