Hampstead could have a new town manager by the next council meeting July 11, said Mayor Christopher Nevin.
The council will meet in closed session tonight to interview two candidates for the first time. Two other candidates have returned for second interviews.
About 130 people applied, from New York to South Carolina.
"From the finalists, I don't think the town can lose," Mr. Nevin said. "They're all very strong. There was a good pool of candidates here."
He declined to release the names of those who have applied for the job, which pays $32,000 to $40,000, saying it could jeopardize their current jobs.
From the original applications, the mayor and a small committee chose seven candidates to interview.
The committee was made up of council members Jacqueline Hyatt and Stephen Holland and Richard Matthews, a local businessman and former state delegate.
Mayor Nevin will choose a candidate, and the council must approve the selection.
"The council's been involved in the decision all along," Mr. Nevin said. "There won't be any surprises for them."
The mayor said the vote could be as soon as July 11, but no later than the Aug. 8 council meeting.
John A. Riley retired in March after nearly 11 years as town manager in Hampstead.
During that time, the town has tripled in population to 3,860.
Since Mr. Riley's departure, Assistant Town Manager Len Bohager has been acting manager.
Mr. Bohager's job ends Friday, with the close of the fiscal year.
The town did not keep the assistant manager position in next year's budget. It had been a new position that was added in December.