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Hello fellow MTers

I am preparing for an interview for a Strategic Planner role and have been listening and reading a number of the relevant casts and discussions.

The topic of how to close an interview has been raised but without having seen Mark's Kellogg presentation I'm unclear on one point. I gather the point is to state why you would like an offer for the job and to state your claim for the role? For example "Mark, I'd really like an offer for this position. I believe I can offer x, y and z to your team." The exact words would be based on what is discussed in the interview and of course delivered with plenty of energy.

Am I on the mark here?

I can't wait for the interview package to come out. Keep up the good work.

Stefan

juliahhavener's picture

I think the interview is all about what you can offer. When I made my close, I focused on the things I was really excited about: The opportunity to make an impact, to move to the new area (or stay in the existing area), and to leverage my current skills to benefit of the company (internal interviews). They were both focused on the particular position and location. It's been 7 months since then, but my recollection is that this is more about what is important to you and why it's good for you.

The offer I accepted had a close that sounded something like this: I want an offer, and here's why: This is an incredible opportunity for me and for this market, I love the city and the people here already. I believe I will be the strong leader you need in this position and I have a skill set that is uniquely suited to the challenge.

(I said a few other things, but I was entirely too excited to remember them - it wasn't too long and it was my first close - I was terrified!)

Since then I've gotten a few random bits of feedback from that series of interviews (3 different interviews, 3 different positions, 3 different markets). Several of those bits revolved around the close - the interviewers felt it was a powerful statement of intent.

Mark's picture

A close is seven words (not counting their name) and the reasons therefore.

To wit:

"Bob, I want an offer, and here's why."

Then list your reasons for why you want them to make you an offer. It could be the people, it could be the reputation, it could be the job, it could be the perfect fit of your skills, or of the incredible opportunity.

The purpose of your close is to leave no doubt how interested you are.

Mark

asteriskrntt1's picture

If it isn't obvious to some MT members, this close is a very flexible tool and can be used at numerous stages of the interview process.

For example, if you are in a first stage screening interview or a phone interview, after you have made your positive first impression, the recruiter often says something like "Well, we are going to evaluate a number of other candidates and hopefully by the end of next week, we will have a shorter list of whom we are bringing in for a face-to-face interview."

At this point, you pipe up with "Joan, you should put me on that list and here is why... and cite your three biggest reasons...."

In a later stage interview, you can turn it into "Bill, I should be on your short list and here is why...."

Additionally, you can use your salesmanship tools and add some mini closes during the interview. Comments like "I am really impressed with the environment you are describing" or "She/he sounds like the type of manager/leader I want to work with" or "a company restructuring is often a great opportunity to work on projects and initiatives one normally doesn't see, I would like to be a part of that" all perk up recruiter's and interviewer's ears.

For those of you less comfortable with closing or selling, there is a nice short podcast on Itunes in the business section from Zig Ziglar. The series is called Inspiring words of Encouragement, and the specific podcast is Closing Skills, from May 21/2007

*RNTT

Mark's picture

Nope.

Close for an offer at every stage. Closing for the next step is not NEARLY as effective.

Asking to go to the next step is NOT a close.

Close for an OFFER each step of the way.

Mark

sg4307's picture

Thanks Mark et al

This feedback is very useful and I feel the knowledge I have gained from this and all the other discussions I have seen/heard makes me even more confident to go in and nail the interview. Once you hear the logic behind the "close" you can't do anything else. If nothing else it shows you are enthusiastic about the position and working for the team or company.

Now a bit more research and off to the interview.

Stefan

PS - I discovered your resources only a few months ago through iTunes and I am loving going back and listening to all the old casts. I am learning so much each day which I can hopefully use to improve my own practices as well as those I interact with.

Knowledge is power.

asteriskrntt1's picture

Mark,

I agree with your strategy if you are face to face with someone with your degree of professionalism, experience and ability to "get it".

For the average (and most often below average) recruiter that I experience, they would just think you were arrogant and an idiot for asking for an offer when they are in no position to make you one.

*RNTT

Mark's picture

Tha's not my experience.

Mark

asteriskrntt1's picture

That's ok. We are allowed to have different experiences. If everyone had your experiences, there would not be much of a need for Manager Tools :)

*RNTT

Mark's picture

So glad it's okay!

Well said.

Mark

sg4307's picture

Hello again

I had the afore mentioned interview yesterday so I thought I'd post a quick update.

Whilst I wasn't entirely happy with all of my answers (I guess that's natural) I felt I provided some good examples of how my previous accomplishments and skills applied to this new role.

The close went well and I felt it left a great impression. Judging by the look on the three interviewees faces they certainly weren't expecting it.

I've just posted my thank you/follow up letters so now it's fingers crossed. I certainly feel that they know how enthusiastic I am about working with them.

Thanks for the assistance to date.

Stefan

asteriskrntt1's picture

Hey Stefan

Way to go. You made your mark. Now you see if they are smart enough to see the fit.

*RNTT