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Job seekers: Know where you stand after an interview
A job seeker’s goal is to sell herself or himself to the hiring manager and to evaluate whether the position will be a good two-way fit. But don’t forget: if you decide during the interview that you want the job, you should also try to discover where you stand with the hiring manager and find out the next steps in the hiring process.
There always seems to be a debate on whether a candidate should try to “close the sale” at the end of a job interview. My answer is yes — but do so with class. Professionalism is of the utmost importance, and my preference is to take an open, honest approach at the end of a job interview.
After the hiring manager has asked if you have any questions and you’ve discussed those, consider asking one of the following questions:
- “Based on my background and the skills and experience we discussed, how well do I fit the profile of the candidate for which you’re looking?”
- “Given what we’ve discussed during this interview, do you have any concerns about my fit for this position?”
After that, find out where the interviewer is in the hiring process:
- “What are the next steps in the hiring process?”
- “When will you be making a decision?”
At the end of the interview, reiterate your interest in the position:
- “Based on my research and what we’ve discussed, I would really like to work for you in this job. How soon until you’ll be making a decision?”
- “This discussion has made me even more excited about this job opportunity, and I would love to be the person you hire. Is there anything else you need from me before you make a decision?”
Choose the most appropriate closing questions and comments for your situation, and be sure to thank the hiring manager for his or her time and ask for a business card.
Next time, don’t leave a job interview wondering where you stand with the hiring manager. Use these techniques to professionally close an interview so he or she will know that you want the job, and you’ll know the next steps in the hiring process.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Randy Woods Writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.