Two men shake hands after a job interview. You can only see their hands.

Six Ways to End a Job Interview Like a Pro

Joel Mason
Interviews

Six Ways to End a Job Interview Like a Pro

Joel Mason • Nov 07, 2022

Lots of people don't think about how they're going to end their interview.

They are so grateful that the whole thing is over that they say their goodbyes and walk out the door as quickly as they can.

The reason so many great candidates end up frustrated when they don’t hear back and never find out the reason why.

The end of the interview is the time to gain buy in from the interviewer and to get their commitment on the next steps.

Coming up in this article, I'll give you six practical tips that will help you to end your next interview on a high.

What's the best way to end your interview?

An interview is a sales meeting, you are selling yourself to a company, you are pitching yourself as the solution to their problems.

Every good sales person knows how important it is to get some buy-in or agreement before they leave the room.

I don't mean you need to leave with a job offer. But at the very least you should leave with some agreement on the next steps.

If you think of it in these terms, you will increase your chances of getting called back to the next round.

At the very least you'll get some follow-up and valuable feedback.

Six tips for ending an interview well

1. Ask some great questions

Everyone knows that asking questions at the end of your interview is a good idea.

It shows that you are interested in the company and the role.

However, not every question is a good question, and if you want to be remembered, you should aim to ask some great questions.

Examples of bad questions

How much vacation do you offer?

What are the benefits like?

What does your company do?

These are bad questions because they reveal that you are more focused on what you want from the company than what you can bring.

It can also demonstrate that you haven’t done even a basic level of research.

Examples of OK questions

A lot of career coaches will tell you to ask questions which show that you envision yourself in the role.

What would you be looking for the successful candidate to achieve in the first 12 months?

What are your major pain points or challenges right now?

However, be aware that even these types of questions are quite commonly asked and have become cliché.  

Let’s face it, if something doesn’t take you much effort, it is not going take other candidates much effort either.

If you really want to make an impact, you need to asks questions which your competition isn’t and demonstrate that you have unique ideas and insight.

This means you will need to do some research.

Examples of great questions

read recently that your CEO has set new targets for your environmental impact. Do you see this role as contributing to that agenda in any way?

Or

As you know, one of your key competitors have recently moved to a pay-monthly subscription model in a bid to lock-in a loyal customer base. Is this a marketing strategy that you would consider? I’ve implemented some similar strategies previously and I have some ideas of how this could work for some of your products.

Or

During the interview you mentioned that part of this role would be to influence the team to adopt new technologies. At my last role, we went through a total digital transformation and went to full cloud storage so I’ve experienced this first-hand, I’d be really interested to know what types of technologies you’re adopting?

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2. Overcome concerns

It’s possible that the interviewer will walk away with at least one or two concerns following their meeting with you.

They will likely be interviewing multiple candidates, many of whom will be as qualified for the role as you are.

The interviewer will need to narrow their shortlist down and they will typically disqualify the people with whom they have the most doubts or concerns.

Most interviewees leave their interviews without taking the time to address any lingering concerns.

Why would you want to leave any doubt in your interviewers’ mind when you have the opportunity to alley any fears that they have?

A simple way to do this is to ask the question

“is there anything that you would like me to clarify, or any further questions that you have for me?”

Notice that I am not using the actual word 'concern' in this sentence.

The word 'concern' can have negative connotations, and so I have phrased the question more positively, whist still giving them a chance to clear up any concerns they might have.

They might respond by saying “well I am a little concerned that you would have to relocate for this role, how does your family feel about that?”

Or “you mentioned that your experience is mainly in long shelf-life products, in this role you would deal with a lot of short shelf-life products”.

You now have an opportunity to tell them that you have discussed the move with your family at length and they are really excited about it, in fact you have already visited the city together and looked around some neighborhoods.

Don’t leave the interviewer with lingering doubts, clear them up while you have the chance!

3. Find out how they feel

What do most people do when they leave an interview?

They think back over every second of it and try to figure out how it went.

The reality is, people are often very hard to read and we really have no idea what they are thinking or feeling.

You can leave an interview thinking that you bombed and receive a call back, conversely, you can feel like you nailed it and never hear from them again.

Have you ever thought about asking how they felt the interview has gone?

I know that seems a little crazy and I would not necessarily advise asking it if the interview was a complete disaster, however, if you are feeling some positive vibes, it can be a very good question to ask.

The reason this is a good question to ask is simple, if your interviewer tells you that they feel the interview went well they will feel much more obliged to call you back for the next stage.

Not only this, by asking the question you walk away with some clarity in your mind, you also open the door for some valuable feedback.

4. Clarify the next steps

There are two reasons why you should do this. Firstly, it sets your mind at ease. If you know that they are interviewing candidates for the next week and you can expect a call after the weekend you can go and enjoy your weekend without waiting anxiously by the telephone.

Secondly, and more importantly, when someone makes you a verbal promise, agreeing to do something, they are many times more likely to follow through, this is because they feel obliged to make good on their word.

It’s as simple as asking “what are the next steps” or “when can I expect to hear from you”. The answer will be some form of agreement to act, for example “you can expect to hear from us after the weekend” or “the next step will be to interview with the Managing Director”.

Once someone has verbally confirmed to you when they will contact, you will make them feel much more obliged to make good on their word.

5. End on a Positive Note

All of the above tips will help you to end your interview in a positive and memorable way, however, don’t forget to tell them just how positive you feel.

Address them by name and thank them for taking the time to meet you, tell them how much you enjoyed speaking with them, how interesting it was to learn more about the organization and role.

You could also tell them that you thought the meeting was very positive and time well spent and remind them that you are looking forward to hearing from them on Monday morning and that you hope to have the opportunity to meet with the Managing Director.

Don’t forget to sound upbeat, to smile and to exude a little positivity. Remember, the manner in which you end is much more important than how you begin.

6. Follow Up With a Thank You

Now you can walk out of the door, breathe a sigh of relief and relax! But don’t think that your work is done just yet, there is one last thing that you can do to ensure that you stay at the top of your interviewers’ mind, follow up with a thank you message.

Take a few minutes the next day to drop them a short email with the purpose of expressing your appreciation.

Thanking the interviewer for their time, telling them that you enjoyed meeting them and learning more about the organisation and re-asserting your keen interest in the role will go a long way in strengthening your position and making you memorable, it also opens the door for ongoing communication between you.

Conclusion

First impressions are very important when you interview, however, don't forget to end your interview well. Remaining memorable and making sure that you have a good grasp on the next steps of the process are really important!

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Don't leave it to chance. Get prepared for your next interview!