How to Close the Deal on a Job Interview
Want to improve your chances for landing a job? Take a page from the successful sales approach.
It’s all about closing. All sales reps must close the deal, or they risk losing a prospective client. Guess what? The job interview is a sales process. You are selling yourself to that hiring manager for that job.
How many times have you left an interview not knowing how it went? Or thinking it went well—but not getting the job offer? Closing helps you avoid those problems.
Here are three “closing” questions you can ask toward the end of an interview that will help you do just that.
Disclaimer: This advice doesn’t work for every job interview, or every hiring manager. Use your judgment on when it makes sense to use these approaches.
1. What does your dream candidate look like? If somebody was to have the perfect interview, or perfect resume, what would that look like?
When you ask this question, you will get raw, unfiltered data which allows you to position yourself as that ideal candidate if you possess those qualities. Whatever answer the hiring manager gives, flip it around and talk about how you fulfill those qualities. If they say the ideal candidate has ten years of experience, and you only have five years, you can talk about how your experience is worth ten because of x, y or z.
2. I am really interested in this role. Are there any questions or doubts you have about my ability to do it?
This is a reverse question because it tries to uncover any issues that might hold the interviewer back from hiring you and gives you the opportunity to discuss those concerns before you leave the interview.
If you don’t ask this question, the hiring manager may have doubts and won’t have an answer from you to overcome them. Your fate will be sealed.
By opening the door to highlight a perceived deficiency, you are positioning yourself as somebody who is willing to work to overcome it. This tactic may work or may not depending on the severity of the doubt. However, you will never know if you don’t ask the question.
If you don’t land the job, the net effect is that both you and the hiring manager realize the job is not for you. If you know you are not qualified, then it is a mismatch anyway.
Some candidates might believe they are not good improvisers. You might have to be creative or think fast on your feet. Yes, I am asking you to think fast. But this is a topic you should know pretty well: YOU!
3. Do you have any feedback on how I presented myself?
Hiring managers are interviewing people every day. By asking this not-so-traditional question, you differentiate yourself from all the rest. They will remember you as the person who really wants to knock it out of the park. Additionally, you’ll be able to take direct feedback and implement it in your next interview.
Practice selling yourself.
You are not going to be good doing this the first time you try. Practice in front of the mirror or with a friend. You should know areas where you are strong and where you may be deficient. Part of the practice is hearing yourself answer the questions you think you’ll be asked out loud. Did you sound genuine? Professional?
In sales, it is a proven theory that if you can overcome all of your prospect’s objections, they will have no choice but to agree to your offer. And while you are not doing the exact same thing for the same reasons, the logic holds true for landing a job. You are selling you. “Here’s your problem. I am the solution. Do we want to move forward?”
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