How do you close a job interview? If you’re like many people, you don’t give it much thought during your interview preparation. Maybe you bring a few questions for the hiring manager, practice your handshake and “hire me” smile, and plan to make a graceful escape.
If so, you’re missing out on a big opportunity. First impressions are important, but when it comes to job interviews, last impressions are also a pretty big deal. They’re your final chance to make sure the hiring manager knows that you’re the best candidate for the job. Play your cards right, and you might even use those last moments to score a job offer.
The Best Ways to End a Job Interview
Confirm Your Interest in the Job
The closing of an interview is a great opportunity to express your enthusiasm for the job. One way to do this is to explain how the interview has confirmed your interest in the position.
I've really appreciated the opportunity to learn more about this job. Hearing about the cutting-edge technology that your firm employs and the new products in the pipeline has definitely enhanced my desire to take a leadership role with your project team.
Ask for the Job
If you are sure you want the job after the interview, do what any good salesperson does at the end of a meeting and ask for the job, albeit tactfully.
I want you to know that I am very interested in carrying out this role for your firm, and do hope that you will be extending an offer or offering me a spot in the next round of interviews. Please let me know if you have any further questions for me going forward.
Remind the Interviewer That You’re Qualified
The end of your interview also is an opportunity to reiterate why the position fits your skills and is a good match given your assets as a candidate.
In closing, it seems to me that the position is a great fit. I look forward to using my advanced cloud computing skills, expertise in project management, and ability to bring in projects on time.
Have Something to Add
In addition to preparing your own statements, be prepared for questions too. Interviewers often will ask if you have anything to add at the end of your interview. You should enter the interview with a mental list of several strengths in your background that would enable you to excel in the job.
Be ready to share any of the assets that you haven't had the chance to convey during your meeting. You can offer any additional information in combination with a summary statement about your overall fit.
I have addressed how I might apply my writing and research skills, but I would like to add that I have planned a variety of very successful publicity events as part of new product introductions.
Ask What Happens Next
Before leaving the interview, make sure you know what to expect from that point on with the hiring process. Ask about the timeframe for finalizing their decision and if there would be any other layers of interviewing so you can plan any follow-up communications.
Thank you again for speaking with me today. Can you tell me about the next steps in the process? I’m happy to send you any additional information you might need.
What to Do After You Leave the Interview
Send a Thank-You Email
How important is are thank-you notes? Very. In a survey from TopResume, 1 in 5 hiring managers said that they’d passed on a candidate because they didn’t receive a thank-you note or email after a job interview.
To make the biggest, most positive impact, use the immediacy of email to your advantage. Send a thank-you email within 24 hours and be sure to include (or write separate notes) to each member of the hiring team.
Follow Up—But Don’t Stalk
If you have a time frame for when the hiring manager will get back to you, follow up soon after that point. For example, if they say that they’ll be inviting candidates for a second round of interviews within the next two weeks, it’s fine to send a follow-up email to check in after the two weeks are up.
If the interviewer did not provide a time frame, follow up in a week or two.
After that … let it go. Repeated contacts won’t help your case and might annoy the hiring manager. Plus, a longer wait doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re out of the running. Many organizations take quite some time to come to a hiring decision.
Don’t Pause Your Job Search
Most importantly, do not stop searching for jobs, even if the interview went exceptionally well. Remember the old adage about putting all your eggs in one basket (and don’t).
Use the Close of a Job Interview as an Opportunity: Remind the hiring manager of your qualifications, mention anything you forgot to stress during the conversation, and close by asking about next steps.
Consider Asking for the Job: Done tactfully, this method can help you seal the deal right on the spot.
Follow Up the Right Way: Send a thank-you note and follow up after an appropriate interview.
Don’t Stop Job Searching: No matter how well things go, don’t pause your search until you have a solid offer in hand.