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August 18, 2017

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Wrapping Up the Interview

You feel the job interview coming to a close. You cannot wait until the interview is over and you are safely in your car again. Don't rush through the final minutes of the interview. This is your time to seal the deal.

As you go through the interview, pay attention to themes introduced by the interviewer. You will be able to pick up what is important to the company and what kind of person they want to hire.

Now you have this new information that you did not necessarily have before the interview. You need to work into the conversation the reason why you are the person they are looking for and how you can help the company achieve their goals. The end of the interview is the perfect time to reinforce your value. Simply say, "I want to share with you how I created a training program for new Receptionists...."

Then there is almost always the point in the interview when the interviewer says, "That's all I had, what questions do you have?" It is important to ask questions to show you are thoughtful, intelligent and interested in the job.

Avoid asking questions about salary, benefits, time-off, or dress code. Save that for the negotiation discussion. Also avoid asking things that you should know. Asking general questions about the company shows you did not do your research. Try not to be redundant or ask questions just to ask something.

If corporate publications and the interview have not addressed it, ask about the direction of the department of which you may be a part. Ask about the tenure of others in your position and the typical career path. You can follow-up with how your career goals are congruent with that path.

Ask what the interviewer feels is the biggest challenge you'll face on the job. This is the perfect set-up to explain how you will handle that challenge.

As the interview concludes, be sure you know the next step and what, if anything, is expected of you. For example, is there a second interview? A test? Sample work to be submitted? Find out when they expect to make a decision.

Ask for a business card. Shake hands firmly with the interviewer while making eye contact. Thank her for the opportunity. Be direct and let her know that you enjoyed the interview and would very much want to work there.

After the interview send a professionally formatted and printed follow-up / thank you letter to the interviewer(s). That's why getting the business card is important. Be sure you get the name spelling and title correct. Not all candidates do this. It's another way to separate you from the other candidates.

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