Do You Close an Interview?

Most interviewees don’t. In fact, in 80% of all the interviews I’ve ever undertaken, interviewees don’t close. It’s an alarming statistic and from my years of interviewing candidates has always surprised and shocked me.

Close

What is Closing?

What do I mean by closing? It’s that point in the interview when the interviewer is drawing it to a close. They are doing the ‘summing up’, often in a non-committal way, for example saying, ‘Thanks for coming in. We’ll be in touch.’ This approach is taken by most interviewers to see what an interviewee does next.

Most, do absolutely nothing.

I started to ponder after a recent interview, when another candidate didn’t close, why this happens? Here’s why I think they don’t:

1. Nerves
That feeling that you’re relieved that the interview is coming to an end and that you’ve got through it and want to get out as quickly as possible.

2. Not the done thing
A feeling that closing might be seen as being too aggressive and possibly rude.

3. Apathy
The interviewee just really can’t be bothered to ask. In fact, they are not really interested in the role at all.

4. Risk of rejection
As humans we hate that fear of rejection or an objection to us and our personal skills. Therefore, better not to know rather than risk finding out.

I am not convinced that any are acceptable, particularly when you want to stand out for a job.

5 Questions to Help

What can you do when the interviewer starts to close the interview? Here are some questions to help you next time around.

1. Ask the interviewer their opinion on how the interview went
Get their immediate feedback. This is your chance to overcome any objections they may be having. It allows you to understand what they are thinking there and then.

2. Ask what the next steps in the process are
Don’t leave it to chance. Find out what happens next. Is there another round? Who is making the decision?

3. Ask if there is anything else you can do to help your application
Similar to question 1, but highlights that you are really interested in the role and uncovers anything that the interviewer hasn’t asked.

4. Ask when you’re likely to hear back from him/her
This allows you to understand how long you have to wait until you hear back from them. It gives you the chance to follow up with them directly if you haven’t heard back in the timeframe that they suggested they would.

5. Ask if they are going to put you through to the next round/offer you a job
This is the direct close and puts the interviewer on the spot. If you think the interview has gone well, ask it. If not, start with either question 1 or 3 first.

Choose the question that best suits the interview you are having. Just remember to ask at least one to show that you are closing the interview. Be one of the 20% and stand out.

QUESTION: What question would you ask to close an interview?

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