July 25, 2016
How to Handle Back-to-Back Interviews
Back-to-back interviews can be stressful, but they’re also a good sign that an employer is interested in you as a candidate. What are back-to-back interviews? They’re a series of interviews where you meet with multiple team members one after the other. Back-to-back interviews are different from panel interviews because you’re meeting with team members individually rather than all at once. And although having several interviews in one day can be a little intimidating, it’s also a great way for you to showcase your skills and demonstrate why you’d be a good fit for a particular role.
Here are some tips to keep in mind as you prepare for back-to-back interviews.
1. Bring several copies of your resume.
Being able to communicate your skills and experience effectively during an interview begins with highlighting the key points in your resume. Since you’ll be meeting with several decisionmakers throughout the day, having multiple copies of your resume available will ensure that they’re each able to get a sense of who you are and whether you’d be a good fit for the team. As an added bonus, having multiple copies of your resume will show potential employers that you’re well-prepared and enthusiastic about the interview, characteristics that are likely to impress everyone you meet during the hiring process.
Pro Tip: Offering the interviewer a copy of your resume is a great way to start the interview, especially if they walk into the room empty-handed.
2. Learn the names and backgrounds of everyone you’ll be interviewing with.
Knowing who the decisionmakers are is a must for any interview and especially one where you’ll be interviewing with multiple people on the same day. To get this information, ask the hiring manager or HR contact for the names and titles of all the team members you’ll be meeting. Once you have a list, do some research by checking out the company website to learn about their roles and be sure to also do a quick Google search for each person to learn more about them and what they do at the company.
Pro Tip: Saying each interviewer’s name a few times during the interview is a great way to put the person at ease and make them feel comfortable. Once you’ve established a good connection, ask them questions based on their experience and background. This will emphasize your interest in the role and show your genuine excitement about being part of the team.
3. Ask for a glass of water.
Since back-to-back interviews involve a lot of talking, asking for a glass of water at the beginning of the interview process will ensure that you won’t get a dry throat as you’re talking and that you’ll be able to perform at your best during each interview. And if you need time to come up with an answer, taking a sip of water can also buy you some extra time.
4. Stay relaxed and pay attention to your body language.
It’s normal to be a little nervous during an interview, but you really don’t be. In fact, being relaxed during the process will demonstrate that you’re confident and enthusiastic about the role. To ensure that you come across as confident, keep your voice even and sit up straight. If you really need to relax, you can also silently count to ten or focus on your breathing.
5. Be prepared to answer the same question several times.
Since you’re meeting with multiple team members, know that you might have to answer the same question(s) more than once. This isn’t because you did anything wrong; it’s because different people are trying to get to know you and your qualifications. Some companies also have interviewers ask the same questions to test their candidates for consistency. Be honest and keep your answers more or less the same for each interviewer. You want to communicate a clear and consistent message and work/academic history.
Back-to-back interviews are a great way to make a good impression on multiple team members at once and a sure sign that a company is interested in bringing you on board as an employee. By coming to the interviews confident and prepared, you’ll be sure to put your best foot forward and get one step closer to landing the job.