Before your final interview, you’ll likely have been through a phone screen and potentially a more formal in-person interview. Your final job interview is your last chance to impress a hiring manager and/or members of a search committee before they make their choice between you and a small group of other top candidates.
Who you’ll interview with depends on the level of the job or the size of the company. You may be interviewing with someone you’ve had previous interviews with, senior management, or even the CEO if it’s a small company.
At this stage, it’s important to strike the right balance between confidence and humility. You should congratulate yourself on having made it here, but do not assume you have the job yet. Don’t let your guard down or act too comfortable. Approach each conversation with the same degree of professionalism you relied on to get this far.
1. Research the company and your interviewers
2. Practice your answers to common interview questions
3. Study the job description
4. Answer questions using the STAR method
5. Recruit a friend to practice answering questions
6. Be prepared with examples of your work
7. Plan your interview attire the night before
8. Prepare smart questions for your interviews
9. Bring copies of your resume, a notebook and pen
10. Tie your answers back to your skills and accomplishments
How to prepare for your final interview
Before your final interview, think back on your earlier interviews and re-read the job description. If you’re talking to the same person, they may want you to elaborate on an answer you gave earlier. If you’re talking to someone new, it can help to fill them in on what you’ve shared in your other conversations.
Show your knowledge
At this point, you need to demonstrate that you’ve thoughtfully considered what it would really be like to work in this job and at this company. From your previous interviews, reflect on what your day-to-day would look like in this role. What questions would you have on the first day? In the first month? These are good starting points for questions you may want to ask your interviewers.
If there is an answer you want to modify from a previous interview, this may be your chance to offer a different perspective or additional information. Identify new anecdotes based on the skillset you know they’re looking for. This can demonstrate your focus and continued attention to detail.
Get a full night’s sleep before your interview
Some final round interviews are drawn out over several hours as you meet with different people in the company. You must keep your energy level high in each conversation. Remember that it’s ok to ask for restroom breaks or a drink of water between interviews.
Hiring decisions are made differently at various companies, and you don’t know who on the interview committee may be able to veto a decision to hire you. Treat everyone with the utmost respect, and don’t let your stamina drop as the day goes on.
If you’ve gotten to this stage, you already know the following things are important. Still, don’t forget to:
As you head into your final interview, take a deep breath. Your preparation has paid off so far and by thoughtfully engaging your interviewers in this last conversation, you will continue to excel.
For more advice on your job search from start to finish, check out The Essential Job Search Guide.