Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Interviewers Where You Stand

Wouldn’t you like to leave the interview knowing exactly where you stand with a given employer?

Start asking. Think it’s too aggressive or forward? It’s not. Time after time, I ask my clients the same question and get the same response. “How did the interview go?” “I think it went well.” You think? How come you don’t know? The solution is simple. Just ask. No more wondering if an employer will call. No more spending countless hours following the interview thinking what you should have said or not said. No more guesswork. You have absolutely nothing to lose by asking a potential employer what they think of you. If it is not the right fit, then you’ll know and can immediately shift gears and focus your time and energy on the next great job opportunity.

This is important. If employers want you, they will undoubtedly tell you. Why would employers allow fabulous candidates to leave their offices without telling them that their interested? The point is that they don’t. They would never risk losing their next great talent. However, if they aren’t as impressed, they might not tell you the exact truth. Be prepared to hear something like, “We have a few more candidates to see before we make a decision on next steps” or my personal favorite, “We’re still in the early stages of the interview process and have some additional candidates to see.” That’s usually code for “We’re just not that into you” or “You haven’t completely sold me, so we’d like to keep our options open before committing to you.” Whether the news is good, bad or indifferent, it’s still better to know than to be kept guessing.

If I had a great candidate sitting in front of me as a hiring manager and HR leader and thought the person was the perfect fit for a position, I told him or her so. I never let candidates leave my office without them knowing exactly where they stood. Unfortunately, not every interviewer does this. However, I can tell you that every interviewer does form an opinion (sometimes positive and sometimes not so much) throughout the course of your conversation. Trust me, by the end of your interview, the person sitting across from you (or next to you if he or she is skilled) has a definite impression of you. Employers know exactly whether or not they will be inviting you to continue through an interview process or offering you a position. It’s up to you to ask. You deserve to know where you stand and not to be left hanging in limbo.

Here are some recommendations on how you can get interviewers to tell you what they really think:

  • Based on everything I’ve heard from you today, I think I’d be the perfect fit for this job. What are your thoughts?
  • I’m really interested in this position and in working for XYZ Company. Is there equal interest on your end?
  • I’m really excited about continuing through the interview process. What are your plans for next steps?
  • Do you have any concerns or is there anything about my skills or experience that I could clarify for you?

Would you ever consider leaving the doctor’s office without asking for your results? I don’t think so.

Bottom line: don’t ever leave another interview without knowing exactly where you stand.

About Amy Phillip

Leadership Career Consultant/Resume Writer committed to bringing out the best in my clients & helping leaders succeed in their careers.

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