Job interviewing often feels like a marathon. You need to go demonstrate the same level of enthusiasm, commitment, and expertise across several interview rounds. A final interview is what stands between you and the finishing line — the coveted job offer.
What Should I Expect in a Final Round Interview?
Usually, you can expect several people present at the final interview — the HR person, your direct manager, and the company CEO (or another senior staff member). Though other combinations are possible of course. At this point, most have already reached some conclusions about you. Now they want to determine your cultural fit and/or compare you against another front-runner. So be ready to razzle-dazzle the panel with your personality and professionalism!
8 Final Interview Questions and Answers
The final round of interview questions differ substantially from the general interview questions, asked during earlier rounds. At this point, the committee will likely focus on your cultural fit, career aspirations, and transition to the company.
You can expect several behavioral interview questions, plus a couple of others directed to assess your personality and future performance.
To help you out, we’ve made a list of most-asked questions for the final interview with sample answers.
1. What Would Be Your First Steps in This New Role?
At the final interview, the employer is seriously considering hiring you. So obviously, they want to understand what things you see as a priority and where you plan to channel your efforts. Your response will obviously depend on your seniority level and the exact role.
Here’s a sample answer that a project manager might give:
“When entering a new project I usually do two things: collect and analyze the available information privately. Then connect with all project stakeholders and team members to understand the current project stage, immediate priorities, and blockers. Usually, I need about two weeks to get a good sense of the work done, planned, and anticipated — and put down the new supervisory plans”.
2. How Do You Usually Build Relationships with a New Team?
It’s not enough to say that you are a “team player” and call it a day. By asking this question, the interviewer prompts you to talk more about your interpersonal skills and perhaps exemplify them with a quick story or two.
“On my first day, I try to come and personally introduce myself to everyone (if we are working on-site) or send a quick video memo via Slack. Then I like casually catching up with team members for lunch — or setting up remote co-working sessions on Zoom, where we work on the same task in parallel for a stretch of time. Then discuss the results.”
3. Have You Previously Experienced Issues with Coworkers? How Did You Deal With Them?
People’s relationships can be intricate, especially at the beginning. Some light workplace conflicts and misunderstandings are inevitable. But the interviewer wants to understand if you can curb any issues early on, plus assess your overall conflict management skills.
“Two years ago, I had a somewhat tense relationship with a new team member. Prior to joining that company, she held a more senior role — but she took a demotion for personal reasons and was not managed by a more junior person (me). So initially there was a bit of a “generational gap” between us. But progressively, I helped her understand that I immensely value her expertise, have no intention to micro-manage her, or otherwise undermine her authority within the group”.
4. How Could We Help You Better Settle in Your New Role?
By posting this question, the interviewer tries to gauge your self-awareness levels. Do you have the emotional intelligence skills to properly articulate your needs? Your answer has to show that indeed you do!
“That’s very kind of you to ask! I’d appreciate it if you could initially help me set up introductions with the senior project stakeholders (as I understand they are quite busy). Also, as I know from the earlier interview rounds — your onboarding program is pretty extensive and covers all bases. Perhaps, the only other thing I could suggest is co-creating a 30 60 90 plan for me. What would you say?”
5. After Learning Everything About The Position, What Makes You Certain That You Want This Job?
This is an iteration of a more standard “why do you want to work here?” interview question you might have replied to at an earlier stage. The interviewer wants to ensure that you understand both the gains and the challenges of this role — and are on board with those.
Learn how to nail the answer to “Why do you want to work here” interview question:
That’s hardly surprising given that the average turnover rate in 2021 was a whopping 57.3%. So many employers want to minimize the risks of churn, especially during the first year.
Here’s an example of a reassuring answer:
“For one, it was really great to meet the team and my direct supervisor. Everyone was very friendly and professional — and I liked Michael’s leadership philosophy a lot. Plus, I’m very excited about collaborating with Jane, as I’ve seen her design work for the Marks & Spencer campaign.
