Posted September 16, 2015

How to End an Interview

Congratulations on getting the interview! You’ve prepared for days, researched with whom you are meeting, spoken with your agency about the working environment project and all job related items. You’ve given some great answers, and now at the end of the interview you’re asked: “Thanks for your time – do you have any questions?”

Your answer should always, unequivocally, irrevocably be an enthusiastic “YES!”

The end of the interview and how you leave the meeting are just as important as what you discuss during the meeting – but what to say?

Below are a few tried and true questions to consider asking a prospective employer at the end of an interview.

Question Zero

“Is there anything else on which I can offer further clarification?”

When the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions?”, this should be your first response. This single question will unlock the mystery of “Did I miss anything?” By asking the interviewer if there are any other details they need from you, or if you can provide further clarification, will provide the interviewer with the opportunity to think back and have a second chance to ask questions that may have been missed. The other big advantage to this approach is that managers will often use this opportunity to ask something about your skill set which is not in the job description but is relevant to the position. Even if the interviewer says “Nope – you got it all”, at least you’ve confirmed you’ve answered everything.

If you want to appear extra-confident, there is an alternative to this question:

“Do you see any gap in my skill set which would prevent me from being a great fit in this role?”

For obvious reasons, this can be the question that gets you the job, or escorted out of the interview, but it does show confidence.

Question One

“What your deliverables in the near future? How do you see me making that possible?”

No mystery here – it is good to know exactly what this job holds for you as the candidate. Hopefully this topic will have been discussed in the interview itself, but the second half of this question is important – how do YOU see ME making this possible?

The interviewer will now hopefully think about you in the role in a positive manner, and think about how you can deliver on those critical milestones. Another benefit to this question is that it can let you know exactly what the interviewer has in mind for you, and gives you the opportunity to see if this is a role you want to take on with realistic expectations.

Question Two

Can you tell me a bit about the team? With whom will I be interacting?

Some people ask about work culture, an organizational chart or worse – the dreaded “What does a day in this person’s life look like?” These are all questions to avoid. By asking an open question about the team it leaves it up to the manager to tell you the important details. When asking an open-ended question the conversation can go into a lot more detail. When following up with a question about whom you will be working with, it shows that you are interested in the team, and how that team will assist in making your successful in the role.

Question Three

What are some of the biggest challenges in the role? How do you see my skills overcoming them?

This is often a good final question to ask and will again help solidify you as the person for the job in the interviewer’s mind. By asking about the biggest challenges in the role, you can show how you’ve overcome those same challenges in previous positions and how you can be successful in the new role. Best of all – the second half of this question makes the interviewer think the same. If by some chance the interviewer feels you cannot overcome the challenges, then at least you get your interview feedback right away – this is not the job for you in any event.

How to Exit the Interview

Please, do NOT say or ask:

  • “When do I start?”
  • “When do I meet your boss?”
  • “I look forward to working with you.”

The most positive way to exit is to simply ask, “What are the next steps?” You can show interest by telling the interviewer you’ve enjoyed the meeting, you’re looking forward to his/her feedback, and simply ask “What are the next steps?” This covers all that needs to be said and sets you up for the next round in the hiring process.

Happy interviewing!