Closing The Interview

Written By: Carole Martin


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“When do I start?”

That’s about as aggressive as you can get at the close of the interview. It may knock the interviewer for a loop, and might appear to be overly aggressive, but some people think of it as “closing the sale.” And, for some people it has worked. For others this approach may not be comfortable, or have the same effect. Whether you are aggressive, passive and polite, or somewhere in between, will depend on your personality, the interview situation, and the job for which you are applying.

Different strokes for Different Folks

A confident, aggressive approach - “Well, I’m sold. When would you like me to start?”. This closing might impress some interviewers but could very well put off others. It will be important to “read” your interviewer as to what style to use in closing.

Qualified and low key – “Are there any doubts you have that I can do this job?” An ok closing – not too aggressive, but confident. The closing should match the personality of the interviewer and the type of position.

A solid closing with confidence – “Is there any additional information I can provide to show you that I am the best person for this job? I know I am convinced that I am the one.” Also ask when they will be making a decision.

The style and the decision

Decisions will be based primarily on the position and the personality sought. If they are looking for someone in the sales department, the more aggressive approach might work best. If they are looking for someone who is more subdued, perhaps for an accountant position, the low-key style may be more suited. The middle of the road approach – with confidence might be a good general response for almost any position.

Closing Points

Regardless of your style or how you choose to close the interview, there are some key points to keep in mind.

  1. Leave your interviewer with the right picture of you. (Think of at least five skills or traits you want remembered after the interview.)

  2. Ask if there is anything else you can provide. (References, background information, or samples?)

  3. State your interest in the position. (Don’t be overly anxious, but interested and you can bring added value to the job.)

  4. Ask about the next step in the process. (Important for you to know for follow up. Ask for the decision date, if possible.)

  5. Find out how to contact them. (If you don’t hear back, you will need to know who to contact and whether they will accept calls to check the status.)

Closing the sale is important, but your closing should be tailored to the position; your personality and interviewing style, and the interviewer. Keeping these things in mind will help you determine which closing is appropriate for you and the situation.

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Carole Martin is a thoroughbred interview coach. Celebrated author, trainer, and mentor, Carole can give you interviewing tips like no one else can.  Her workbook, "Interview Fitness Training - A Workout With the Interview Coach," has sold thousands of copies world-wide. "Boost Your Interview IQ" has been awarded one of the 10 best career books for 2004. Her most recent book, "Perfect Phrases for the Perfect Interview" and the others mentioned are all available at www.interviewfitnesstraining.com and www.interviewcoach.com

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