The last step is often the most difficult one.
You have made it to the final interview. You have proven to the employer that you meet all requirements for the job. No more personality or IQ tests, no more screening or technical interview questions, no more HR generalists.
The final interview is all about behavioral questions, and relationship building with the decision maker–one of the most important persons in the company, a person who will decide the final outcome of your interview.
The questions will target mostly your background, various work-related situations you experienced in the past, projects you worked on, and your soft skills.
Typically you will compete with a few shortlisted applicants in a final interview–the rest has already been screened out, sent home, eliminated…
The behavioral questions
- Describe a situation when you were under pressure in work. (How did you handle the pressure, how did it affect your performance in work, how did you manage the situation, etc.)
- Describe a conflict you had with your colleague. (Why did the conflict erupt, what did you do to sort it out, how did the conflict affect your relationship with that particular colleague, etc.)
- Describe a situation when you went above and beyond with your service (for the customer, for the colleague, for anyone in work). (Why did you decide to go above and beyond for them, how did you feel about doing that, what was their reaction, etc.)
- Describe a situation when you had to motivate someone in work (your colleague, your subordinate, or even your superior). (How did you manage to find the right way to motivate them, what was the most crucial thing you did to motivate them, etc.)
- Describe a situation when you did not agree with the opinion (or decision) of your superior or supervisor, and knew that they were wrong. (How did you handle the situation, did you discuss it with them, what did you do at the end, etc.)
- Describe a situation when you faced a particularly demanding problem or challenge in your personal life. (How did the problem affect you in your job? Did your motivation drop? Did you manage to separate your personal and professional life?)
- Describe a time when you struggled with motivation in your job? (Was it repetitive, did you struggle to enjoy your duties, was there any problem with the work you had to do, how did you overcome the crisis, etc.)
- Describe the biggest failure of your professional career. (What led you to this failure, how do you see it now, after some time has passed, what have you learned from your failures, etc.)
The logic of behavioral questions is simple: if you acted in a certain way before (in a conflict situation, under pressure, experiencing problem in your personal life, etc), you will likely act in a similar way in the future.
Your answers to behavioral questions do also reveal a lot about your motivation, and attitude to work and to other people who share the workplace with you.
On the top of that, interviewers try to understand your way of thinking, your leadership philosophy, and basically how you will conduct yourself in the job.
Other questions for your final interview
Apart from the behavioral questions, they can also use some other questions, such as:
How do you imagine a typical day in work?
They try to understand if your idea of a job matches the reality, if you understand what is expected from you, if you are ready to do it on a daily basis.
The right answer to this question should reflect the reality. You should find enough information about the job on the website of the company, or directly on the job description.
Speak about your duties with enthusiasm. Show them that you are looking forward to do the job, that you are eager to start.
What do you consider your main goal on this position?
Try to answer it from the point of view of the employer. Your goal should be to help the company, and the exact definition of this goal depends on the role you apply for.
It can be to increase the sales volume (sales manager, or sales rep position), to improve the production processes (process manager, system analyst), to lift the profits (CTO, company management, accountant), to make your boss feel good and productive (secretary, administrative and office assistant), or it can be something completely different.
They key is to show them that you think about their goals, and do not look only on your own career, and things you want to achieve in life.
What do you think about… (some innovations, industry news, etc.)
Companies typically want to hire people who are truly interested in their business, and know a thing or two about their industry.
Check the latest industry news before you go for your final interview, and learn more about the product portfolio of the company. Check their own news and successes (their social media accounts and their website will help you to find more about them).
Once again, your attitude matters the most. Show them that you care, and do your best to stay on the top of the game–with your knowledge and skills.
Answers to behavioral questions
- Describe a situation when you went above and beyond with your service (for the customer, for the colleague, for anyone in work)
- Describe a situation when you had to motivate someone in work (your colleague, your subordinate, your superior, or even yourself)
Many job seekers struggle with their answers to behavioral questions. They will eventually end up rejected in the final interview, just because they can not answer these questions in a correct way.
They do not know how to present the right attitudes in the interview.
Do you find yourself in the same boat?
If you would like to see an analysis and brilliant answers to fifteen most common behavioral interview questions, you can find them in our Interview Success Package, a special product which I designed to help all responsible job seekers, people who want to do more than their competitors do, while preparing for their final interview.
Thank you for checking it out, and see you in an interview!