5 Ways to Close the Interview & Be Remembered

Just like a good firm handshake and eye contact are the best way to start an interview, how you end the interview will determine if they remember you.  If they remember you as a closer you have a better chance of taking the next steps in the interview process and getting the offer. 

STEP ONE – Review and Optimize

You get can’t get where you want to go without understanding where you are and the resources you have.  To make a career change you must evaluate where you are professionally the skills you have, how those skills can get you to the next step, and how that step moves you closer to your end goal. I recommend a deep dive into what your end goal is career-wise and then working backward to today then you need to identify the next step in that journey.

Take stock of your connections and the network within your industry to evaluate how those connections can be leveraged to get to the next step you identified. Review your resume, LinkedIn profile, and target job descriptions required in order for your current (or next) job search to be successful. Without knowing where you are today, how do you expect to get where you want to go?

STEP TWO – Strengths and Gaps Analysis

Everyone who is interested in growing their career and developing their skill set should be vigilant in accessing their strengths and weaknesses.  Your current role should provide you opportunities to continue growth in the things you are strong in and provide you opportunities to stretch and grow in the areas you are weak. A successful interview is one where you can highlight your strengths that match the job and describe how you are overcoming your weaknesses through focused development.  And if there’s one thing you can be sure of in an interview, it’s that you’re going to be quizzed on your strengths and weakness. Come prepared, or prepare to be passed over.

Check my blog post on preparing for the interview.  You Got the Interview, Now What?

STEP THREE – Develop Your Story and Deliver it

The story of your career is the “proof” to back up your professionally written documents. Your resume and LinkedIn profile are the advertisement/movie preview of your career story that you get to share partially during a phone interview and more fully during the onsite. Without a dynamic engaging story to tell you’ve got no proof and the interview team will be left disappointed that the story did not deliver what the preview promised.

To have that engaging dynamic story you have to prepare to link your skills and experiences to the expertise necessary for the role you are interviewing. I recommend focusing on potential topics like conflict resolution to management style interpersonal style leadership, project management, delegation, diplomacy, cross-functional expertise, and the list goes on depending on the skills highlighted in the job descriptions.  I have yet to hear anyone say they wish they would have prepared less for an interview.

STEP FOUR- Closing Out The Interview with Each Interviewer

I don’t care what type of role you are interviewing for you have to be closing the interviewer you are meeting with or you won’t be the top choice.  Besides being prepared for the interview you need to be prepared to close the interview.  Practice asking how the interviewer feels your skill sets fit the role and if there is any more information you could provide to help them assess that fit. If you want the role and you feel you are a good fit tell the interviewer that you enjoyed the conversation and are even more interested in the position following the conversation, say you want the role.

Thank them for their time and make sure you have taken a few notes on the conversation to use later in crafting your thank you note. If you send generic, one size fits all thank-you notes then you should not send one at all.   Finally when speaking with the recruiter and/or hiring manager ask about their timeline for making a decision.  If they don’t give a definite plan for follow-up, take initiative, and let them know you will follow up in a week to find out where you stand. Push them to stay engaged with you. Leaving things loose or unresolved will result in you waiting for a call that might never come.  

STEP FIVE- Thank You and Follow Up

As with any great jump shot, you need to follow through on the communication plan you agreed to or mentioned at the end of your interview.  The interviewer, hiring manager, and/or recruiter will notice if you follow through on the communication plan.  Before that, you need to send thank you notes to the interview team.  The thank you can be emailed as snail mail will take too long and while thoughtful it can show you are out of touch. 

Each thanks you should be unique, thank them for their time/interaction, mention a specific exchange that highlighted the exchange, provide bullet points re-iterating how your skills would complement the job, express your interest in the role, and finally let them know you are excited to hear feedback.  Check word usage, spelling, and formatting, just like you would your resume. 

If you don’t get the job, stay professional, ask for feedback, don’t argue, request they keep you in mind for future roles, and move on.  You would be surprised how many candidates get contacted a few weeks later for a role that is a great fit and the process is very familiar.

Work with our team to create game-changing strategies to win the interview game. Set up a time for a consultation.

No guesswork, no wasted time, no fooling… just interview closing success.

Yes, there IS an investment… but it’s a small price to pay for gaining the tools and knowledge to shut down your job search in a matter of weeks… rather than months.