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25 Final Interview Questions to Prepare For

By Biron Clark

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Congratulations — you’ve made it to the last stage of the hiring process: the final interview. While you’re probably thrilled to be near the end, it’s important to prepare for your last interview just like you did for every other stage, from resume submission to earlier interviews. 

Your final interview is your last chance to highlight why you’re the perfect person to fill the role. In preparation, ponder all the steps you’ve gone through to arrive here. Consider the questions the hiring team previously asked and how you responded. Plan to build on those discussions as you enter your final round of questions.

If you handle the final interview successfully, you just might receive a new job offer. Stay the course and keep these questions in mind as you begin the interview preparation process.

If you’re preparing for a final-round job interview, this article will help immediately.

We’re going to look at three critical factors:

  • The top 25 final job interview questions to know
  • Steps for how to prepare for a final interview and what to expect overall
  • My #1 little-known tip for how to succeed in a final interview (based on my experience as a recruiter)

Let’s get started…

What Is a Final Interview?

A final interview is the company’s last step in the hiring process. Typically, candidates invited to a final interview will meet with members of senior management, such as a vice president of the department or even the company’s C-level executives.  While meeting with senior leadership may be anxiety-inducing, building a rapport with them is essential, as they’re often the final decision-makers for a role.

Your initial interviews with hiring managers likely focused on your skills and qualifications for the role. You probably spoke at length about your education and varying experiences in similar positions you held.  A final interview usually takes a different path. You probably won’t encounter specific questions about your capabilities and skill set. Instead, the interviewer will concentrate on your future objectives and goals in your career. They’ll also assess your fit in the company’s culture, so you should anticipate behavioral questions.

Watch: Common Final Round Job Interview Questions

25 Common Final Round Job Interview Questions and Answers

1. Tell Me About Yourself

Even if you’ve been asked this already in the interview process, you can expect to hear it again in the last round… especially if it’s a final round interview with the CEO or other Executive. So this is your chance to impress them with a clear, concise answer that shows off your background but also your communication skills. I’d recommend keeping your answer to around 60 seconds and focusing on your recent career story: moves you’ve made, key accomplishments, and ideally, end with why you applied for this job or what you’re hoping to do next!

Read more about this interview question here.

2. What are you passionate about?

This is another final round interview question designed to dig deeper into who you are as a person and what type of worker you’ll be if hired. There isn’t one “right” answer here, but you do want to be ready to talk about something specific. When I recruited software engineers, some would say they were passionate about making a difference in the world or joining companies that were mission-oriented (usually some type of social mission). But others just said they want to tackle complex technical challenges and advance their skills. They loved facing tough problems as a programmer. One of these answers isn’t “better” than the other. The key is to share something that’s true so the interviewer can see the passion in you and believe your answer! Don’t fake it, but do take time to think about how you’ll respond so that you’re not caught without something to say!

Read more about this interview question here.

3. What motivates you?

This question is similar to the one above. Essentially, the employer wants to know that you’re motivated by something other than money. We all work for a paycheck. They know this. However, workers who also enjoy the work for other reasons are going to be more resilient, more likely to overcome struggles at work rather than quitting, etc. So this is something a hiring manager will look for and ask questions about… especially in a final job interview. As with the question above, there isn’t one best answer. You can give a variety of reasons you come to work each day — from wanting to make a difference/impact in the world to simply liking the challenges that work provides. You can name many other things too. For example, you could say you enjoy being part of a team and contributing to a team’s effort.

Read more about this interview question with example answers here.

4. What interested you about our position?

You’re likely to hear this as a first interview or phone interview question, but you may also be asked about this in your final round interview… especially if it’s with a new person! So to succeed in the final interview, go back and review what caught your interest initially and why the role and company excite you. If you can explain this to an Executive or CEO in detail and with excitement, it could set you apart from other candidates and be the difference that gets you hired.

Read more about this interview question here.

5. What do you know about our company?

This might not be what you first think of when brainstorming final interview questions to prepare for, but it is something that you could be asked! If it’s a good interviewer, they won’t ask quite this bluntly, but they’re still likely to ask in some form or another. For example, they may ask, “What have you learned about our company so far, and what do you think of what we do?” So you absolutely should be ready to talk about what you’ve learned from researching the company and from hearing about the company in previous interviews. (And what you’ve learned from asking questions, which you should be doing in every single job interview. If you need help, then here are 26 unique questions to ask employers.

