Job interviews can be daunting no matter your age or experience. Sitting across from your potential new boss as they evaluate your compatibility with the company and capability at the job is a nerve racking experience. However, regardless of how much you might dislike the process, interviews are a necessary part of life. The only way to improve and become more comfortable in an interview is by interviewing more and knowing the necessary tools to succeed. I find that the beginning of an interview typically goes fairly smooth, however there is a point towards the end that we all can stumble over our words and jeopardize the job opportunity. Try these suggestions to end your interview well and leave a good impression with your interviewer.
Your interviewer will signal they are wrapping up by asking if you have any questions for them. Come prepared and have questions in mind that you want to ask. Specific details about the job (such as pay and schedule) should be discussed only after a job offer has been made. This is a time to show that you are interested in the job and curious about the company itself. Your future employer wants to see someone who is engaged and inquisitive rather than passive and aloof. Do yourself a favor and always have at least a couple of questions prepared. Asking the wrong questions or not asking anything at all can be a red flag to the interviewer that you may not be the right fit for the job.
Frequent switching of jobs or large gaps in employment history can leave many interviewers uneasy when considering you as a candidate. If you have frequently changed jobs in the past, they will be concerned you do not intend to stay at this job long term. Be honest and explain the circumstances surrounding any employment gaps or any frequent job changes. If you are not sure if any red flags have been raised, ask. It is far better to ask if they have any concerns about you fitting in the position, rather than leave the interview with concerns left unspoken.
“So, did I get the job?” is never an appropriate question to ask at the end of an interview. However, it is important to know what your next steps are in the interview process. Asking about the next steps in the hiring process can let you know if they are interviewing more candidates and when they will be making a decision.
One of the most important things to keep in mind in an interview is to never leave them unsure if you are still interested in the position. An interview is not just about seeing if you are a good fit for them. It is also your opportunity to see if they are a good fit for you. If you are not clear about your interest level, they could assume that through the interview process you changed your mind and are no longer interested in pursuing them. If you think you would be a good fit and are still interested, tell them explicitly.
The last step before leaving an interview is to sincerely thank them for their time and shake their hand. It may seem like a simple gesture, but being considerate and polite go a long way. A follow-up email or letter thanking them a few days later is a great way to stay fresh in their mind as well. Not every interview can be a guaranteed hire, however, following these five tips can help on your path to employment.