The final interview is the last step in the selection process and, therefore, your last chance to make a good impression and increase your chances of getting the position you applied for.
In this article, you will find all the information you need to know to prepare for a perfect final job interview: from the progress and the people, you will meet, to the possible questions you will be asked and those you will ask.
How a final interview takes place
Depending on the professional level of the position requested, your last job interview could be conducted by a member (or members) of the company leadership, or, if it is a small company, the CEO.
Only in some cases, the final interview is performed by the same person who conducted the previous interviews.
In this last step, you may meet several people employed in the company, such as your potential colleagues, and spend time “chatting” with them and with your possible managers.
You shouldn’t underestimate the final job interview. On the contrary, you will have to show the same professionalism and preparation that you had in previous interviews, this will be your last chance to convince the company that you are the right person to join the team.
Tips for the final job interview
Don’t assume that…
Even if you are proud to have come this far in the selection process, a common mistake of many candidates is to think that the final interview is just a formality: that it is equivalent to have the job offer already in your pocket.
That’s not the case. During the interview, you need to be attentive, focused, and professional without appearing arrogant, cheeky, or listless. Don’t be too comfortable letting your guard down, even if both the context and your interlocutors seem more informal.
Take this interview with the same seriousness you have had in previous meetings and continue to present yourself as the best choice for that place.
Think about previous interviews
To prepare for the final interview, think about what you discussed in previous interviews and remember the details of the conversations with the recruiter or whoever conducted the interview.
During this last interview, your interlocutor may talk about a topic already addressed and if he sees that you can respond effectively and in a coherent way concerning what you said previously, he will be convinced that you are an attentive person, who knows how to listen and remember the important things.
This exercise will also allow you to broaden your answers compared to those given in the first interviews. If you think you haven’t used the right words or have not answered the questions that have been asked in detail, this is an excellent opportunity to learn more and make clarifications on everything you want to talk about.
Update your company information
At this point, most likely, you will have collected a large amount of information about the company.
However, it is important that before the final interview, you do further research on company updates. There may have been a significant event that affected the company, a problem in the market, or the company may have achieved an important success just a few days before your interview.
You must stay up to date to be prepared to talk about topics in line with company news and to show all your interest and foresight.
Bring some copies of your resume and other documents with you
If you have a portfolio of your work or projects, don’t forget to bring it with you, even if you’ve already shown your work in previous interviews.
You may have the opportunity to show your important project to the manager or the CEO and surprise them positively. This could make a difference for your application. Don’t forget a few copies of your resume too. A ready and prepared candidate is always frowned upon in the selection process.
Keep your enthusiasm and energy high
The final job interview may take longer than the other interviews: you will meet more people, you may visit the company, you will talk about various topics, and you will also have less formal conversations.
Throughout the interview, you need to make sure you show enthusiasm and the right energy to make it clear that you are excited about working there. No matter how tired or bored you may be during the interview, remember to smile and show your desire to be part of that context.
While employees and employers tend to dress casually in the company, you can definitely avoid a suit or formal suit, but under no circumstances will you have to wear jeans, t-shirts, and look like you’re going out with friends.
To reduce interview stress, get your outfit ready the night before the interview day. Knowing exactly how you will dress will reduce your anxiety and allow you not to waste time on the morning of the interview.
Remember that your look communicates a lot: in addition to your professionalism, it also shows how much you care about making a good impression to secure your job.
Possible questions for a final interview
Among the questions that can be asked during a final job interview, the most likely are the behavioral or attitudinal ones.
The goal of these questions is to understand how you have behaved previously in certain situations in the workplace. Your past performances suggest to your interlocutors the attitude you will adopt in similar circumstances at the new job.
The logic is this: if you acted in a certain way on that particular occasion (when you had to resolve a dispute, were under stress, you had a problem or an unexpected event, etc.) most likely, you will behave in the same way. in the future – when you find yourself facing that eventuality again.
The answers to the aptitude questions not only reveal aspects of your personality and attitude but also allow you to assess your motivation and determination to work.
To answer these questions, use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Results) method. That is, describe the situation in which you found yourself, talk about the task you had to complete, the action you took to finish your work, and the result you achieved.
Here are some examples of these questions:
- Can you tell me about a situation where you had to deal with something unexpected? What did he do?
- Have you ever disagreed with a colleague/boss/manager? How did you handle the situation?
- Did you participate in any major projects? What was your contribution?
- In a situation where you have several jobs to complete, how do you prioritize?
- Have you ever found yourself having to meet a very tight deadline? What did he do?
- Have you ever failed to reach a goal? How did you handle this?
Among the other questions of a final interview, there may be those that investigate your idea of the job position offered and the corporate culture. For example:
- How do you expect your working day to be?
