This Closing Question Will Leave Your Interview with a Great Impression
Every good hiring manager wraps up the interview by allowing their interviewee to ask a few questions of them.
While it’s a bit of a formality from the hiring manager’s point of view, the chance to ask questions is actually an opportunity for you to make a lasting impression and put yourself ahead of the competition.
So if you have just one question to ask, what should it be? A number of interview experts suggest this one:
“What is your biggest concern regarding my skills and experience for this position?”
Why it’s a good question
First and foremost, this is a great question because it changes up the dynamic of the interview. Until now, you’ve been on the spot – trying to come up with answers to your interviewer’s probing questions. This question flips the script and has you putting them on the spot.
This shouldn’t be done in a way to make the other person feel uncomfortable. Instead, it should be done in a way that feels like the both of you are working together – on the same level playing field – to determine if you are indeed the best fit for the position. Establishing that sense of equality and collaboration is something a good interviewer should recognize and value in a candidate.
This question also shows a counterintuitive thought process. Good companies love individuals who think against the grain. Here, you would be showing that a good interview is a two-way street. Furthermore, this question and the conversation following it should show you can think intelligently to address a problem.
Asking about what your potential weaknesses might be also shows you are open to criticism. It sends a message that, if you are to get the job, you will be open to direction and feedback. This question also implies that you accept feedback and then use it to make changes and improvements. From the interviewer’s point of view, it means bringing you on board means bringing in a person who is open to improving themselves, and therefore improving the company as a whole.
Finally, this is a good question because it attempts to close the deal – in the same way you might try to close a sale. It caps off the entire interview from your end and adds a bit of structure that a good interviewer should appreciate.
How to handle the response
Asking the question is half the battle. You also have to listen and respond.
If you interviewer does come back with some serious concerns, the last thing you want to do is to start an argument over your qualifications or something you said in the interview. Instead, write down his or her response to show your interviewer you are actively listening to them and taking in their feedback. Then, in your follow-up or thank-you note, tell them you appreciate the honest feedback and explain how you are working to remedy their concerns.
At LTI, we assist job seekers with every part of their job search, from writing resumes to interview prep. If you are in need of a consultation, please contact us today!