Sunday, December 13, 2015

At the last interview, ask for the job!

Jake was interviewing with Wild Indigenous Nut Company (WINC) for the position of Chief Nut Roaster, a position he had been wanting for a long time. He was up against two other finalists. His interviews were going well and this, the last interview, was his chance to make a final impression. 

Jake wasn’t certain he would get the offer, so in the closing minutes with Jane, the hiring manager, he leaned forward in his chair, looked Jane squarely in the eye and said, “Jane, I like what I have heard about you, the job, and WINC. I am convinced this is the place where I want to continue my career. In short, I want this job. When can I start?”

Dissecting James closing comments, a couple of important points can be made.

Jake was uncertain. He knew there were two other candidates and he wasn’t sure if he was the preferred candidate.

He suspected Jane would have to get approval from her manager, who had also interviewed the final candidates.

So Jake used the Presumptive Close, a technique he learned during interview training. And he personalized it by stating her name first. In the presumptive close one makes a statement and follows it up with a presumptive question without allowing any time for a response between the statement and the question. Jake made sure Jane knew where he stood and immediately asked her when he could start, a presumption that he was her first choice and that she would make an offer.

This is a powerful close candidates can use to solicit a positive response from a hiring manager. The beauty of closing properly is that regardless of the response, positive or negative, a decision is made which allows both parties to move on without wondering what the next steps are. If the response is positive Jake gets the job. If the response is negative, Jake has the opportunity to find out why and overcome the objection. If Jane is non-committal, Jake needs to set Jane’s expectations by stating he will call her back in a week or whatever appropriate timeframe. After the time passes, candidates who do not set expectations are left wondering what to do if they do not hear back. That is not where you want to be!

So at the last interview, ask for the job! And be prepared to negotiate terms, overcome objections, or establish next steps.

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