- What matters to you in the workplace?
These questions are intended to understand if your considerations about the company and your role are aligned with reality. The interviewee wants to make sure you know what is expected of you if you are hired.
To answer these questions it is important to take advantage of the information you have collected so far on the position offered and on the company. Reread the job advertisement, review the notes on your previous interviews, make sure you know what the company’s goals are and that you are aware of the corporate culture.
Respond by enthusiastically mentioning the responsibilities you will have. Show that you are looking forward to working in the company.
- What is your biggest goal for this position?
To answer this question, try putting yourself in your boss or manager’s shoes. Your ultimate goal should be to help the company, and how you do it depends on the role you are going to fill.
The goal could be to increase the number of sales, to improve production processes, to facilitate the work of your boss, to increase profits, or something completely different.
The key to answering correctly is to show that you are aware of the business objectives and that you will not only work “for yourself” but benefit the company.
Other questions in a final job interview may relate to your opinion of the sector or industry in which the company operates.
Remember that companies want to hire people who are genuinely interested in their business. For this, they appreciate candidates who know the sector and keep up to date with developments and news concerning it.
Questions to ask at a final interview
Prepare the right questions to ask your interlocutors. At this stage, it is important that you dissolve all your doubts: remember that it is not only the company that makes a decision, you too must be sure to choose the workplace that best suits your needs and requirements.
Among the questions you can ask are:
- Who previously held this position? Why did that person leave?
- Can you describe what my typical working day or week would be like?
- What are your working hours and your expectations for overtime?
- Does this department cooperate with others? How?
- Is there training for this role? What kind?
- How will the expectations and tasks of this role be communicated?
- How do you measure success in this role?
- What is your background? How did you get to your current role?
- What is the start date?
- Does this position involve travel? If so, how often?
If you haven’t talked about pay yet, now is the time to do it!
Make sure you know what to expect in terms of compensation, that you know how to negotiate without settling and without exceeding your demands. At this stage, it is essential to have details about your salary, benefits, and bonuses.
You must know what your skills are worth by researching the average salary for your profession. This way you won’t risk accepting a lower offer than the market average. If you are not happy with what is proposed, do not communicate it immediately.
Take some time to think and understand what your options are: you may later negotiate a counter offer, or find that the benefits and bonuses are greater than in other places, or again, you may consider working hours and holidays and find that it allows you to have a better balance between personal and work life.
In case you receive the job offer
If you are offered the job during your final interview, proceed with caution! Unless you have already carefully evaluated the offer and are satisfied with the conditions, the role, the remuneration, the benefits, the working environment in general, I recommend that you take some time to consider the proposal.
Although everything may seem splendid due to the euphoria of the moment, later you may reconsider the situation and be dissatisfied.
Therefore, emphasize your enthusiasm and gratitude and ask what is the deadline for deciding on the offer. Use all the time you have available to evaluate ALL the factors involved, even the minor ones or those that may escape you, such as the time it takes to reach the company. Then you can make a decision.
If you are interested in the job but think the compensation is inappropriate, you can decide to negotiate by sending a counter offer letter or email to your employer, or whoever takes his place.
Keep in mind that receiving an offer does not mean that you must feel obliged to accept. Remember that it is not only the company that chooses you, you must choose it in turn. So feel free to accept, negotiate, or decline if you are not satisfied with the proposal.
Making a good impression
Managing the stress of the final interview
Stress is part of the game when taking the final job interview, especially if interest in the position offered is high.
Good preparation and knowing what to expect will help reduce the stress of the interview. Take all the time you have to review your notes, prepare your answers and questions. Knowing that you will not be taken by surprise and that you can tackle the possible topics of this interview helps you to relax your nerves.
To make a good impression, remember to arrive early for your appointment. Take care of your look and try to have the right, positive, and enthusiastic attitude. Smiling and being polite, showing interest through questions, and actively participating in the conversation are key elements for making a great impression, and giving the right image of yourself.
Remember that your behavior and your attitude matter as much as what you say in words.
Thanksgiving follows up after the final job interview
After the interview, send a thank-you email to every person you’ve met, asked questions, and heard from.
Follow up is not mandatory, but it is an opportunity to show your professionalism, your interest, and reiterate why you think this is the right position for you.
What to do after the final interview?
Don’t expect to receive a call right after your interview, and if you don’t have any news for a few days, don’t be alarmed.
Making the right decision about whom to hire is not an easy choice and requires the right evaluation time: more people could be involved in the decision-making process, there could be some unexpected during the selection process, or whatever. If you have no news after one week of your interview, it is appropriate to email the person you interviewed to ask for updates on your selection.