Whether you are new to the job market or a seasoned professional, interviews can be nerve-wracking.
You want to make sure that you are prepared for every step of the process, but sometimes it is hard to tell if an interview is the final round.
There are a few ways to check if an interview is the last round, and knowing this information can help you better prepare for your interviews.
The first way to check if an interview is the last round is by looking at the job posting.
If the posting says that only finalists will be contacted for an interview, then you can be pretty sure that your interview is the last round.
The second way is to look for clues in the questions that are asked.
If the interviewer asks about your availability for a start date or how soon you can relocate, this may be a clue that they are interested in hiring you.
The third way is to pay attention to body language cues.
If the interviewer seems disinterested or rushed, this may be a sign that they are not planning on extending an offer.
The most obvious (but crude) way to check is by asking your interviewer directly.
This can be done at the beginning of the interview or after you have finished answering all of the questions.
Most interviewers will be happy to tell you if this is the last round of interviews or not.
Interviewers may not give you a straight answer when asked directly.
This can be because they haven't made a final selection on who to kick out and who to progress. Or, they could be offering one candidate and keeping another two or three people as a backup (in case their first choice rejects them).
Probe the interviewers for positional clues
Even so, they might give you some positional clues as to whether or not this is the final round of interviews.
To get those positional clues from an interviewer:
- Ask about next steps: At the end of your interview, make sure to ask what the next steps in the process are. If they say something like "we'll be in touch", it's likely that your interview was one of the final rounds.
- Ask if there are any other candidates being interviewed for the position. If you are the last few, there are higher chances that most of your competition has been eliminated. You are the surviving candidate.
- Ask about what the next steps in the hiring process are. Generally if their reply sounds like a dead end, then they are telling you there isn't much else to do but wait for their decision whether to send you an offer or not.
Finally, you can ask around - speak to people you know.
Talk to friends or family who have been through the hiring process before and see if they have any insights into how many rounds of interviews there typically are for a particular company or position.