You have done your research, arrived early and nailed every question asked of you. You may think you have the job interview all wrapped up, but closing the interview is an important skill that is vital to leaving the right impression. Even if you have answered all the questions effectively, if you end up leaving with a whimper, that is what the hiring manager is going to remember. Make sure you know how you are going to close the interview so that a lasting impression is made.
A vital thing to include is to reiterate your interest in the position. You want to make it clear that you are sincerely interested in getting this job, and you can show this by repeating what the interviewer has told you about the position and how you would effectively carry out those duties. This shows that you not only have an active interest in getting the job but that you have been listening for the entire interview.
Another way to state your interest is to ask if there is anything else you can provide. A potential employer may not outright ask for a list of references or additional background information, but if you bring it up, they may ask for it. This is an excellent way to provide extra information about yourself that shows the interviewer you are the best person for the job. Hiring managers may not get references from everyone, but if they get a list from you, that can put you above the competition.
Closing the interview should also include asking about the next part of the process. It is important for you to know when a decision is likely to be made by or if there is a follow-up interview you will have to go through. If you know when the next step should take place by, then you know when you need to contact the interviewer for a follow-up. Speaking of which, you should also get the interviewer's business card so that you have all of his or her contact information. This is crucial in knowing the best way to contact the hiring manager should the need come up.
A Risky (But Sometimes Beneficial) Way for Closing the Interview
One of the riskiest things you can say to close an interview is, "When do I start?" On the one hand, it is a good way to show your confidence and really make an impression on the hiring manager. On the other hand, it could also come across as overly aggressive or disrespectful. Closing an interview this way is certain to make an impression, but it may not always be for the best.
Taking this approach may be good when applying for certain positions. For example, if you are applying for a job in a sales position that will require you to be persuasive, the interviewer might like the fact that you clearly know what you want and are not afraid to get it. However, if you are applying for a more low-key position, being aggressive may not be best. Be aware of the type of job you are applying for so that you know the best way to conduct yourself.
Thanking the Interviewer
There are a lot of good ways to close an interview, but a crucial thing to remember to do is to thank the interviewer for his or her time. Saying something like, "It was really great meeting with you today. Thank you so much for your time," is a simple way of showing your appreciation, but it does stand out in the hiring manager's mind. You should also make sure to thank anyone else you came in contact with while you were at the company. That includes the receptionist or other employees who greeted you. The interviewer is going to ask other people what they thought of you, so leaving a positive lasting impression with everyone you came in contact with is a great way of ensuring that everyone at that company will want to work with you.
Closing the interview properly is really just a way to confirm that you are the best candidate for the job. Providing solid answers through the interview and then showcasing a positive demeanor will demonstrate your ability to be a positive force within the organization, so take the time to formulate the best way to end all your interviews.