How to Close an Interview So You’re Never Left Wondering
Did you interview for a sales job a few weeks ago and it’s been radio silence? The hiring manager or recruiter have not gotten back to you and you have no idea where you stand in the hiring process. It can be frustrating and even disappointing, especially if you are really excited about the company and position. Now you’re wondering: 1. Are you still a contender for the role? 2. Should you reach out to follow-up?
My advice: Yes, it’s okay for you to reach out to the hiring manager and ask where your candidacy stands. However, remember to be courteous and not voice your frustration. If you are still a candidate of interest, ask them about next steps and timeline. If they have decided to pass on your candidacy, DO NOT get defensive and aggressive! Simply ask them for any constructive feedback they can provide, thank them for their time, and ask them to keep you mind for future opportunities. You don’t want to burn any bridges.
That is the advice I give for following up when you are passively waiting and expecting a phone call after a sales job interview.
*Now, if you want to avoid this question and situation all together, you need to know how to close an interview.
If you’re in sales, you should know that you should never assume anything.
Before you even go in for an interview, you should be prepared. That means doing your homework on the company and role, understanding who you are meeting with, and what types of questions you will ask. You should also anticipate questions and concerns and be prepared to answer them.
Ask the interviewer if they have any questions or concerns
Now that you’ve gone in for your interview and it’s nearing the end, make sure you ask the interviewer if they have any questions or concerns regarding your background or the ability to do the job.
Answer each question or concern in the affirmative
If the interviewer doesn’t have any concerns that’s great! However, if they do have any questions or concerns, you want to isolate, address, and answer each question in the affirmative. Don’t get defensive! Acknowledge their concern and answer it in the affirmative, meaning “Yes, I understand I may not have that exact experience…” You want to overcome objections/concerns just like you would closing a sale. Do not brush over the question.
Once you have addressed each concern, and the interviewer has no further questions, it’s time to ask them about next steps. You want to know when you should expect to hear back. If the interviewer is vague, and says “soon,” or “sometime next week,” or “we are still have other candidates in the process,” don’t just say “Okay, great. I look forward to hearing from you.” Be prepared to follow up.
Assume nothing and set expectations
Be proactive and take ownership of your search. Whether the interviewer gives you a timeframe or not, set their expectations. Tell them that if you do not hear from them by a specific date or time, you will reach out at that time. This way they will not be surprised when you call and you have set accurate expectations so that you are not left hanging in your search.
Rather than passively waiting to hear back, you have the ability to follow-up to inquire about your candidacy and remove uncertainty.
It is important to note that if they are not returning your calls or emails after several attempts to connect, it is time to move on. Unfortunately, you may not be the candidate they decided to move forward with. I know that this does not help you to know what you did or didn’t do, but you have to keep moving forward. While there are companies that do not give feedback, there are ones that do! Keep your job search pipeline full, and you will not have to worry about the ones that passed on you.
If you have any questions regarding your sales job search, or are looking for a new sales job, connect with a Treeline, Inc. Consultant.
Ace your next sales job interview. Watch How to Prepare for a Sales Job below.