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What do you do when you have a very long interview? Here are a few techniques.

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I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter, the head coach for That's a site with curated information you can watch, listen to or read that will help you find work more quickly. There is a focus on interviewing on the site. But there's plenty more than that. I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter, the head coach for That's a site with curated information you can watch, listen to or read that will help you find work more quickly. There is a focus on interviewing on the site. But there's plenty more than that.

I thought I would do a video today talking about preparing for long interviews. It comes from talking with someone who I coach who did a four hour interview. The way the interview was structured, was they are rotating every 30 to 40 minutes, but he's sitting there. And it's a long time. How do you keep your energy up because the real thing about the long interview is how do you keep your focus up? How do you keep your energy up, especially when they're doing you're from, let's say, 11 to 3 or 10 to 2 where it might go over a lunch period?
So, understand that, from their standpoint, they were oblivious to the fact that your blood sugar's dropping. They may be oblivious to the fact that you have to use a rest room, they may be oblivious to the fact that the caffeine is wearing out. So, you have to take control here. You have to manage your body and its particular needs and your mind and its focus. So, the thing I would say, right off the bat is, when they are keeping you waiting, as they invariably will do, just keep the focus on delivering the opening message.
"Tell me about yourself and what you've been doing professionally."
I've got a ton of videos on interviewing. So, just recognize that you can watch my videos on how to answer. I have multiples depending upon how good you are, from a basic one to more complex ones about how to answer, "Tell me about yourself."
So, you have to be ready right off the bat with the big smile, the friendly look on your face, the good handshake, so that, in this way, you're ready and they're not pausing for a second and going, She seems a little weird. Why is he so intense?" And the answer is, "this is my third or fourth interview and I'm tired."
Every person has to get the same really look on your face. I've got you know, the one that kind of looks like this. And from there, you know, it's being ready to jump right in every time. Now, second meeting, make sure you do a restroom visit. Second meeting, get some time to splash. I'm sorry . . . Let me be clear, after the second meeting or before, if necessary, make sure you do a restroom stop. Make sure you splash some water on your face. You look in the mirror, see how your eyes look? Do you look animated or do you feel tired? Because remember, from their standpoint, they're putting you through an endurance contest. Their advantaged because they've only got to be their for a fixed period of time and you're going to keep sitting there.
Move around a little bit in the restroom. Give yourself some energy by just a little bit of motion. If you're someone who normally exercises, do a couple of standing push ups; that can be as simple as putting your hands down on the washbasin and doing push ups in that way. Whatever it is, give yourself some energy through action. Don't just stand there and going, "Oh, I'm feeling fine. It's okay."
I'll also say that every time that you're waiting for them, if they leave you in one room to sit and wait for the next person to go in, it's really easy for you to lose your focus. So stand up. Don't be seated when they come in; stand up and ready for the handshake and the illumination in your eyes that basically says "you're happy to see them. All this interview really is, I'm not going through the "look the person up on LinkedIn" stuff and all that sort of stuff. I'm focusing on the energy.
How do you keep your energy going for four hours or so? Sometimes, more! Even three hours! How do you keep your energy going? See you look animated and excited as you talk to people. That's a big part of why you're going to get hired. The perception that you're excited to do this. Don't come in flat. Don't let them ever see you flat. Always look great.
Hope you found this helpful. I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. If you'd be interested in my coaching you, reach out to me on LinkedIn at Mention that you saw the video; I just like knowing I'm helping some folks. Once were connected, messaged me that you're interested in coaching. We'll set up time for a free discovery call.
Also want to say that I've got a ton . . . I mentioned where I've information curated, but my main website I've got a ton of information to help you with your search-- thousands of blog posts, articles that you can read; there's podcasts . . . a whole bunch of stuff! go over to the site; go exploring or if you want the curated material, use If you take a lifetime membership, you get an hour of free coaching from it.
Hope you have a great day and take care


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1500 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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1 Response
  1. Maurice Levie

    Going into a long interview is best done in fasting mode. No coffee, it will stimulate your bladder. Just water. Bathroom breaks – every 90 minutes no matter what. Walk out of the interview after politely telling them you need a bio break if they ignore you. Walk out the building if they point and sputter, you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you