Goliath’s ‘Master the Interview’ series is a 5-part playbook of tips and best practices enabling job seekers to stand out in all interviewing formats – over the phone, in a one-on-one setting or in a group interview.
A quick check of your watch signals that your on-site interview will end soon.
By this time, you’re starting to fade – your interviewer might be as well. It would be tempting to relax – to think about a cold one at happy hour rather than finishing strong.
Someway, somehow, though, you must stay focused.
Resist the urge to let your guard down – these last moments of your on-site interview could make the hiring manager your future co-worker.
The last ten minutes of an interview are a grind so have a plan to stay engaged. One way to ensure that you have energy until the bell is to have a plan to close the interview with confidence and an understanding of what to expect next.
It’s time to close.
Make no mistake, we’d never suggest the “hard sale” at the conclusion of an interview. We would, though, suggest using the last ten minutes of an interview to your advantage.
Here’s how –
Last Ten Tip #1: Get a quick assessment for your fit in the role.
After the hiring manager wraps up and opens the floor to you, use the time to evaluate their opinion of the time you’ve spent together.
An article in Forbes magazine provides two ways of asking the same questions that could help you assess the likelihood of you landing the job:
- “Based on my background and the skills and experience we discussed, how well do I fit the profile of the candidate for which you’re looking?”
- “Given what we’ve just discussed during this interview, do you have any concerns about my fit for this position?”
These questions will show the hiring manager that you’re interested in understanding their candid, real-time feedback. This illustrates confidence and displays open communication skills that their position might require.
There is another side to this, though – they might tell you that they are not the right fit for you. As you close, prepare yourself for either.
No matter the response, though, having professionalism and showing respect for their answer is critical.
Last Ten Tip #2: Clarify anything else you can provide.
Asking the interviewer, ‘What are your next steps?’ , is too generic and will not provide you with any specific view of if you’ll make it to that next step.
We’d suggest that you a moment to make sure each of the hiring manager’s boxes are checked – that you’ve provided everything required to land the job.
John, the candidate says, “I’ve enjoyed our review of my resume and talking about my professional experiences. What else could I provide that might help you make your decision?”
Your tone should be curious and genuinely helpful – showing a willingness to help clarify any unanswered questions that might be lingering in the hiring manager’s mind.
Last Ten Tip #3: I’m interested, but if this isn’t right…
There is no way to know if you’ve earned the job as you shake the hiring manager’s hand on the way out the door. The process is long and, at this point, filled with qualified candidates. Sometimes you’ve done everything right and you still didn’t get the job.
For that reason, we’d suggest that you not only make it clear to the interviewer that you are interested in this position, reiterate that you’d be ready to look at similar positions when the opportunity presents itself in the future.
John, the candidate, after shaking hands, “I really appreciate your time. I look forward to hearing about this role in the next week or so. Outside of that, though, I’ve been very impressed with your company and want to be considered for similar jobs if you find someone else fits better today.”
While it may seem odd, this statement takes away any undue pressure and concludes the interview with professionalism and a personal touch.
Ending the interview in this way shows that you care about the impression you leave and that your time together has further validated your interest in the working for the hiring company.
Closing an on-site interview using the three tips above is not a “sales pitch” – it is a strategy.
This strategy has you leaving the interview and heading to happy hour with a better understanding of your chances to land the job, allows you to be an active participant in the hiring manager’s next steps and leaves the door open if today’s opportunity is not quite right.
Need to prepare for an upcoming interview? Contact the Goliath team today.