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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Closing The Interview Deal

Closing The Interview “Deal”

By Ford R. Myers
President, Career Potential, LLC
I recently featured an article in this e-newsletter about Accomplishment Stories. I’m going to assume that you have written and memorized your own Accomplishment Stories, that you’ve extensively practiced telling them, and that you’ve even used them in some interviews.
To really leverage the power of Accomplishment Stories, however, it is important to apply them in “closing the interview.” In the sales field, of course, the term “closing” means that you “get the deal” – and that is how the term is intended here too. The only difference is that in this case, the “deal” you close is represented by a formal job offer.
Once you’ve effectively told your Accomplishment Stories at an interview, the information you’ve shared can lead directly into “closing the deal.” Below are some examples and techniques for you to use toward the end of the interview. Start the “closing” process by saying something like this:
“Now that we’re wrapping-up the interview, Ms. Jones, may I ask you a few final questions?”
“You’ve heard about my qualifications and listened to many of my Accomplishment Stories. Would you say that I am being seriously considered as a candidate for this role?” (If the answer is “Yes” – great! If the answer is “No,” ask specifically why not and try to overcome the interviewer’s objections.)
“Is there anything about my professional background that concerns you, or that would prevent you from bringing me onto your team? Please tell me now, so that I may have the opportunity to address any perceived issues.” (This is your chance to directly respond to the interviewer’s concerns and overcome any objections. Do so by telling or even re-telling one or two Accomplishment Stories as examples of your successes. Then, ask this question, “Don’t you agree that this would have been helpful or valuable at your company/department?”)
At the end of the interview, as in any good sales call, it is important to review and summarize exactly why and how you are an ideal match for the job. To do so, follow this simple structure:
“Ms. Jones, allow me to summarize some of the most relevant parts of our conversation today:”
  • Repeat the key business issues, problems or challenges that the interviewer has shared with you about her department or company.
  • State how your background and skill-set prove that you have successfully addressed similar issues in the past. (Remind the interviewer of the Accomplishment Stories you have already shared, making it clear to her that you can certainly be successful dealing with similar challenges at her company).
  • After completing your detailed summary, state, “So as you can see, Ms, Jones, I believe that I am an ideal fit for this role, wouldn’t you agree?”
At the end of any job interview, you need to maintain control and not be forced into a passive stance – such as when the interviewer says, “We have all the information we need; we’ll be in touch.” Regain your active posture by asking questions like:
  • “What is your time-frame for making a hiring decision?”
  • “If I don’t hear from you by then, may I contact you?”
  • “What is the best method for me to reach you, telephone or e-mail?”
One of the “side benefits” of mastering Accomplishment Stories is that the process dramatically increases the candidate’s confidence. That’s a good thing, because in order to effectively implement the behavior and speaking style outlined above, you will need a high degree of confidence! Once you “get yourself there,” I am certain that you will be amazed at how much better your interviews will go (leading to more job offers)!

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