It has been said that there are three important parts of any job interview: the beginning, the middle, and the end. Each part of a job interview matters, though in different ways. The opening sets a tone for everything that follows. It’s hard to recover from a poor first impression. The main interview itself provides the substance that will sell you as a candidate. The closing of an interview brings it all together, and leaves your interviewers with their final picture of you. Stumble at the end, and you may be passed over for a callback. Here are three marks to hit as you wrap up your next interview:
• Recap. Connect the dots between your experience and the position. Interviews cover a lot of ground. You not only do your interviewers a favor by recapping the most salient points, you do yourself a favor by leaving them with a clear case why you are the best fit for this position.
• Express appreciation. Saying “thank you” at the end of an interview should not be a perfunctory formality. Authentic connections are at the heart of a successful interview. Showcase your people skills by extending your sincere thanks for the opportunity to meet with your interviewers.
• Be direct. Some candidates try to play hard to get and eschew letting an employer know how much they want a job. They fear ceding the upper hand in negotiations. You don’t need to fawn or plead. Being clear that you are interested in a position demonstrates that you are forthright and ambitious. A simple, “I hope to hear from you soon. I think this could be a winning partnership,” is plenty to convey your desire for a position.