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How to Close a Sales Interview

You’ve smiled at your prospective employer like they were an old friend, eased through a mountain of CBI questions, used the STAR technique to great effect, and pushed those nerves bubbling in your stomach to the back of your mind.

The end of your job interview is near – but it’s not over yet.

Before you can leave the room/lobby/coffee area (or clicked “end” on your Skype call) knowing you’ve done all you can, you need to know how to “close” the interview in a way that leaves the right impression in the mind of the hiring manager.

Finishing up an interview is a delicate balance of politeness, assertiveness and professionalism, leaving your interviewer with the perfect impression of you and, hopefully, providing you with a job offer for your efforts.

With that in mind, we asked Huw Nicholas, Executive Solutions Lead at Chase, for his expert advice on ways to help you leave the interview room with a flourish.

Do you have anything you’d like to ask me?

When you’ve spent so much time extolling your own virtues, the question “Do you have any questions you’d like to ask me?” can cause a brain freeze that’ll grind the wheels of your interview to a stuttering halt.

Here’s what you shouldn’t ask:

  1. Do I get a company car?
  2. How much will you pay me?
  3. How often will I have to do field visits?
  4. Will you make me do admin every week?
  5. What are you like to work for?

These questions will make you seem self-centred, workshy and lacking in knowledge about the position you’ve applied for. Your questions at the end of the interview should imply that you’re interested in what you can do for the job, not what the job can do for you.

Questions that make you look like you’ve done your homework:

  1. What caused the position to become available?
  2. How is the territory I’ll be covering faring?
  3. Are there any particular challenges I’ll face in the first three months?
  4. What support will I receive when I start the job?
  5. What will be expected of me in the first three to six months?
  6. How are our products perceived by our customers?
  7. What should I expect from my regional colleagues?

Each of these questions achieves multiple aims, making you appear interested in the deeper machinations of the company, are commercially aware, and aren’t frightened to ask for support when you need it. Every manager is on the hunt for a candidate with these qualities.

Closing the deal

Anyone who’s watched the brilliant film Glengarry Glen Ross will know that the best salespeople should “Always Be Closing”. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to push for a job.

Forceful questions like “Well, are you putting me through then?” or “Is there any reason I won’t be called back?” will, much like the poor questions outlined earlier, make you seem indelicate and more interested in your welfare than the company’s.

Instead, try a little tact.

Effective phrases to close the deal:

  • “Are there any competencies or skills you’re looking for in a candidate that I’ve not demonstrated today? If so, I’d love the opportunity to prove them to you.”
  • “Thank you for your time. I’ve enjoyed meeting with you and am even more excited about the opportunity than I was earlier. What’s the next stage of the process and do you think I’m the sort of candidate you might be looking for?”

If you feel the interview has gone particularly well, don’t be afraid to make it clear that you’re excited about the opportunity and want the job by expressing your interest in the position itself, as well as the company and your interviewer.

There’s nothing wrong with giving your interviewer a little bit of an ego boost just before you part company.

Ultimately, closing a job interview successfully requires the same three ingredients as the rest of the process – research, forward planning and a friendly professionalism.

Final pieces of advice? Prepare for the “close” in the same way that you would for the CBI section. Plan what you’re going to ask, do the appropriate research, and seal the deal!

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Interview Tips