Simple Closing Comments Create Job Offers

Interviewing is a selling opportunity. It’s a relatively short time frame and you’re in the spotlight. Even in so-called casual interviews, you’re watched and evaluated very closely. You’re compared to others and graded. Everything you do, everything you wear, and everything you say is magnified, and either helps or hurts you.

You can sell yourself into a job and receive an offer by using “closing comments.” Closing comments are thoughts you drop into the conversation to “close the sale.” Closing comments screen you into the position as opposed to screening you out. They say, in effect, “You should hire me. I belong here.”

Interviewers want to know at least three things: 1) Can you do the job? (Do you have the technical skills and experience?) 2) Will you do the job? (Are you motivated to perform?) and 3) How do you fit into the corporate culture? (Is the personal chemistry good?) To be successful, you need to win in all three areas. Let’s discuss them separately.

Can you do the job?
The company wants to know if you have the required technical skills and experience. They also want to know if you can take the ball and run with it. You want to show sureness (self confidence) rather than unsureness (lack of confidence). Don’t lie, but don’t be unnecessarily modest. You want to communicate “I can handle this with no sweat,” not, “I could do it if you’d hold my hand every step of the way.” Here are some good closing comments:
      • “The job fits me.”
      • “This would be easy.”
      • “I’ve done this before.”
      • “I wouldn’t have any trouble with that.”
      • “We did a very similar project at AT&T.”
      • “I could make a big contribution in a hurry.”
      • “No problem. That’s exactly what we did at Columbia/HCA.”
Will you do the job?
The company wants to know your level of motivation. Do you want the job? If so, how badly? (Remember that wanting it too badly can be interpreted as desperation.) Here are some closing comments:
      • “I could really see myself fitting in here.”
      • “I think we’d work well together.”
      • “I’d like the job.”
      • “I’d like to take a shot at it.”
      • “I’d love to take charge of this.”
      • “I’d love to give it a try.”
      • “I’d like to get started on it.”
      • “It would be fun to get started.”

How do you fit into the corporate culture?
The company wants to know if you’ll like others and if they’ll like you. You want to use phrases that say, in effect, “I like it here.” For example:

      • “I like you people.”
      • “I like what you’re doing.”
      • “I like the direction you’re taking.”
      • “I like your management philosophy.”
      • “I like what I’ve seen so far.”
      • “From my perspective, it feels like a great fit.”
      • “I like the way you manage people . . . and I’d like to work for you.”

Footnote: A consultant came here to interview this week. Midway through the meeting I said I was going to get more coffee. She said, “Would you like me to get it? I like to make myself useful.” I had to laugh. She’s a sales and business development person, and I knew what she was doing—she was selling me. I loved every minute of it, and told her so. We had a good laugh together. Her dropping that closing comment into the conversation really gave us something to talk about.

For obvious reasons, closing comments are recreated for each new company and job opportunity. They must sound “in the moment,” and not canned or pre-scripted. Write them out beforehand, and refine them over several days, if time permits. 

 I’m convinced that if you use these comments during your interviews, you’ll make a wonderfully positive impression—good enough to create the job offer or consulting assignment you’re after.

As always, be true to yourself. Never say something positive just because it sounds good and is likely to impress. Say it only if you believe it.

If you don’t admire the senior leaders, don’t say you do. If you don’t love the culture, don’t say you do. Be faithful to yourself.

As I’ve said many times, “It’s hard to beat the truth.”

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