The Closing Statement of an Interview
At the end of the interview, you have the opportunity to make a closing statement. Those are the last words you will utter before you leave the office, so make them count. Since there is no definitive way to close an interview, below are some options for you to consider.
Summary Close. Provide the interviewer with a synopsis of your experience. Remember that competency-based interviews are rooted in details, so bring them up again. For example, "As a quality-focused IT professional with more than ten years of experience as a systems technician and software/hardware support specialist, I have demonstrated a proven ability to create and deliver solutions that meet corporate objectives tied to business and technology performance. I am skilled in proactively identifying and resolving critical systems/network issues that will benefit the IT department. As such, I hold a sincere interest in joining your team."
Direct Close. If you want the job, then ask for it. For example, "Thank you for taking the time to interview me today. Based on our conversation, my background is a perfect fit with the job requirements we discussed. Given that, I am interested in joining your team."
Balance Sheet Close. Remind the interviewer of the core competencies that were stressed during the interview and how your background is a natural fit. For example, "This interview has been informative. From our discussion, it is evident that the position requires an accounting representative with experience in processing payroll, quarterly payroll returns, and general ledger account reconciliation. As I demonstrated, I have the know-how in each category to begin working with little or no training. When can I expect to hear from you?"
Compliment Close. Summarize the aspects of the position and/or company that intrigue you. For example, "Over the years, your organization has been the leader in laser technology. The new strides and the direction your organization is taking demonstrate a strong commitment to the field. Since I take my career seriously and have strived to be the best I can be, I would like to join your team."
Standing-Room-Only Close. If you received an offer from another company before you went to the interview, let the interviewer know. For example, "I received a job offer yesterday and decided to interview today because your organization piqued my interest. After today's meeting, I am glad I made the decision to interview with you. This position is my first choice. When do you expect to make a hiring decision? The other employer is expecting my response by the end of the week."
Testimonial Close. Add a compliment that you received from a customer, management, or business associate. For example, "At my last performance review, my supervisor indicated that I have superior client support skills. She noted that I successfully met the company's expectations when managing hundreds of support calls per day under strict time constraints and guidelines. I would like to bring my experience to work for your department."
Trial Close. Offer to demonstrate your ability to perform the tasks. For example, "If it would make the decision easier, I would like to work on a trial basis to demonstrate the event planning skills I have honed over the years. You will find that my ability to manage details and execute plans and promotions will compliment your department's needs. How about I participate in an audition interview where you hire me on a probationary period so you can see me in action before you make a final decision?" Chances are, interviewers will put emphasis on the last words you shared, so choosing a closing statement that fits your personality, the position, and the interviewer's expectations will leave a lasting impression.
There's much more to the close of a competency-based interview than simply shaking hands and saying good-bye. The end of the interview gives you one last chance to make a strong impression, to summarize why you are the right person for the job, and to correct any misconceptions that may have cropped up. You can also find out what to expect next.
Excerpted from 201 KNOCKOUT ANSWERS TO TOUGH INTERVIEW QUESTIONS: The Ultimate Guide to Handling the New Competency-Based Interview Style, by Linda Matias. Copyright © 2009 Linda Matias. Published by AMACOM Books, a division of American Management Association, New York, NY. Used with permission. All rights reserved. http://www.amacombooks.org.
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