How to end an interview on a high

Now that restrictions are eased, we see the return to in-person interviews especially for the final interview stage. There is a much greater opportunity to make a lasting impression in person than via video conference, so make sure you are remembered (for the right reasons!)

When preparing for an interview we tend to concentrate on making a good first impression:

  • Dress code – check
  • Firm hand shake – check
  • Mini commercial prepared, why am I interested in this role – check
  • Strengths and weaknesses question, answer prepared – check
  • Mental list of questions to ask – check
  • What will be my last question or statement? Oh, I’ll play that by ear…

Is it just me or do you ever go out for dinner and have an OK starter and mains, but the dessert is absolutely fantastic, which makes you remember the whole meal as being exceptional? Maybe it is just me being so shallow.

How many movies do you remember where the ending is so powerful that you can watch it again and again? Think Shawshank Redemption…

So why should your interview be anything less?

Remember one of my previous blogs – it is more likely that you are remembered for the quality of questions you ask than the answers you give. So, why not plan the last 5 minutes of your interview?

If you feel confident, then try an assumptive close (assume that you have the role or at least that you are going forward to the next round), for example:

  • Would it be possible for me to meet the team before I start?
  • Is there any chance of meeting some of my potential future colleagues as part of the selection process? Note: this process is as much your due diligence as it is theirs!
  • What would your expectations be of me during the first 3 months?
  • Any obstacles I need to be aware of?
  • What does the team look like? Any gaps, any underperformance issues?

And then the killer close:

I really enjoyed meeting you and look forward to seeing you again. Before I go, can I just ask, do you at this moment in time have any reservations regarding my ability to do the job or my ability to fit in culturally?

If you have papers and pen to put away, then do not do that in an awkward silence, fill it with seemingly innocent chit chat – do you have many more people to see? How many people have you met for this position?

Then when you are ready to go, a statement like ‘I was a bit apprehensive / nervous before meeting you, however I have really enjoyed our conversation’, followed by a good handshake, eye contact and smile.

I’d say that if you have taken your jacket or coat off, then do not get dressed there and then, take it to reception and put it on there.

Send LinkedIn request(s) the day after with a note to say that it was good to meet them.

Good luck!