The interviewer has just grilled you with an hour of behavioral questions, digging for examples of your most exciting accomplishment and how you achieved such a goal, or your most disappointing work effort and what you learned and have you been disappointed since. It gets a bit grueling and yes, has purpose but what do you ask when the interviewer finally turns to you with the proverbial ‘do you have any questions’?
I am reminded at this time of year of a time long ago (the 80’s) when I was helping a young lady interview for a job just before Christmas. She was a programmer, had come to the US from Taiwan and was shy because of her broken English. Her programming skills were strong and she needed the position so I coached her on how to interview but concentrated on how to close the interview when asked if she had any questions.
We practiced and practiced the words, her posture, and the clarity and loudness of her voice. After a number of tries she became very adept at answering the question clearly and loudly. She came back to my office after her interview newly employed and full of smiles.
She gave her feedback and I called the employer to confirm the meeting had gone well. He answered and immediately laughed, the candidate had answered all the programming questions correctly but quietly in her typical demeanor. And, when he ended the interview asking if she had any questions he said she sat up, looked him directly in the eyes, smiled and loudly said: “yes, do you want me to start Monday or Tuesday?!?” The employer was so surprised, he was impressed with her skills but was more impressed with her question/answer was he could not tell her no and hired her on the spot.
The power of positive words and optimistic voice inflection can be very helpful when closing the interview. Practice your response several times then put it to the test.