Food for thought Opinion Strategy

Top 3 ways to close an interview

ABC. Always Be Closing.

Whilst we don’t advise you to go all “Glen­garry Ross” on your Inter­view­er, we do advise that you (gently) push for a close at each stage of the inter­view pro­cess.

Clos­ing” is a term from the world of sales, and refers to push­ing for your desired out­come.

E.g. Joe Sales­man “closes” a deal when Cus­tom­er X decides to place an order.

What is the desired out­come of the inter­view pro­cess, from the Jobseeker’s per­spect­ive?

  • To speak/​meet with and learn more about Com­pany X,
  • Assess if there is a good fit with Com­pany X
  • If yes, get a job offer from Com­pany X

So with regards to an inter­view, by “close” we mean “push for a job offer” — or “push closer to a job offer” — wheth­er by phone, Skype or in-per­son.

Why push for a close?

Push­ing for a close, if you want the role, shows ini­ti­at­ive — which is viewed pos­it­ively, and clearly shows your interest in the pos­i­tion.

It also shows that you value your time; If you don’t push for a close, and you don’t ask “what are next steps?” to get­ting you to that final answer, then you are at the mercy of the great unknown.

A sig­ni­fic­ant per­cent­age of can­did­ates do not do this; they turn up, say good­bye then anxiously wait for their phone or email to ping.

Push­ing for a close will set you apart.

Besides not even think­ing to ask, a com­mon bar­ri­er is not know­ing how to ask.

Here’s our Top 3 Ways to close an interview

1)  Any reser­va­tions?

  • Thank them for the oppor­tun­ity
  • Express your enthu­si­asm for the role and com­pany
  • Sum­mar­ise why you feel you’re a great fit
  • Ask if they have any reser­va­tions or ques­tions about your fit for the role (if they do, answer them)

Example:

Its been won­der­ful meet­ing today, thank you for the oppor­tun­ity. I’m very excited by plans XYZ for the future and this role. I think I’d be a great fit because of my exper­i­ence and skills gained at Com­pan­ies XYZ.

Do you have any reser­va­tions about me with regards to this role?”

If yes, answer them ideally with examples and then ask “what are next steps? And when will I hear from you?”

2)  Are you happy to move for­ward?

  • Thank them for the oppor­tun­ity
  • Express your enthu­si­asm for the role and com­pany
  • Sum­mar­ise why you feel you’re a great fit
  • Ask “are they happy to offer the role/​move things for­ward?”

Example:

Its been won­der­ful meet­ing today, thank you for the oppor­tun­ity. I’m very excited by plans XYZ for the future and this role. I think I’d be a great fit because of my exper­i­ence and skills gained at Com­pan­ies XYZ.

I want this role and would love to know if you are happy to move things forward/​offer me the pos­i­tion?”

This one is more dar­ing as it is very dir­ect and you are expli­cit about your interest — yet still leaves some room for an objec­tion, which you could then deal with.

Then ask “what are next steps? And when will I hear from you?”

3)  Fur­ther inform­a­tion?

  • Thank them for the oppor­tun­ity
  • Express your enthu­si­asm for the role and com­pany
  • Sum­mar­ise why you feel you’re a great fit
  • Ask if you can provide any fur­ther inform­a­tion to help make decision

Example:

Its been won­der­ful meet­ing today, thank you for the oppor­tun­ity. I’m very excited by plans XYZ for the future and this role. I think I’d be a great fit because of my exper­i­ence and skills gained at Com­pan­ies XYZ.

Is there any oth­er inform­a­tion I can provide to help you make your decision?”

Then ask “what are next steps? And when will I hear from you?”    

Key takeaways
  • Know your audi­ence. If the inter­view­er is more sub­dued, or the inter­view isn’t going that well it prob­ably doesn’t make sense to ask for the pos­i­tion out­right.
  • After thank­ing the inter­view­er, express your excite­ment and sum­mar­ise why you are great for the role — then ask about mov­ing for­ward, or any reser­va­tions.
  • Ask about next steps and when you will hear from them.
  • Do not fake enthu­si­asm as most people can tell right away.
  • Choose the close style that suits your per­son­al­ity and you feel com­fort­able with, and it will always come out more nat­ur­ally.

Whilst the answer — no mat­ter how great you’ve done — will mostly be along the lines of “thank you its been great meet­ing you, we need to dis­cuss this further/​have oth­er can­did­ates to see/​ before mak­ing a decision” — ask­ing will leave a really good impres­sion.

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