Checklist: Tips for Successfully Wrapping up an Interview

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The Day Before the Interview

Prepare some questions. In addition to answering honestly and well to an interviewer’s questions, asking questions of your own at the end of an interview will further demonstrate your interest in the position. Do some research on the company and jot down about 4-5 questions in advance.

Make a list of key strengths you want your interviewer to remember. You want these to stand out, so the more specific and unique the better. Some examples may include “I have very sharp Photoshop skills,” “I’m a great public speaker” or “I’m very familiar with social media marketing.”

Practice closing. Rehearse your closing statements and questions aloud. The more comfortable you are with the material, the more confident you will appear in the actual interview.

The Day of the Interview

Ask your prepared questions. Toward the end of the interview, make sure you have asked your prepared questions or any questions that came to mind during the course of your interview.

Ask if there is anything else you can provide. This can include references, a portfolio, transcripts, background information or more. You want your interviewer to have all the information he or she needs, and actively offering it reinforces your enthusiasm for the job.

Restate your interest and enthusiasm for the position. You want the interviewer to feel you strongly desire the position.

Reinforce your prepared key strengths. Toward the end of the interview, the interviewer will likely ask if there’s anything else you’d like to discuss. Take this opportunity to make a positive closing statement by highlighting your key strengths and why you’re the best candidate for the job.

Consider asking your interviewer his or her perception of your candidacy. This open-ended question requires your interviewer to give you an immediate indication if he or she thinks you’re right for the job. Some positive examples of this include “How does my candidacy stack up against your expectations and the competition?” or “Based on our discussion, my résumé and my portfolio examples, do you think I am a good fit for the job?” While it’s possible your interviewer could take this opportunity to voice his or her objections, it’s better to get an employer’s concerns out in the open so you can address them head on or learn from them for your next interview.

Ask what the next steps are. This question is key to a successful close. It’s important for you to know what the next steps are for follow-up, and it prompts your interviewer to immediately consider your candidacy.

Consider asking your interviewer when he or she anticipates making a final hiring decision. This establishes the time frame for a hiring decision. If possible, without sounding too pushy, try to get a fixed date.

Express your appreciation for the chance to interview. Thank your interviewer for the opportunity and for his or her time.

Ask for your interviewer’s business card. You will need his or her contact information to later send him or her a thank you note, and it shows that you are professional, organized and plan on following up.

Shake hands. A firm handshake with strong eye-contact at the beginning and end of an interview is polite and can further create a lasting impression.

After the Interview

Send a handwritten thank you note. While an email thank you note is OK, a handwritten thank you note displays more time and effort and allows you to further personalize your appeal and impression.

Make a follow-up phone call. If you stated during the interview a time frame in which you planned on following up, call before the end date. In the instance you did not get your interviewer’s contact information, look on the company’s website for a phone number.