Many job seekers heave a sigh of relief when the in-person interview is over. You’ve done it! Whatever happens, the rest is now out of your hands. As long as you can stand up, shake the person’s hand, and walk out of the room without falling over, you’re good. Right?
Well … Regardless of whether you’re looking to work in sales or not, you are selling yourself at every stage of the job acquisition process. What is an interview, really? It’s your sales pitch to someone saying, “Here’s why you should hire me.” There aren’t many instances where you walk into a hiring manager conversation knowing you already have the position. A salesperson needs to have a strong close to her/his pitch to land the deal; you need to have a strong interview close to land the offer.
Picture this: you’re all done, and the interviewer explains what’s going to happen next, how long it will take, and that she/he will “be in touch.” Then that person asks, “Do you have any more questions?”
Close the Interview with the Right Question
Most people know that they should bring thoughtful questions to an interview. If you do your research, read up on the company and the interviewer(s), and study the job description, you certainly should have questions to ask. But you should always keep the most critical question for the very end: “Is there any reason not to move forward here? I want this job.”
Deliver this closing in your own way, of course. There’s no perfect final question, and you have to go with something that sounds natural and feels comfortable. In fact, you should practice beforehand, either alone or with someone else, so that you can find the language that suits you best.
The ultimate goal when closing the interview is not just to demonstrate your significant interest in the position. What you are truly doing here is making a strategic move to garner some control during the interview process. If you let the interviewer tell you what’s going to happen next and how long you might be waiting, and then let that person say to you that she/he will be in touch, you are relinquishing 100% of the control in the process to the interviewer. By closing the interview at the end and posing a question back to the interviewer, you are capturing some of the control in this dynamic, and you are compelling an answer (and some action) from the person who very well may determine whether or not you get hired.
Therefore, you might say something like, “Yes, I do have one more question. Now that I’ve interviewed with you, I am even more interested in this job. What do I need to do to be the person who lands this offer?”
The interviewer may give you a non-committal answer. The company may have other candidates remaining in the pipeline and more interviews to execute. But you can be confident that your closing question will stand out in her/his mind when it comes time to make THE decision, and you can rest assured that you are likely the only person in consideration who CLOSED.
Closing an interview occurs at the end. But there’s a lot more that goes into setting yourself up for a great interview. Read our post next week to learn more.
Or, contact us for help finding your next job and preparing for it like a pro.