A job interview is a fluid situation, with changes in direction possible at any moment throughout the voyage. But particularly in the financial industry, the way you manage the end of the interview may have the most significant impact on how you will be remembered. It’s your last words and actions that can make a lasting impression.
Take advantage of the one last opening you have before your interview is formally concluded, and keep these in mind:
Just one more thing
Whether or not you are given the opening with “…any last questions?” be sure you get to ask all your intended questions about the position, the company and its management. And ask questions based on the information you obtained during the interview. It’s your last chance to find out, and it will show you were paying attention and that you had a plan.
As much as anything, interviewers are looking for reasons to eliminate candidates. Though they will seldom reveal those impressions unsolicited, it’s worth some probing about in order to fortify a weak or understated part of your profile, or to correct any misconceptions. Offer that based on the conversation, you seem to be a strong fit for the requirements of the position and ask if there are any issues or concerns they have to the contrary.
A bang or a whimper
Don’t let the handshake be the final statement you make. Use the moment to restate your skills and traits, and impress on your interviewer why you are the best candidate for the job: summarize your skills and experience, your fit with the organization.
Go out on a high note
Demonstrate energy and enthusiasm, emphasizing your interest in the position and your high regard for the company. Remind the interviewer of the core competencies that you discussed during the interview and how your background is a natural fit.
Make an offer
No, you can’t offer yourself the job, but you can earnestly propose that you supply references, work samples or other background information that would help support or fill out your profile.
If you are lucky enough to be fielding multiple offers, this is the right time to reveal that (though bluffing is not recommended). Use the moment to let them know you have an offer, but you are pleased to have had this interview because this is now your first choice. You need to render an answer to the other firm and want to know when to expect their decision.
Bid and ask
Advance the discussion and inquire about the next step in the process. When is the decision date, how can you follow up and with whom. Without sounding over-aggressive, this can let them know how serious you are about pursuing the position.
Interviewers are likely to put emphasis on the last words you share, so choose a closing strategy carefully. But as much as anything else, the end of the interview will be a reflection of who you are, so tailor it to fit your personality, the company and the position.