Read more: Sample answers to “What do you know about the company?”

6. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Any employer or hiring manager will want to make sure their position fits your general long-term career goals before hiring you. (Even after they’ve established that you can do the job!) Why? Because they want someone who is going to stay with the company long-term and be a good “investment” (it costs them money to hire and train new people, and it takes a while for you to start producing at a high level). So, “where do you see yourself in five years” is among the most common final job interview questions asked by CEOs and other Executives. They may also ask, “What are your career goals?” You’ll notice a common theme among many final-round interview questions with CEOs or other high-level managers — they want to determine a cultural fit before signing off on hiring you. For this particular question, give an answer that is realistic but also slightly ambitious. You don’t want to say, “I see myself in the exact same position in five years.” And most importantly, name a goal that is consistent with the job you’re interviewing for! You want to be able to show how this job fits your long-term goals in your career so that they’ll feel confident that you’ll enjoy the job and stay for a few years! This will help you get the job.

Read more about answering “Where do you see yourself in five years?” here.

7. What did you like most and least about your last job?

As with the question above, employers also ask this to determine if you’ll enjoy their job and company, and stay long-term. This is a common theme in terms of what you should expect in a final interview. You may have already proven that you can handle the job, so now they’re going to be looking for proof that you want the job, which is different! So be ready to give an assessment of what you enjoyed and didn’t enjoy in your last organization, and make sure that you’re providing them with clear evidence that suggests you’d enjoy this company!

Read more about this interview question here.

8. What sets you apart from other candidates?

The interviewer may also ask if there’s anything unique about you or anything that sets you apart. So think ahead of time — what do you bring to this position that others can’t? Consider past experiences, degrees and certifications, key accomplishments, and more. You could even use this to turn a possible weakness into a strength. For example, maybe you’re coming from a different industry than most candidates. You could say, “Well, coming from the ___ industry, I think I have a deeper understanding of ___ than some other candidates, and I’m confident I could use this to help the company do ___.” Some employers LOVE the idea of getting a fresh perspective or a fresh set of eyes on the work they’re doing. So if you have a slightly different background than the “normal” candidate, don’t assume it’s a weakness. And this job interview question is a chance to show it off.  You don’t have to answer in this way, though. You could mention a particular reason you’re passionate about this field of work, too.

Read more, including sample answers to this question, here.

9. Do you have other interviews happening?

Next up in your late-stage or final-stage interview, they may ask questions about your job search overall. They may ask where else you’re interviewing, whether you’re expecting other job offers, etc. If you’re interested in this company and do expect other offers, it’s okay to tell them. This gives them the chance to move through their interview process faster so they don’t lose you! However, if you’re not expecting other offers, don’t lie. It’s not worth it — lies lead to more lies and can get you into trouble! So it’s always better to answer interview questions truthfully when you can. And in this case, you certainly can just say, “I’m speaking to a few companies, and things are moving well so far, but I’m not expecting any other offers at this point.” That may be a bit of a white lie, depending on what else you have going on, but that’s alright. Just don’t say you have job offers if you don’t! That’s rarely the best idea. You may also hear variations of this question, like, “Are you expecting other job offers?” That’s usually a very positive sign that your interview went well.

Read more about this interview question here.

10. What is your desired salary?

If this is asked in a first interview, I usually tell candidates to be careful about revealing a number too soon! (And I explain why in this article). However, if a hiring manager or other member of senior management asks this in a final interview, it’s time to name your number! Do your research before the interview, and then confidently tell them what you are hoping to earn! Also, end your response by flipping the question on them and say, “Does that fit what you were hoping to pay? And what type of general budget have you set for the position?” This is certainly an appropriate question to ask after responding to any interview questions about salary expectations.

Read more about this interview question here.

11. Do you want to tell us anything else about you?

Finally, as a final-round candidate, you can expect the interviewers to give you a chance to share anything else you wanted to mention. And if not, you can still conclude any of your interviews by saying, “If it’s alright with you, there’s one more idea that came to mind, that I was hoping to share.” So you should NEVER be afraid to speak up if there’s something you wish you had mentioned in your interview. It could be something they misunderstood on your resume, something you already talked about but could have explained better, etc. You can also follow up later if you forgot to mention something or forgot to ask a question in the interview.

