If you interview and decide you want the job it is critically important to make sure the hiring manager knows it. It is equally important to say you do not want the job if you don’t so that no one wastes further time.
A hiring manager often needs to obtain concurrence on a proposed offer and if so, may have to justify the hiring rationale to someone else who must approve it. If there are two fairly equal candidates, one who clearly indicates desire and one who does not, it may be likely the offer will go to the candidate who has asked for the job.
Asking for the job is simply a normal sales process one should follow. I suggest using a “presumptive close” such as “Based on everything we have reviewed and discussed, I want you to understand that I want this job”. When can I start?” Or alternatively, “Given the conversations I’ve had with you and the others I am convinced this is the place where I want to continue my career. In short I want this job. When can I start?” This is an excellent close because “When can I start” presumes a positive response to stating you want the job.
By presuming the outcome the hiring manager knows where you stand. He or she will then know it is worthwhile to seek concurrence if approval is necessary. If the hiring manager responds that there are more candidates to consider, one then needs to establish when he or she should expect to hear back. This avoids later questions about “should I or should I not contact them” and when should I do it.
As the interview progresses there are a number of trial closes one can use that ultimately lead up to the final interview and an offer. As each interview comes to a close one should ask “Based on what we have discussed, is there anything that concerns you about my fit for this position?” This type of question enables you to determine if there are any objections and affords you the opportunity to discuss and overcome them.
At the end of all conversations with all interviewers it is wise to assess each interviewer’s feelings about your fit. “Based on our discussion do you feel positive about my fit for this job? Do you have any concerns?”
Before leaving an interview one should always set expectations for the next steps in the process. Ask “What are the next steps?” Try to get the last interviewer to state who will do what and when so that if a week or so passes and you haven’t heard, you will feel comfortable following up. When expectations are not set, you don’t know whether following up would be perceived as annoying or not. If the interviewer does not respond with clear expectations, (who, what, when) then it is appropriate for you to state that you will follow up in a week.
Karl has been reviewing resumes for people at no cost since 1999. He has been counseling job seekers since that time as well. If you would like his help, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org