“Oh man, how on earth do I get out of here? How do I leave professionally?”
You have probably experienced it – the constant struggle to find the right words to signal a professional exit.
Have you ever heard of the phrase “closing the interview”? Why should you close an interview?
Chantelle Svensen-Lewis, Partner with Svensen Neighbour Recruiting, explains this as the process of reconfirming your interest in a position and ensuring you make an impact. A formal close is important in making sure you stand out among all other candidates.
Interview professional, Svensen-Lewis wishes to help you understand the process of closing the interview. By the end of this article, she is confident you can master your next professional exit and make an impact!
Like anything, you must start before you finish. The same is true for an interview. Prior to closing, you must first have a good interview – but, what makes a good interview? Here’s what Svensen-Lewis would tell you:
First and foremost, a good interview consists of being prepared; so get researching!
Make sure you can speak confidently about the company – know what they do. Try finding something you like about the company even if it’s new to you. Maybe they are involved with the community or a charity that speaks to you. Identify something the company has done recently that you could speak on in the interview. Is this a company you could see yourself working for?
Make sure you know yourself, position requirements, and company culture.
Ensure that what you have on your resume is an accurate representation of yourself; be able to speak on these experiences. Understand what is required of you in this position. What skills, qualities, and experiences do you possess that will make you an asset in this role? How do you align with the culture of the organization?
Ensure you ask questions! This helps to confirm your interest in the position and the company.
Make sure you know everything you need to about the job position. Maybe you want to know what the role expectations are in the first 30/60/90 days. Conclude your questions by asking “Is there anything else you wish to know about me?"
And there it is, the question most hate: “Why should we hire you?”
Now you’re sitting in the interview room with sweat rolling down your spine, and if you weren’t planning your exit before, you definitely are now! Relax. All your questions are answered and you have been given the perfect chance to make an impact. It’s time to close!
Start your close by reconfirming your interest. Re-state an element of the organization or role that is of strong interest or excites you. State why you would be an asset to the company, and re-iterate your qualifications and how it links to the role. Not only does this demonstrate that you care about the company and the position, but you understand what is required. Tell them what excites you about the company and the employment opportunity.
There. That’s why they should hire you. Was that so bad?
Now the interviewer will wrap everything up, shake your hand, and send you on your way.
But wait, it’s not over yet. Make sure you send a professional follow up email; short and sweet. Thank them for taking the time to interview you and remind them that you are excited about the position.
There you have it! Closing the interview isn’t so hard after all, is it? The next interview will be a breeze; good luck!