The bottom line here is: You don’t need to share more here. If you think you already showed the hiring team why you’re a great candidate for the role and don’t want to add more, then simply say, “I think we’ve covered the important topics! Thank you for asking, though.”

Read more about this interview question here.

12. Tell Us About a Time You Found It Difficult to Work with Someone

Perhaps you didn’t agree with a colleague or found it difficult to get along with them. While you certainly can’t please everyone, you need to keep a decent working relationship that allows you to fulfill your duties to the organization. When answering this question, think about a situation you encountered where you were able to work through differences with a colleague and achieve a positive outcome.

Read more about this interview question here

13. Tell Us About a Time You Failed  

Everyone experiences failure at some point in their lives. If your interviewer asks this question, they want to know how you handle setbacks and whether you take action to fix them. 

Ideally, you don’t want to emphasize major failures that led to severe repercussions. Instead, focus on a miscalculation you successfully overcame. You’ll also want to describe what you learned from your failure.

Read more about this interview question here

14. What Is Your Leadership Experience?

If you’re interviewing for a new supervisory or managerial role but don’t have specific experience overseeing a team, your interviewer may wonder whether you’re ready for leadership. Demonstrate that you’re fully capable of managing people. Discuss when you oversaw a task at work or served in a leadership role in a volunteer setting. Describe how you motivated your team to accomplish an objective and the process you undertook.

Read more about this interview question here

15. What Can You Bring to the Company?

With this question, the interviewer wants to know what sets you apart from others who want the role. You probably have similar skills and education to other candidates, so you’ll want to highlight something unique that adds value to the organization. For instance, if you come from a diverse background, you might highlight how your experiences motivated you to overcome adversity and work toward your goals.

Read more about this interview question here

16. When Would You Be Able to Start?

An interviewer may have a timeline they’re seeking to follow. If you’re currently employed, indicate that you’ll need to give your employer the appropriate notice before you can begin, which is usually two weeks. Tell the employer you can start immediately if you’re not currently working. Your availability may be attractive, especially if the hiring manager needs to fill the role as soon as possible.

Read more about this interview question here

17. What Work Environment Do You Prefer?

Hiring managers who ask this question want to ensure you’ll feel comfortable working in their preferred environment, whether in an office or remotely. You probably have some knowledge about the company’s working environment from your initial interviews and the job description.  Frame your answer to align well with the company’s expectations. For instance, if the job is hybrid, you’ll want to indicate that you feel comfortable in an office and working from home.

Read more about this interview question here

18. How Do You Handle Stress?

Interviewers ask this behavioral question to understand how you respond to workplace pressure. If the job has many deadlines or responsibilities, your interviewer wants to ensure you’ll feel comfortable managing expectations without falling prey to burnout. Describe when you were pressured to meet an objective and handled it successfully. Perhaps you organized the goal into specific tasks and methodically completed each to reach a tight deadline.

Read more about this interview question here

19. What Is Your Greatest Strength?

Perhaps you have fantastic communication skills or consider yourself an excellent problem solver. Whatever your strengths are, you’ll want to correlate them with the position you’re interviewing for.  If you’re interviewing for a job as a marketing manager, you might emphasize your creativity and interpersonal skills. Those strengths benefit the role and highlight how you’re a good fit.

Read more about this interview question here

20. How Would Your Coworkers Describe You?

Interviewers ask this behavioral question to understand how you’ll fit into their working environment. They want to see that you can collaborate and reflect on how your actions impact your team. The key to answering this question is knowing how the company will expect you to interact with other team members. For instance, if you’re interviewing for a managerial position, you might describe yourself as fair and objective, which are sought-after leadership traits.

Read more about this interview question here

21. Tell Us About a Time You Went Above and Beyond

Interviewers who ask this question are giving you an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your work ethic. Think about a time when you had to work extra hours or take on duties that weren’t your typical responsibility to meet organizational objectives.  For instance, you might describe how you worked tirelessly through the weekend to meet a deadline or took on a coworker’s duties when they fell unexpectedly ill.

Read more about this interview question here

22. What Are Your Career Goals?

The position you are interviewing for might be the perfect springboard for you to expand your skill set and enhance your experience. You’ll want to describe your career goals over the next five or ten years, but ensure you associate them with the role.  For instance, if you’re interviewing for a senior accountant position, you might describe how you hope to eventually obtain a manager or controller role.

