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07/05/08
Closing The Deal
Filed under: Interview
Posted by: John Hadley @ 9:42 am

In an article in Career Tips, 2008 Volume 7, I wrote:

Asking for the next steps is a good idea, though it should be AFTER you’ve asked questions to uncover any problems that might exist with your candidacy. One way to ask is along the lines of:

“What else can I tell you to convince you I’m the person you would want to hire for this position?”

(If you would like a copy of 2008 Volume 7, just drop me an email at John@JHACareers.com.)

Toni wrote in response: 

“I think your response is excellent and bold. I say bold because if you’re clearly lacking some qualifications, to have it pointed out or highlighted at the end of the interview may make them eliminate you on the spot. Where as if most of the people they are interviewing lack this same skill you could be still in the running. On the other hand, the lacking quality may be something that was not listed in the resume and the interviewee did not articulate a response that gave them the answer they were looking for. The additional questions at the end of the interview would give the interviewee one last chance to set themselves about the rest.”

Here’s more on the subject:

Toni:

Thanks for weighing in!

You need to come across in an interview as confident in what you bring to the table, and as if you truly belive you are the best candidate. If you are worried about something you may be lacking, and trying to avoid it, you will rarely succeed. The point of asking a question like

“What else can I tell you to convince you I’m the person you would want to hire for this position?”

is to surface objections that already exist in the interviewer’s mind, so you can address them. If there are objections, and you leave them unaddressed, you will rarely make it to the next round.

I suppose it’s possible, as you suggest, that everyone else has the same issue, but then that means you are hoping to be no worse than everyone else they talk to. By getting the chance to address it right on the spot, you have the opportunity to differentiate yourself as better than everyone else.

By the way, I often hear about candidates asking a variation of this question in a negative way, like

“Do you have any concerns about my candidacy?”

The problem with asking the question this way is that it invites the interviewer to focus on the problems with your candidacy. It is much more effective to have them focused on the positives - which is why I suggest the question the way I did in my article. Plus, the question I posed presents an air of confidence in your candidacy.

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