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Closing the Interview

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 a negative 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.

Closing Points

Regardless of your style or how you choose to close the interview, here 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. Choose something "concrete." When you answer with, "I have great communication skills, and I am a hard worker," you will not stand out.

Example: "I have two skills that are distinctly different but that define my personality. I am a very good pianist and an excellent 'computer guy.' I'm known for my love of keyboards."

2. Ask if there is anything else you can provide. Examples include references, transcripts, background information, and samples.

Example: "Is there any other information that I can provide that would convince you that I am the right person for this job?"

3. State your interest in the position. Sound interested and tell what added value you can bring to the job.

Example: "From what you have been telling me about this position, and from what I know about your company, I know that I have the right mix of experience and education to bring value to this position. Based on past experiences I can 'ramp up' quickly and be on board with projects within the first few weeks."

4. Ask about the next step in the process. It's important for you to know the next step for follow up. Ask for the decision date, if possible.

Example: "I'm interested in knowing what the next step in the process is and when you will be making a decision so I can follow up."

5. Find out how to contact the interviewer. If you don't hear back, you will need to know whom to contact and whether the employer will accept calls to check the status.

Example: "I'd like to stay in touch and follow up with you in a week or two to see how the process is going and where I stand. How do you prefer that I communicate with you -- email or phone?"

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.

About the writer:

  Carole Martin

Carole Martin, has more than 15 years of Human Resources management experience with companies of all sizes. Her professional background includes specialized training as a professional interviewer. Carole has been recognized as an interview expert in the print and electronic media. Her workbook, Interview Fitness Training -- A Workout With the Interview Coach, has sold thousands of copies worldwide, and she has released her latest book, Boost Your Interview IQ, both available on Carole has a master's degree in career development from John F. Kennedy University in Orinda, CA, and an undergraduate degree in communications from San Jose State University.

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