You made it to the final interview. You have proven to the employer that you meet all job requirements–you convinced them in previous interview rounds. No more personality tests or IQ tests now, no more screening (common) or technical questions.
The last step is often the most difficult one though. The final interview is all about behavioral questions and relationship building. You will meet the decision maker–one of the most important persons in the company. It can be the CEO, or one of the leading figures of the HR department. Or you can interview in front of a panel. One way or another, the people you will meet in the final interview will have the final word.
Their questions will target mostly your professional background, various work-related situations, 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… they are simply out. Let’s have a look at the questions.
Behavioral questions – the core of final interviews
- 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.
- Tell us about a time when you used persuasion to convince someone.
- 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.
- Tell us about a time when you faced an ethical dilemma.
- 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.
- What’s the most competitive situation you’ve ever experienced?
- 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?
- Tell me about a time when you were overwhelmed with work.
- 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.
- ... * If you find the questions difficult, or have no idea what you would say to the hiring managers, have a look at a new eBook I put together for you, Ace Your Behavioral-Based Job Interview. Up to 7 premium answers to 31 tricky behavioral-based questions, including answers for people without previous working experience, will ensure you pass the final hurdle and sign the coveted employment contract. Check the sample answers directly on the eBook page. Thank you!
Logic of behavioral questions
The logic of behavioral interviewing is simple: if you took a particular action in a particular scenario (in a conflict situation, facing pressure, experiencing problem in your personal life, feeling overwhelmed with work, etc), you will likely act in a similar way in the future–should you experience the same situation again.
What’s more, your answers to behavioral questions reveal a lot about your motivation, 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 abilities, and basically what you will do in your new job, when encountering problems.
Other questions for your final interview
They can also ask some other questions than behavioral, making sure that you understand your new role, and what they expect from you in the job. For example the questions below.
How do you imagine a typical day in work?
The right answer to this question should reflect the reality of the job. You should find enough information about the job on the website of the company, or directly on the job description. And you’ve probably learned a lot during the earlier interview rounds.
Speak about your duties with enthusiasm. Show them that you are looking forward to do the work. You should be eager to start. What’s more, do not forget to mention also the less-popular duties. Be it administrative work, answering to emails, business travels, or anything else people typically do not like to do. You should ensure them that you see the complexity of the job, and are ready to take care of less popular tasks.
If we hire you for this job, what goals will you set for yourself?
It can be increasing the sales volume (sales manager, or sales rep position), improving the production processes (process manager, system analyst), raising profits (CTO, company management, accountant), or even helping your boss to be more productive (secretary, administrative and office assistant).
The key is to show them that you think about their goals, and do not look only on your own career, and things that you want to achieve in life, and how this job will help you in them (with the excellent salary you will get each month).
What’s more, by now you should have a good understanding of the job, and hence be able to define some goals you want to achieve. In the worst case, if you really do not know, you can say that you hope to have a constructive discussion with your superiors, who will help you to clearly define the goals for first year at work.
What do you think about… (some innovations, industry news, etc)
Companies want to hire people who are genuinely interested in their business.
Check the latest industry news before you travel to your final interview (or do it online, what can be the case in these pandemic/post-pandemic times).
Try to learn more about the product portfolio of your future employer. Check their social media accounts, find out what’s new.
Your attitude matters the most. As long as they see that you care, that you did your homework and are genuinely interested in their business, they will be satisfied with your answer.
Conclusion and next steps
You won’t compete with many other job seekers in the final interview–that’s good news.
The bad news is that everyone else will try their best to succeed at this point, especially after they have successfully navigated the entire interview process (it could take weeks, and many rounds of interviews, as you have likely experienced personally). There are no B-candidates in a final interview. But who will succeed at the end? What will decide the winner?
Your ability to connect with the people in the room (relationship building), and more importantly, your ability to show the right attitude to various situations that may happen in the workplace (conflict with a colleague, feeling overwhelmed, failing, working on multiple projects at the same time, showing initiative etc), which you will demonstrate with your answers to behavioral questions.
If you aren’t sure how to deal with these questions, or if you remained silent when you heard them in your last job interview, have a look at our eBook, Ace Your Behavioral-Based Job Interview. Up to 7 premium answers to 31 most common behavioral interview question will help you find the right words when it counts the most, and outclass your competitors in the final interview…
Thank you for reading, I wish you good luck in your final interview!
May also interest you:
- Salary negotiation tips – You will talk about salary in almost every final interview. Learn how to negotiate the best possible deal with the employer.
- How to overcome interview nerves – Feeling pressure? Get rid of it and deliver your very best on the big day.