Job interview is stressful for most people. They might not be so bad if you already have a job, and you’re simply trying to progress further up the career ladder or move elsewhere, but if you’re unemployed and you need to start bringing money in urgently, they can keep you up at night. You desperately want to say all the right things, and you’re scared of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. All we want to do in an interview is give the best possible impression of ourselves to our potential new employer, but we often find ourselves leaving the room feeling like we didn’t do enough to close the deal.
Most of the time, that feeling of uncertainty is nothing to do with how well we did or didn’t respond to the questions asked of us during the Job Interview. It comes from the fact that we didn’t know how to close out the interview properly. Because of that, we don’t have a solid feeling as to whether or not we’re likely to be offered the role. We do our best with the questions we’re asked, but we don’t ask the right questions in return when the interviewer has obtained all the information they want to know.
Try to think of the situation in poker terms. You have cards, and so does the interviewer. By asking questions of you, the interviewer now has a pretty good feel for which cards you’re holding. If you don’t ask any questions of them, you have no idea what they’re holding. Without that knowledge, you’re playing blind. In fact, you have so little knowledge that you might as well be playing playtech slots rather than poker! A gambler at an online slots website has no means of influencing the outcome of a game of slots, no matter how much time or money they spend on it. Online slots are random, and that’s part of the fun of the game. A good poker player, however, can always take an educated guess at what’s in their opponent’s hand. You need to become a poker player in this situation, and these 5 steps are how you should go about it.
1. Thank them for Their Time and Consideration
Manners go a long way. Your interviewer will probably be seeing several candidates for the role you’ve applied for, and not all of them will thank them for taking the time out of their day to see them. Make sure you do. It’s a tiny thing that makes a big impression. Don’t just give them a brief “thank you, bye,” as if you’ve just bought something from them at a store. Thank them for considering you for the position, and tell them you appreciate both the opportunity at the time. Be polite and sincere. When they come to assess their interview candidates against each other while they’re making decisions, this will stick in their minds.
2. Ask your Pre-Prepared Question
Your interviewer will almost certainly close by asking if you have any questions about the interview process or the role. After thanking them for their time, ask a great question that’s specific to the business and shows that you’re interested in the role. We’ve seen it suggested that the best question you can ask is, “what are the biggest challenges facing this business, and how can I help you overcome them?” We don’t think that question will apply to every job, but it’s a good one. The problem facing you here is that the answer to your ‘great question’ might come up during your Job Interview, so plan out three or four before you attend. Ask the one that’s best suited to the interview you’ve just had. If things go well, ask two!
3. Confirm that You’re Interested
This is such a basic thing to get wrong, but a surprising number of people do it. When an interview ends, the stress that precipitated it dissolves. We relax, and we’re glad to get out of the room and back to normality. Because of that, we neglect to state the obvious. If you’re happy with the way the interview went and you’re satisfied that you’d like to work for the company, don’t be afraid to say so. Tell them you’ve enjoyed the interview, you like what you’ve heard about the company, and you’d love to work for them. If it’s appropriate to go into specific reasons why, do so.
4. Reconfirm your Credentials
If, during the Job Interview, you’ve heard enough to believe that you tick every box that the interviewer is looking for, have the confidence to say so. Don’t feel the need to make a speech here, but take thirty seconds or so to list back the things that the interviewer said that they need, and the qualities that you believe make you an ideal fit. Point to your experience and prior achievements, and underline why you’re relevant. This is your chance to summarize the interview and repeat it back to them one more time.
5. Ask What Happens?
You might not need to use this step, as some employers will tell you everything you could hope to know about the next steps. Not all of them do, though, and some of them will only give you vague details. Reiterate that you’re keen to make yourself available to them, so you’d like to know when you can expect to hear back from them and when training or employment begins if you’re successful. This confirms to your interviewer that you’re engaged, organized, and proactive.
When all that’s done, the only thing left is the handshake. Thankfully, the world of business isn’t as macho as it was twenty years ago, so there’s no need to crush the interviewer’s hand as you say goodbye. Some people will infer things from your handshake, though, so make it a good one. Offer your hand if they’re not offering theirs. Make it a firm one. Look them in the eye while you’re doing it, and smile. Again, the objective here is to convey confidence and self-assuredness. If you get all of this right, you’ll have made an impression – and you can start planning for a positive response.