Interviews:Five steps to an effective close.

This is not the END
This is not even the beginning of the END!
If anything, it is the END of the Beginning!
Winston Churchill


Endings are important whether to a War or to a novel. Great endings lead to great New beginnings so, It makes sense to make them memorable.The same goes for Interviews too.

But, when it comes to closing interviews, candidates too often end in a jiffy with a smile and thank you. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t propose that they stop being gracious to the interviewer or for that matter stop smiling. No! of course not. But, there is room to do a lot more than that.

This is a key moment of Interviewer “Face Time”. Why would you want to waste it?.

Ask any Toastmaster, he will tell you the importance of a great opening and a great close. That’s because the audience remembers what came first and what came last, they forget the rest.  As an interviewee you can take advantage of this human frailty to leave an impact on your audience ( the interviewer) by crafting a memorable close.

How can you do that?

Here is a simple Five step process to close any interview with impact.

Step-1. Summarize. Provide the interviewer with a synopsis of your experience. Recap, re-state, recount why you feel you are the best fit for the job. For example – “As an experienced finance professional having worked extensively on international taxation, I have proven ability in building and leading teams and developing effective solutions for tax automation. As such I hold a sincere interest in joining your team”. Highlight how your skills and experience fit with the job reqs and work environment.

Step-2. Express Interest. Continuing with the last point re-express interest in the job. Emphasize by stating how exciting the position sounds and how you look forward to work with the team. Demonstrate knowledge about the company products and services and focus on its positive reputation. Leave the interviewer with the impression that you this company is your FIRST CHOICE.

Step-3.Concerns. Now to tackle the unspoken anxieties of the interviewer. Silent concerns are a hurdle standing in way of you getting the job. Here is an example of easing an interviewers concern by proactively bringing up the topic – If I were in your place I might wonder as to why I would leave, own house and family and move to a different location. I would like to clarify the reasons for this move …. This clears the air and creates room for a healthy discussion which other-wise might remain a nagging thought in the interviewers mind.

The above three steps will set you up for a classy ending to your interview. The next two will pave the way for a smooth transition to a post interview phase.

askStep-4.Ground work. After the interview you would want to be in a position to call up and speak with the interviewers. This requires some ground work. Ask by when you can expect a response and if it is okay for you to follow up in-case you do not hear from them. You don’t need their permission to ask but having the permission makes your job easier. Helps in overcoming any inhibitions that you may feel when the time comes to follow up. Further ask what the next step is going to be, are the shortlisted candidates going to be called for another round, what would be the time frame? Will there be multiple rounds? Keep these questions ready.

Step-5.Names and a Thankyou. You have got the permission to followup, how will you do so if you have not managed to get their contacts. So, get the names of all the people whom you have met, who interviewed you and their contact information. Send them an individual thank you note. There are innumerable resources online which will help you in crafting a professional thankyou mail.

Following this five step process will help you stand out in the eyes of your interviewer. Always give a great amount of attention to each one of the steps above for every interview you attend. Your interviewers will appreciate your preparation and professionalism and surely want to have you in their team. And yes, don’t forget to shine your “close up” smile to bring the proceeds to an effective close.

Prakash Francis is a Talent Acquisition expert based in Bangalore.



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