Don’t leave a job interview wondering where you stand. Here are some techniques for professionally closing an interview, ensuring that the hiring manager will know you want the job and that you will know the next steps in the hiring process.

Share story

A job seeker’s goal is to sell herself or himself to the hiring manager and to evaluate whether the position will be a good two-way fit. But don’t forget: if you decide during the interview that you want the job, you should also try to discover where you stand with the hiring manager and find out the next steps in the hiring process.

There always seems to be a debate on whether a candidate should try to “close the sale” at the end of a job interview. My answer is yes — but do so with class. Professionalism is of the utmost importance, and my preference is to take an open, honest approach at the end of a job interview.

After the hiring manager has asked if you have any questions and you’ve discussed those, consider asking one of the following questions:

  • “Based on my background and the skills and experience we discussed, how well do I fit the profile of the candidate for which you’re looking?”
  • “Given what we’ve discussed during this interview, do you have any concerns about my fit for this position?”

After that, find out where the interviewer is in the hiring process:

  • “What are the next steps in the hiring process?”
  • “When will you be making a decision?”

Most Read Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

At the end of the interview, reiterate your interest in the position:

  • “Based on my research and what we’ve discussed, I would really like to work for you in this job. How soon until you’ll be making a decision?”
  • “This discussion has made me even more excited about this job opportunity, and I would love to be the person you hire. Is there anything else you need from me before you make a decision?”

Choose the most appropriate closing questions and comments for your situation, and be sure to thank the hiring manager for his or her time and ask for a business card.

Next time, don’t leave a job interview wondering where you stand with the hiring manager. Use these techniques to professionally close an interview so he or she will know that you want the job, and you’ll know the next steps in the hiring process.

Lisa Quast is the founder of Career Woman, Inc., and the author of the book Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach. Email her at lquast@careerwomaninc.com.