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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Closing the sale

When you are in job search mode, you are in effect "selling" your skills and talents.  Your resume and cover letter are your brochure and sales material and your interview is your sales call.

Now, all of the salespeople reading this know that the next step is to find out where the process is going.  Some people will tell you that they have to think about your presentation or discuss it with a partner or supervisor.  If that is happening, you know that the next question is "When would be a good time to follow-up?" and then you put that on your calendar.

If you aren't fortunate enough to have someone who is that forthright with you, then you need to take the bull by the horns and figure out how to close the sale or ask for the sale.

You must be careful in an interview not to appear needy or pushy.  Stating that you would love to work for the company is great but must be conveyed in a sincere unassuming manor or the interviewer could interpret the statement incorrectly.

Closing the sale is typically about overcoming objections, but in an interview you must be careful about how you ask the question - go for the open-ended question that allows the interviewer to share concerns about whether you are a good corporate fit, or how you might be able to handle the job.

Asking for feedback about how you did on the interview could potentially backfire, but by asking how you compare to the other candidates you may find out that you rank well among the competition.  If it isn't among the highest, you may ask how you might improve to become the best fit or to improve your skills (interviewing or actual) for a future interview at this company or another. 

When you leave an interview, knowing if you are in the running for a position allows you to plan for your job search next steps.  If you are confident that you did well and the feedback is positive, you may not have to be looking for long.

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