I also understand that the work environment is fast-paced, meaning one needs to stay adaptable. As a former freelancer, I understand the importance of flexibility and good time management skills — and I excel at both”.
6. How Much Time Do You Need For Transitioning?
This question is usually a good sign that a job offer may follow up. Be honest about the time you need. If a standard two-week notice is too short for you (for personal or professional reasons), admit that you’ll need more time to join the team.
You can structure your reply like this:
“To be completely transparent, I’ll need a month to join your team. I’m due to wrap up a major project at my current employer. The last thing I’d want is to announce my departure at this final leg and risk sabotaging the success (and satisfaction for pushing through this) of the entire team.”
7. Are You Interviewing For Other Positions?
By asking this question, the employer tries to understand how much time they have to extend an offer — and how willing you’d be to accept this. Answer this question candidly with a “yes” or “no”. Lying about interviewing for other positions can work against you, especially if you work in an industry where everyone knows one another.
“Though [Company Name] is my prime choice for [your reason], I am indeed keeping my options open. So yes, I have interviewed with several other companies and am currently waiting for an offer from one of them.”
8. What Are Your Salary Expectations for This Role?
A common way to round up the final interview is the “money talk”. At this point, the employer really wants to understand if they can afford you and pitch you their best offer. You are not pressed to give a firm number. The best option is to name an acceptable range. This puts the ball in the employer’s court and allows further negotiations.
“Given my expertise, the role requirements, and average market compensation, I’d say an acceptable salary range for me would be $65K-$80 annually, depending on the other benefits and perks offered.”
Read more about salary negotiations during a job interview.
Bonus: Final Interview Questions to Ask Employer
Remember: an interview is a two-way conversation. You should always end it with some follow-up questions to the employer. In your final round, it makes sense to ask the following questions:
- What is your average timeline for decision-making?
- How soon do you expect me to get started?
- What is your onboarding process like?
- Who will I work with the most closely?
- Which projects would you like me to focus on first if hired?
- What are the key performance expectations for this position in the first 3/6 months?
- Do you have any concerns over my qualifications or employment history?
- Where do you see the company in the next three years?
- What might be my biggest challenges in this position?
- What made earlier employees successful in this role?
- How do you help employees professionally develop in this position?
- Do you need any other information for me before making an offer?
FAQs About Final Interview Round
Below are answers to several more common questions people have around final interviews.
Is a final interview just a formality?
No, in most cases, a final interview isn’t a formality, but rather the last “filter” most employers use to decide on the top contender. Most of the time, at least two candidates make it to the final interview round. Plus, many employers keep more people on the bench in case the final candidate bombs the interview (in some way) or decides to accept a competing offer. Hence, you should treat the final interview as an opportunity to make the final, concluding impression about yourself — and seal the deal.
What are the chances of getting a job after the final interview?
Statistically speaking, 51% of job-seekers receive a job offer after three interviews. This means you have quite a high chance of getting hired after your final interview. Your employer will be likely selecting between you and one other (two at max) candidate. That being said: final interviews can go wrong too (especially if you’ve swept some facts under the rug during the previous rounds). So you should come well-prepared!
What are some good signs you got the job?
Each hiring conversation is highly circumstantial. Some employers don’t give away their decisions that are easy for personal or compliance reasons. Yet, there are several subtle, strong signs that you might be getting the job:
- You’ve discussed your salary and/or relocation possibility (compensation)
- The interviewer complimented your skills, competency, and achievements
- You were asked to share your opinions on the company’s projects
- The interviewer inquired when you can get started
- You were offered to meet the team and supervisors
- Your interview went longer than planned
How long after a final interview should you hear back?
The answer timeline will depend on the company size and hiring process. Many smaller employers, especially startups, make an offer within 24-48 hours after the final interview. Larger enterprises and multinational companies may need 2 weeks or more to get back to you with the hiring decision.
Read a deeper take on how long it takes to hear back from a job application.