Ending a Legal Job Interview on a High Note

I’m looking for a new job and would like some advice on what to say at the end of a job interview. Do you have any tips for ending an interview smoothly?

Your goal should be to always end the interview on a graceful, positive note.

Assuming that you want the job you just interviewed, your comments will depend somewhat on how well you think the meeting went. If you’re convinced that you are a bona fide candidate for the job, you can be a little more assertive toward the end of the interview. It’s completely appropriate, for example, to show your enthusiasm and tell the hiring manager in a straightforward manner that you’re very interested in the position.

A hiring manager will be evaluating your behavior very carefully during the interview for hints of what type of employee you would make. Here are some approaches that can quickly place you out of the running:

  • Bluffing. Don’t tell an interviewer you need an answer soon because you have another offer on the table (unless this is actually the case). This ploy can backfire on you.
  • Awkward questions. Asking the hiring manager to comment on how well you’ve performed only puts him or her on the spot. Leave performance appraisals to career counselors whose job it is to help you conduct effective interviews.
  • Asking for names. While you’ll obviously want to request names of alternate contacts when conducting informational interviews, when you’re meeting with someone to discuss a specific position, your objective is to generate a job offer —not to find out who else is hiring. If in the course of the conversation, you and the hiring manager realize the job is not a proper fit for you, then you can consider requesting names of others that are looking for candidates.

As you’ve no doubt discovered, developing a successful closing is not without its challenges. But if you pay close attention to the tone and direction of your interview and maintain a professional, businesslike demeanor throughout, you’ll be that much closer to landing a job offer.