"Every problem is a gift. Without problems, we would not grow."
Anthony robbins

The Art of CLOSING in a Job Interview

CLOSING is an important skill when interviewing for sales roles. As the interview progresses, closing for next steps should fall into the natural flow of the conversation. The way that you finish an interview and your ability to move the process forward should leave a lasting impressing on the manager.

AVOID THE TRAPS: Some common examples (phrases) that often lead to trouble…

  • Thanks for your time, let me know if you think I might move forward

Asking a few generic questions to end the interview and then meekly thanking them for their time is a surefire way to come across a too soft. I know this can feel very polite, but this approach rarely works. To show your sales chops, you MUST make some attempt to advance the sale and to drive the timeline. NO CLOSE = NO NEXT INTERVIEW.

  • Do you see any red flags about me or why I wouldn’t be a fit?

These are dangerous questions! Asking the interviewer to articulate your weaknesses is not a great sales tactic. In essence, you are steering the conversation down a negative path (which is an awkward way to end a meeting). Would you end a meeting with a customer saying… “What are the problems you see with my product?”. Most managers will not give you a direct answer, but they might start thinking about your deficiencies rather than your strengths.

  • How do I stack up against the other people you are interviewing?

This is another question that rarely solicits an honest answer. If you are lighter on experience or lacking a key skill, you don’t want to shift the focus to another candidate. This puts you in the awkward position of defending yourself against someone you have never met. Be confident in your own abilities and keep the focus on you (and your potential).

  • If you hire me, I will be the best rep on your team, Guaranteed!

This type of bold machismo comes across as arrogant and overbearing. Talking about your skillset and your success is part of interviewing. Conversely, oversimplify the job and pitting yourself against other reps is off-putting. Being coachable and fitting in with the team chemistry is just as important as your sales acumen. Don’t let confidence become OVER-CONFIDENCE.

  • I need a commitment right now that I am your guy.

Backing the manager into a corner to gain a hollow commitment for a next interview is counterproductive. No hiring manager wants to be strong-armed. If you have tried multiple times to close and you are not getting the answer you want, don’t force it. You do not want the manager to think “This is the type of aggressive rep that customers will avoid”. Respect the managers space while enthusiastically stating your desire to move forward.

In Summary, follow this simple formula for successful close.

1. Ask questions about the manager’s needs/goals with this hire.

2. Re-enforce your ability to meet those needs and grow into the role.

3. Ask questions about what you can do to prepare for next interview.

4. Restate your interest in advancing and directly ask about timelines. There is nothing wrong with trying to schedule the next interview right there.

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