One of the hardest parts of any interview is how end it. No matter how well an interview appears to have gone, leaving the room can be awkward, but you must remember that those final moments can be just as important as your first impression.
1. Always be Closing
There is nothing more disappointing as a hiring manager than to conduct an interview that I think is going well and then watching the candidate stand up, shake my hand, maybe say something to the effect of “thanks for your time”, and then walk out the door. How am I supposed to determine that the candidate is genuinely interested in my company or the opportunity if they failed to show any level of excitement? The answer. . . I can’t. That is why it is so important to always close an interview with a firm handshake and a clear statement that expresses your interest in the company and your desire for the job. Here’s an example:
“Thank you so much for your time today, and I am so excited for the opportunity to be a part of this team and to help the company grow.”
Such a statement tells the interviewer that you are interested, and if offered the job you’ll very likely accept. Now don’t get me wrong, if after the interview you are undoubtedly no longer interested, for whatever reason(s), don’t lie and tell them you are. In that case, I suggest that you again thank them for their time and politely leave. Want one of these examples:
“Thank you so much for your time. I found our time very helpful, but unfortunately I don’t think the role is the right fit.”
2. Send a Thank You Note
Now let’s say that you just conducted a phone screen as part of the interview process, make sure to get the person’s email address prior to ending the call. By the end of that workday, be sure to send the person a short appreciative note, such as:
“Thank you so much for taking the time to speaking with me this morning and telling me more about your team and the opportunity. I am excited for next steps, and please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions.“
Now, if you are fortunate enough to conduct an in-person interview, be sure to leave a Thank You Note addressed to every person you interviewed with. This process requires prior planning in that you should bring thank you notes with you to the interview. The message should be similar to the email messages from above; however, just like in Step 1, be sure to take this opportunity to again “close”. Thank you notes now a days are so rare that this extra effort alone may just get you over the top and win you the job.
On a side note, a great way to leave the note(s) is with the company’s receptionist or office manager. . . be sure to learn that person’s name and thank them as well.