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The Art of Closing the Interview

The Art of Closing the Interview

Introduction – A few basic principles and attitude adjustments

          Your hard work is finally ready to pay off.  You have polished up your resume, sent it to countless firms, and completed more than your fair share of online applications.  You have targeted that magical career opportunity, fired up your network, engaged your contacts, and finally you are sitting where you wanted to be … across from a hiring authority in a job interview.  All cylinders are firing.  As the interview is winding down you get that wonderful feeling of acceptance, that you have the requisite skills for the job and even bring more value to the table than you had initially thought.  You feel that sense of being part of the team and fitting into their company culture.  You want this job, and better yet your perceptions are telling you they want you.  Down to the last few minutes of your meeting, it’s show time. What happens during these critical moments, the moment of your opportunity to close the interview, could very well impact your future and rest of your life.

          In my nearly 20 years of recruiting and prepping and debriefing thousands of candidates I am still amazed how many people in this situation either completely fail to attempt to close the interviewer or awkwardly attempt to stumble through a weak, unrehearsed and ineffective closing technique.  In this piece we will discuss some basic principles and attitudes in closing the interview to help you achieve your ultimate interview objective… to get an offer!  In later pieces we will discuss some specific closing techniques and as well as DOs and DON'Ts


Principal #1 – “Your objective on a job interview is to get an offer, whether you want it or not.”

This principal confuses some.  Many candidates think that the interview process is a mutual exchange of information where they need to be completely sold and have a high comfort level with the opportunity before attempting to ask for the job or pursue the needed steps to getting an offer.  If you are unsure if you really want the job early on in the interview process that’s just human nature.  It might take some additional time, more conversations with the firm, in-depth research, talking with friends and former or existing employees before you are 100% comfortable that you want the job. The problem is that your interest level is being judged by the hiring authorities from the minute you walk into the first interview. Besides having the skills for the job and having a good fit with the company culture, the candidates showing the most enthusiasm will be the ones getting the offers, all other things equal.  The attitude of positioning yourself for a job offer while closing shows interest and enthusiasm and will separate you apart from the other candidates.  For many candidates not asking for the job or pursuing the needed steps to an offer will culminate in the end of the interview process.

Principal #2 – “Have the attitude that once you have an offer in hand, you can always turn it down”

It’s about being in control of your destiny, to be in a situation where you decide your fate.  Don’t be in the group of candidates that the hiring manager really liked but declined to move forward because they were disappointed that they did not ask for job.  Once you have an offer in hand you can continue whatever steps you need to get comfortable and accept.  Contrarily you might decide to pass on the opportunity and politely decline.   Regardless to be in this wonderful position requires the right attitude and closing techniques during the entire interview process.

Now that you have the right interview attitude and are striving towards getting that job offer we will in later pieces discuss some specific closing techniques and as well as DOs and DON'Ts

About the Author:

Since 1999 Quest Technical Resources, LLC has partnered with hiring companies in the Information Technology field to identify and place Sales, Pre-Sales, Application Engineers and other Information Technology professionals across the United States and Canada. David Whitson (President) is celebrating his 20th year as an executive recruiter and is just as passionate about helping clients fill positions as ever.

Is your firm having difficulty attracting the really good passive candidates? Are you losing sales because you have visible holes or talent gaps in your software sales force? Contact me to discuss how I can improve your candidate selection, candidate flow, and close rate on the ones you want to hire. We are interested in expanding our client base and candidate network, contact me:

David Whitson at (513) 561-3625 or

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Specialties: - Recruiting and search for Information Technology firms.  Retained Search, Contingency Search

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