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The Most Important Part of the Job Interview (That You’re Probably Forgetting)


If you’re at all interested in getting a given job, you prepare thoroughly ahead of time, researching the company and position, doing practice interview questions, even choosing your interview outfit with special care. But there’s one thing you probably aren’t doing, and it might be costing you the job: odds are, you probably haven’t given a thought about how to close the interview.

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And we do mean “close,” in the Glengarry Glen Ross sense of the word — sort of.

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“There always seems to be a big debate on whether or not a candidate should try to ‘close the sale’ at the end of a job interview,” writes Lisa Quast at Forbes. “My answer is ‘Yes’ — but you need to close the interview with class.”

In other words, you can’t ask outright, “So, did I get the job?” Nor should you pressure the hiring manager to tell you the precise time, down to the hour, when you can expect to hear from them. Instead, use your “closer” to find out if there’s anything lacking, so far, in their picture of you as a candidate.

For example, Quast suggests asking something like, “Based on my background and the skills and experience we discussed, how well do I fit the profile of the candidate for which you’re looking?”

There’s no guarantee, of course, that the hiring manager will be forthright if he doesn’t think you’re a good fit, but you’re more likely to get a straight answer if you ask the question. After that, you can follow up by asking about the next steps in the process, and reiterating your interest in the position.

That’s the way you close a job interview. No Alec Baldwin impressions required.

Tell Us What You Think

How do you close an interview? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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I agree with DW. I have interviewed recently and I do not think that line of questioning would have went over well with them. You are putting them on the spot and in most cases it may not be there decision to make alone. It may be too much if you are not applying for a sales position.


I read similar advice about closing at the end of interviews, and so I tried it in two separate interviews. Even though I used fairly innocuous phrasing, both times the interviewers knew what I was getting at and seemed uncomfortable being put on the spot. I would tread very lightly with trying to “close” the interview (unless it is a sales job, in which case they would likely expect it). I know I won’t try it again, and I’m sure… Read more »


I like very simple straight to the point questions such as:
What is the next step?
When were you thinking in placing the right candidate in the position?
And close with: I am interested in the position and would love the opportunity to continue he process and follow-up with an email thank you for their time and what you may have learned about them or the company.


Love this advice. I plan on using it in the next couple of days. I have a interview for a sales position and closing is something that always gets evaluated.

Bruce W Clagg
Bruce W Clagg

As one of the few CPCCs (Certified Professional Career Coach) in the country, I will say that AFTER a great resume, LinkedIn Profile, et al (the marketing side of your career search), the interview is everything. Rather than being interrogated as most all DMs (hiring decision-makers) put the candidate through and neither party either enjoys, or gets much from it, I suggest to my client that the questions they ask may be more important than their responses since most candidates… Read more »

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