You nailed the interview and your references raved about you – ok where is the offer? Hang on… Not so fast – you made the short list and there is plenty of vetting left to do! Making the short list in a C level search, while exciting and certainly a step in the right direction, it’s not over. If you made the “short list” you are likely to be called in for a personal interview or in some cases you have already been in for the in-person interview and the client has decided to bring you back on last time to give others a chance to meet you or let members of the interview team meet you a second time.
Keep your game face on! The fatal mistake that some candidates make is projecting victory in advance – and not preparing for the final round. Many think – if they made the short list and are going back for another visit that somehow the next visit will be a “lay-up”. No need to prepare at all for the final performance. What?
I always try to let candidates know what to expect on each interview, the names of each person with whom they will be meeting with. If I have the information, I also try to uncover what the interview team will be looking for on the final visit. This is not the time to put your interview engine into 4th gear. Not at all. This is where the ‘rubber meets the road’ in most cases.
My advice is always to keep your energy level high, prepare by knowing as much as you can about the organization (and people on the interview team) and to prepare meaningful and intelligent questions to make sure you understand as much as you can about the opportunity, the organization, its people and the culture you may be joining if all goes well. Yes - you are being interviewed by the client. But remember you need to do your own (sort of) interview to make sure you are comfortable with their answers as well. Making a commitment to leave your current employer and joining a new organization is really like a marriage in many ways. Both parties need to feel good about one another before shaking hands and moving to the offer stage.
Take nothing for granted.