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Final Interview

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After a long and grueling interview process, you finally reach the last meeting. This face-to-face will decide if you get the job or not.

That means this could potentially be the most important examination of all. So, if you’re worried about a final interview, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the meeting. We’ll also take a look at how to follow up after the interview.

What Is a Final Interview?

A final meeting is one of the common types of interviews. It’s the last step a job candidate has to go through before they find out if they landed a job.

This process is incredibly similar to a traditional interview, with one major difference. Most of the time, final interviews will be much more thorough.

The employer will make sure to walk you through every detail of the job description. That usually includes all the duties and responsibilities that you’ll take on.

Other than that, the interviewer will also examine your habits and skills. They do that by asking behavioral questions.

Sadly, a final interview doesn’t always mean the job search is over.

What Does a Final Interview Mean?

A final interview signals that you made it onto the shortlist. This is a group of candidates that fit the description of an ideal employee.

That means you performed well in the previous interviews, and have a good chance of landing the job.

Typically, employers will base this decision on the first few rounds of meetings.

Most of the time, everyone on the shortlist will have the same skills and experience level. That’s why they’ll need to go through a process of elimination.

They’ll all attend a final meeting that’ll help narrow down the options.

How Many Candidates Make It to the Final Interview?

Generally, an employer will choose around two to four candidates for the shortlist. Although, this can change depending on the field and company you’re applying for.

In addition, the number of total applicants will come into play. If there are hundreds of people clamoring for the same position, the list may be a bit longer.

In some cases, the employer can choose up to 10 candidates, but this is unlikely.

All final interview participants have to meet with the hiring manager, face-to-face. So, to make that possible, the number of applicants has to stay under 10.

Who Conducts a Final Interview?

There are a couple of different people with the qualifications to hold a final interview. That includes the hiring manager and a few executives.

Who conducts the meeting will depend on the level of the position you’re applying for.

Hiring managers will take the lead in most of the interview process. This person is responsible for choosing new employees for different roles.

Although, when it comes to the final meeting, chances are you’ll sit with an executive. If the company is small, you may even get an interview with the CEO.

On rare occasions, a panel will conduct the final interview. That’s a group of executives that’ll judge how well you’ll fit in with the company culture.

What to Expect During a Final Interview

With the basics of final interviews out of the way, let’s take a look at what the process entails.

How Long Is a Final Interview?

More often than not, a final round interview will be slightly shorter than a traditional one. This is because the interviewer won’t waste time with basic queries.

Instead, they’ll get straight to the point and ask pertinent, thoughtful questions.

For that reason, expect the event to last anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. That will depend on your rapport with the interviewer and how prepared you are.

Sample Final Interview Questions

Final interviews will change based on the company and the interviewer. Although there are a few standard questions specific to final interviews.

For example:

  • What can we do as a company to improve workflow?
  • What do you think would be the biggest challenge you face if you get the job?
  • Tell me about a situation where you handled a tough client or customer
  • Do you think that quality trumps quantity in a work environment?
  • Do you work well in a group of your peers?
  • How do you stay motivated through tough times?

After the interviewer reads through all their questions, you can move on to some of your own. Don’t be shy to ask about different aspects of the job offer.

That includes inquiring about the salary and working hours.

How to Prepare for Your Final Interview

There are a few ways to prepare for a final meeting. First off, you’ll need to reflect on the first round of interviews.

Take a moment to recall what type of questions the employer asked. This will help you predict the overall tone of the meeting.

Remember, just because you answered an interview question once doesn’t mean it’s over. An interviewer may repeat queries to ensure that your replies stay consistent.

Other than that, you’ll need to do a lot more research. Begin by reviewing all the information you have on the company.

Then, contact the HR department and ask them who’ll conduct the meeting. After that, try to find as much data on the interviewer as possible.

Doing so will lead to reduced stress levels. That means you’ll have a better chance of acing the meeting.

Once that’s done, you can figure out the appropriate job interview attire. Formal wear is most likely the right way to go.

How to Succeed in a Final Interview

Succeeding in a final interview can be quite a challenge. Luckily, there are plenty of tips and tricks you can use to stand out.

Right off the bat, your attitude and behavior are crucial. The best way to make a good first impression is to have a friendly rapport with the interviewer.

So, be sure to greet them with a firm handshake and a subtle, inviting smile. Then, talk them through the previous interviews you had with the company.

It may also be a good idea to talk about what you like about the job you’re applying for.

Besides that, don’t be shy about sharing. In fact, it’s best to add any details that you may have forgotten to mention in previous interviews.

In addition, ask all the questions you have about the job description and the hiring process.

Finally, you need to project a ton of confidence. To do that, focus on eye contact and hand gestures.

What to Do After a Final Interview

Once the final meeting is over, it’s customary to reach out to the examiner. For that reason, send them a thank you email within 24 hours of the interview.

After that, the hiring manager will consider all the candidates. They’ll compare all their skill levels, behavior, qualifications, and experience.  

This final interview elimination process can take anywhere from a couple of days to a week.

So, don’t expect to hear back right away. Instead, wait about five business days before you reach out to the hiring manager.

You can do that by sending them an email or giving them a call. Either way, start by thanking them for their time before asking about the position.

Once the conversation starts, you may need to remind the interviewer who you are. The easiest way to do that is by mentioning a conversation you had during the meeting.

While you’re talking, make sure you’re as polite as possible. However, that doesn’t mean applicants should dance around the issue.

It’s best if you’re direct and get straight to the point. Restate your interest in the position and ask if they filled the vacancy.  

How Do You Know You Got the Job After the Final Interview?

There are many indicators that will signal you got the job. Typically, an HR representative will contact you and deliver the good news in person.

Then, they’ll discuss any information that you need to know before you start working.

Other than that, the company may send you a contract straight away. This is less likely than an HR call, but it does happen.

That’s why you need to keep a close eye on your phone and email.

Once you get the call, you’ll have a couple of days to decide how you want to proceed.

Occasionally, the interviewer will offer you the job right on the spot. Although, because of how rare that is, it’s best not to depend on that happening.

Wrapping Up

A final interview can be a daunting experience. That’s why it’s best to be aware of a few factors.

For starters, this meeting is almost identical to a traditional interview. The main difference is in the type of questions you can expect.

For example, the interviewer may ask you how well you work with others.

Other than that, you should know that a final interview can last anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes.

Once the interview is over, you’ll need to wait about a week before finding out if you got the job.

If you have any more final interview questions, be sure to leave a comment.

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