How Do You Close a Job Interview?
(Part 1 of 3)
Last impressions last!
Like most of us, you might not give the closing much thought during your preparation. You pick out the just right things to wear, you have a few good questions ready to ask, and maybe you even rehearse responses to anticipated questions. But do you assume the interviewer will handle the closing? Your plan is to say thank you and to make a quick exit?
If this is your strategy, you may lose out on whatever would have come next, including the offer. The interviewer will remember how you close your interview at least as much as the first impression, and maybe even more.
We assume you have already asked opportunity-specific questions. Why is it now important to ask closing questions?
Why Prepare Closing Questions
Differentiate yourself from other candidates under consideration
- Once the interview starts winding down, there’s a sense of relief and desire to escape as quickly as possible.
Reinforce your continued interest in the opportunity.
- If you don’t ask, the interviewer may assume you lack interest and eliminate you from further consideration.
Lessen the interviewer’s ability to make assumptions.
- If the interviewer is missing or misunderstanding something about you, they may remain quiet and reach a wrong conclusion about you.
Provide a follow-up strategy.
- Learn the employer’s preferred timing and best approach for following up.
Give yourself peace of mind.
- After an interview, self-doubt tends to fill our head with negative thoughts. Knowing what’s next and when it will happen helps to quiet the chatter.
Questions and Phrasing Options
Here are two questions, with some phrasing options, to ask at the end of the interview:
1. Is there anything you’ve heard from other candidates that you are considering that you haven’t heard from me?
- Have I answered all of your questions?
- Is there any additional information about my background or qualifications you’d like for me to provide?
- I would like to clarify any doubts now that may affect my chances of getting this job. Is there any reason why my application may not progress to the next step?
When asking one of the above questions, be sure you ask conveying sincerity and confidence. Make sure the question you choose fits the temperament of the interviewer – not too bold, not too soft, but just right.
If the interview is concluding and you ask only one question, always make it this next one (for all the reasons we’ve discussed).
2. What is the next step in the selection process?
- I am truly excited about this position. So, what’s next?
- Will you tell me about next steps in the selection process?
- What is your timeline for making a decision? With that in mind, when should I plan to follow-up?
- When may I expect to hear your decision?
Asking these two closing questions will help you make a lasting impression with the interviewer. You will improve your chance of moving to the next step in the selection process—or to receive an offer for the position!