After all your preparation and surviving the interview questions, how do you end your interview in a way that makes them remember you? When they sit down to debrief about candidates you want them to have a very clear sense of who you are and what you bring to this position. Most candidates focus their preparation on the questions they will answer during the interview but to be memorable, you must focus on how you will close the interview successfully.
Ask the Interviewer Questions
It is always critical to have questions to ask the interviewer. When the interviewer asks, “what questions do you have for me?” the answer should never be “I don’t have any.” Do your research in advance and have insightful questions prepared. Ask things not found on the website. While it is appropriate to ask about company plans going forward and priorities it is critical to ask questions that envision you in the job. Samples:
- What would be your expectations of me in the first six months in this job?
- How would you evaluate success at the end of my first year in this position?
Also, be bold. Ask the question that needs to be answered – “What concerns do you have about me as a candidate for this position?” Don’t wait until they debrief internally and debate their concerns. Get the issue out on the table so you have a chance to address it. “I understand why you are concerned about my lack of experience in your industry, but my track record demonstrates that I have learned new industries quickly and was able to contribute value in my new industry. I would welcome the challenge of learning your industry.”
Summarize Your Key Strengths
In your closing remind them of the critical skills and experience you bring to this position. What are the three most important things that would enable you to succeed in this job? Don’t assume they will remember from the conversation. Summarize why you are the best candidate for this position without being cocky or over confident.
Clarify Next Steps
Be sure to ask what next steps are in the process and when they expect to make a decision. This helps you determine whether you need to send a quick email thank you in addition to your handwritten thank you notes. It also helps to manage your expectations. It is yet another way to demonstrate your interest.
Demonstrate Your Interest
It pains me to hear feedback from interviewers that the candidate “just didn’t seem that interested in the job.” Let them know at the end of the interview that you are definitely interested and tell them why. What is it about this opportunity that interests and excites you? Leave them knowing that you would love to be part of that team.
Leave your interview knowing that you gave it your best shot by asking relevant and important questions and reinforcing your critical skills as well as your interest. Memorable candidates are most likely to land the jobs.