Read more about this interview question here

23. What Is Your Greatest Weakness?

Don’t let this common question catch you off guard. Demonstrate self-awareness by identifying a trait or two that you struggle with and how you’re working to overcome them.  For example, maybe you’re a naturally shy person, and small talk doesn’t come easily to you. You might describe how you’ve joined a local networking club to build up your social skills and meet more people in your profession.

24. Are You Open to Remote Work?

When you first applied for the role you’re interviewing for, you likely noted whether it was a remote, hybrid, or in-person role. If the job includes some remote work, you’ll need to handle it from the comfort of your home office. Tell the interviewer of any prior remote work experience you have. For example, if your previous workplace moved online during the COVID-19 pandemic, describe how you attended virtual meetings and collaborated with colleagues using tools like Slack or Teams.

Read more about this interview question here

25. What Should I Know That’s Not on Your Resume?

Interviewers who ask this question allow you to highlight your personal achievements that aren’t necessarily work-related. In your answer, you’ll want to highlight any hobbies or special activities you enjoy outside your job. Think about clubs you’re part of or projects you’re working on. You can also note any certifications related to the position you’re working toward. For instance, you might note a new programming language you’re learning if you’re a software developer.

Getting Prepared: What to Expect in a Final Interview

In your final interview, you should expect broader, higher-level questions about your career history, your interests, what motivates you, and why you are interested in this particular job and company. It’s likely that the hiring team established that you can perform the job in a previous interview, so this final stage job interview is more about seeing whether you’re a cultural fit and someone they want to work with! And a final interview is usually with a member of senior management such as a Director, an Executive, or the CEO. You’re more likely to talk to the CEO in a smaller company, whereas in a larger company, you can expect your final interview to be with a Director, Executive, etc. If you’re interviewing for a lower-level position (for example, an entry-level role), your final interview may just be with the hiring manager — e.g. the person who would be your direct boss if you’re hired.

Is a Final Interview Just a Formality?

A final round interview is not just a formality. Employers often have multiple final-round candidates they are considering for the job, and your answers in the final interview may determine who gets the position. You should take your final interview seriously and assume that the job offer is at stake, whether you’re talking to the CEO, another Executive, or the hiring manager.

Bonus Final Interview Tip: High-Level Managers Care About High-Level Results

Now that you know 11 of the most common final job interview questions and what to expect in a final interview overall, there’s one more important tip you should know… If you’re talking to a CEO or Executive, they care about the big picture and big results. So they’re not the person to talk about nitty-gritty details with (unless they directly ask). Try to talk about the broader impact that your work will have. How will you help their company or department grow, earn money, save money, etc.? For example, if you’re interviewing for a Social Media Manager position, the CEO of the company does NOT care about earning new followers, getting more likes on a post, getting more retweets, or any of that. They care about bringing new leads and customers into the business, increasing revenue or profit, etc. So the more you can talk about those high-level results when interviewing for jobs, the better. This is true in general when job interviewing but becomes more important when you’re talking to higher-level people in the organization.

Conclusion

If you have read everything above, you now know how to succeed in final-round interviews. You know what employers are looking for, the common final interview questions to prepare for, and mistakes to avoid. As a next step, I recommend you practice your answers at home and also prepare at least two good questions to ask about the job or company. Also, review your resume and the topics you’ve discussed in previous interview rounds. If you’re talking with someone new, they may repeat questions you’ve heard and all previous topics are fair game! If you struggled with a question or topic in the past, brush up on it! If the HR team and hiring manager both asked something, then a CEO might care about that same topic, too. This is your chance to tighten up any weaknesses and practice anything you didn’t do a great job of explaining previously!

If you follow these tips, you’ll perform better in your final interview and get hired for better jobs!


Biron Clark

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3 thoughts on “25 Final Interview Questions to Prepare For”

  1. Hi Biron,
    Thanks for sharing. I have a question related to after a good interview but didn’t get an offer, is it appropriate to ask for the reason why and honest feedback?
    Thanks

    • Hi Biron,
      I did send an email using your template as a guide to asking for feedback. I got a response from the hiring manager with great feedback, confirming what I thought was a wrong answer to a question by one of the interviewers. Do you think they will hold that against me if I applied next time around? I am going to sharpen my skills in the subject to have a deeper understanding.
      Thank you,

      Gary

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