Platinum Unplugged #10: Interviews – 4 Steps to Closing Strong!

Dear Platinum Recruiting,

What is your advice for the closing minutes of an interview?

(Here’s the Facebook Live response! Below is the blog with more detail)

Hi Bob,

A lot of interview tips focus on preparing for an interview, knowing how to answer certain questions and good questions to ask. That information is important and here’s my take on those topics: 20 Practical Interview Tips! & How To Prepare For Interviews – Advice From Executives!

How to close an interview is critical enough to have it’s own blog entry. Blog post. Whatever you call it. What do you call it?

In short, you need to close strong! Sounds obvious, right? To some, it is obvious and might even come natural. Good sales pros/execs, for example.

What about professions where being aggressive and outwardly confident isn’t as common? Yes, this is for you too. You can close strong without being a cocky jerk.

You need to close strong with everyone you meet in the interview process. Not just the hiring manager. Your approach might vary depending on their position but it is still important.

Interviews: 4 Steps to Closing Strong!

  1. Express Interest: If you are interested, let them know. I don’t like the cheesy lines like “So, when do I start?” (Although, I’m sure there is a time and a place). But, you need to let them know that you are interested. It’s like dating. If you go on a first or second date, you want them to know you’re interested, right? If not, the other person can be left confused or even disinterested. If you are interested, don’t risk getting this feedback from a potential employer: Biggest Interview Mistake.
  2. Highlight why you are a great fit: Pinpoint the most important criteria for the job and highlight experience and accomplishments that directly relate. Keep in mind, in closing the interview, you don’t have a lot of time. This should be a reminder of something you’ve already discussed. Be clear & concise. Hit home why you’re a great fit!
  3. Ask “Do you have any concerns or reservations about hiring me for this role?”: You might be thinking “why would I want to shed light on concerns?”. If you walk out of an interview without addressing concerns, your chances of getting an offer reduce significantly. Here’s how it plays out:
    1. They have no concerns: Great. Asking this question, having them think about it and confirming that they don’t have concerns, is a good thing. It reaffirms in their mind that you are a good candidate for the job.
    2. They describe a concern: You now have something to work with. You have a fighting chance. You may or may not overcome it. But, you have a greater chance of overcoming the concern if you talk about it. If you leave the interview without discussing their concerns, your chances of getting an offer are slim. Additionally, their concern could simply be a misunderstanding or something you didn’t discuss. There’s only so much time in an interview. Occasionally, a concern is purely something not discussed in enough detail or not at all. Asking about concerns gives you a chance to figure this out.
  4. Say Thank You! Thank them before you leave and when you follow-up. Ask for a business card. Send a thank you email within 24 hours. Same day if possible. Mailing an actual thank you card can be a nice touch. If you send a thank you card via mail, it needs to be in addition to an email. Decisions are often made before snail mail will reach their desk.

I recommend preparing for and practicing your close, much like you prepare for the most common interview questions. You might adjust your close depending on how the interview went but it is important to put some thought into how you want to close and what you want to say.

Next time you interview, close strong!

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