One question you should be asking during an interview but probably aren’t.
What’s the starting salary? What’s the most important quality you’re looking for in a candidate? What sort of team would I manage in this position? Assuming I exceed your expectations, are there opportunities for advancement two or three years down the road? What are the next steps in the interviewing process? These are all strategic questions you should be asking during an interview; however, there’s another key question you might be overlooking. Here it is:
I’m certain that I would gel effectively with your team, and I’m confident I would add substantial value to your organization. Is there anything else I can tell you to convince you that I’m the best candidate for this position?
Many jobseekers are scared to ask this question at the end of an interview. It feels a little bold and brash, but it really isn’t. If you’ve successfully demonstrated your value during the interview, you should feel confident enough to try to close the deal at the end of the discussion. You aren’t asking for a handout; you’re suggesting the consummation of a mutually beneficial arrangement. The truth is that many employers are flattered when a high-quality candidate asks for the job at the end of an interview. It shows enthusiasm, decisiveness, and the type of productive competitive spirit that fuels success.
In addition to fear of appearing pushy, some jobseekers are afraid to try to close the deal because they’re worried about rejection or an awkward response. It’s unlikely that an employer will outright tell you no or kick you of their office. More likely, the interviewer will mention an area of concern or an issue that requires more research concerning your potential fit within the organization.
If the interviewer says, “I think you could be a great fit, but we still have a couple more candidates to speak with and we need to make sure that the person we hire has a strong background in XYZ,” or “I’m still not convinced you have enough industry experience,” then you can use the remainder of the interview to mitigate those concerns. Be thoughtful and composed as you address the interviewer’s apprehensions; you certainly don’t want to appear desperate. This is also your opportunity to showcase humility, openness to taking criticism, gratitude for their feedback, and the desire to constantly improve—all valuable qualities that may ultimately help you win the offer in the end.
Interviewing is a two-way street. When asked if you have any questions for the interviewer, don’t be caught off-guard. If you feel that the interview has been positive and that you’ve effectively conveyed your professional value, don’t be afraid to try to close the deal. At worst, the interviewer may tell you the company needs more time to interview other candidates and make a decision. At best, you may just win the offer!