Majority of job seekers whilst preparing for a job interview would practice a firm handshake and rehearse answers to tough interview questions on their skills and about their background. But many fresh chartered accountants seeking jobs overlook a crucial part of the interview process: the very end.
You might wonder what’s the need to prepare for ‘the end’. Once the interviewer stops asking questions and says thank you, what more do I have to do? But that’s not the end. In order to completely end the interview process, it is important that you follow certain tips and which if followed, makes a good ending of the interview.
I am sharing some practical tips which in my personal experience if followed would allow you to not only get the required information you would need later to follow up but also successfully close the interview:
In order to follow up later, make sure you get the names, titles and contact information of everyone you met during the interview process. Generally, the HR person is the one who would typically let you know the next process and therefore, if you take his/her details, that might be sufficient. However, asking details of other interviewers as well is also not a bad idea.
The Next Steps
Good and smart candidates always ask for the next steps involved in the process. The next steps might be asking questions like “Will only the most-promising candidates be informed about the next round of interviews?” or “How soon does the HR manager expect to move to the next step?” etc.
Lay the ground for a Follow-Up
Once the HR manager explains what’s going to be the next process, it is totally appropriate for the candidate to say 'Thank you, is it OK if I call you if I haven't heard from you?' Although you don't need the interviewer's permission to follow up, but if the interviewer say ‘it's OK’, then you are more likely to get away with your apprehension of making a call to him/her later.
Closing the interview
After thanking the interviewer, there is no harm in asking straight out, "Based on this interview do you feel I could be successful in this position? Will you move my candidature forward in the interview process?" There is a strong likelihood that the HR manager may not give any commitment of a yes or a no and he/she may simply say that there are more candidates to interview, for example.
Also remember that a positive response doesn't mean you're guaranteed to get the job. Majority of the interviewers would be polite and therefore, they may not say anything negative despite the fact that he/she may not have liked your profile and candidature. At the same time don’t feel disheartened if the interviewer expresses reservations. In such a situation use that as an opportunity to find out what his or her concerns are and try to clarify those concerns either on the spot or in a follow-up letter.
I always tell the students that interview is a process to sell yourself to the company and therefore, your sales pitch has to be absolutely wonderful specially the start and the finish.
Authored by Nimish Goel (www.nimishgoel.com), a qualified chartered accountant who’s passion is to coach young chartered accountants and aspiring students achieve the best in their life. Nimish used to work with EY and PwC in India and has also worked with KPMG in Europe. He now runs his own consulting company and runs a blog www.nimishgoel.com. He can be reached for any queries and issues on his blog.