How to close an interview on the right note
Closing an interview is the time to really make your mark and clinch the deal after doing the hard work of the interview itself. The final minutes of an interview are your last chance to leave the interviewer with the take-home message: Hire me! Here are our top tips on how to close an interview on just the right note.
The human concentration span being what it is, your interviewer will most likely remember their first and final impressions of you most clearly – so it’s advisable to go out with a bang.
Have some interesting closing questions ready to ask when you’re invited to do so, such as “What is the key to success in this role?”, “What does your ideal candidate look like?” or “How would you describe the workplace culture here?” There are a range of questions to ask during an interview to ensure you come away understanding the role, the organisation, its challenges and its culture. If you’re lucky enough to be asked to return for a second interview, this knowledge will come in incredibly handy.
Once you’ve asked your own questions, encourage the interviewer to ask any last questions of their own. If you sensed any concerns on their part, you could ask if anything was unclear or if there was anything they wanted you to further address – and happily oblige. You can also ask if there is any other information you can provide that would help them with their decision, such as work samples or references.
Finally, revisit any points you didn’t adequately address previously. Did you think of a better answer? Remember experience and skills you missed out? Don’t be shy about going back to previous questions if you have relevant information to add.
At the end of the interview, there will most likely be an opening to make a closing statement with your final ‘pitch’ – make sure you seize it. Keep it short and sweet, but highlight how your skills and experience make you a perfect fit for the job and will help the organisation solve its challenges and achieve its goals.
Don’t be shy about expressing how enthusiastic you are about the role. It’s likely that everyone interviewing for the position has the necessary skills and this is your last chance to demonstrate you’re hungrier than the other applicants.
If they haven’t already covered it, ask your interviewer to provide a timeframe for when they’ll let you know if you’ve passed to the next stage of the interview process. If you’ve had other job offers there’s no harm in mentioning them, though this shouldn’t be done in a way that comes across as manipulative.
A little friendly chit-chat at the end of an interview doesn’t go astray, and it’s good to finish on a friendly, personal note. Always thank the interviewer for their time, and smile and shake their hand before leaving.
Within 24 hours of the interview taking place, send your interviewer a brief, polite email thanking them for meeting with you and restating your interest in the position. You can reference highlights from the interview or briefly touch on anything you feel you missed during the interview, but keep it short.
Aside from the thank you email, it’s best not to bother your potential employer with phone calls or emails before the timeframe they have specified. However, if they don’t get back to you by that date don’t hesitate to follow up – potential employers are more likely to be impressed by an eager job applicant, provided you don’t go overboard.
Regardless of the outcome of your interview, your response should always be polite gratitude. If you do get the job, you’ll want to get off to a good start by letting your new employer know how much you appreciate the faith they’ve shown in you. If you don’t get the job, you still want to make sure you’re top of mind should another position become available or should the first-choice candidate fall does not work out.
Take time to review your interview performance
As soon as possible after the interview, reflect on your interview performance. Consider what went well, what didn’t, what you would have done differently – and make a note of these. Also jot down specific points from the interview you wish to remember for future reference, or questions you might like to ask at a later opportunity. Also catch up with your recruiter or the HR manager and ask for honest feedback. Remember that every interview is a learning opportunity that brings you one step closer to your dream.