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AdvisorNet

Asking for the job at the end of an interview?

Veteran

Shane Snyder Fallbrook, CA

I have read in numerous articles that one of the biggest mistakes an interviewee makes during an interview is not asking for the job at the end of the interview.

What are your thoughts and opinions on an interviewee asking this question? Should we ask for the job at the end of the interview after internally gauging how we think the interview went? I say that because I have been on an interview where the interviewers and I didn't click. Knowing that, I wasn't going to proposition myself for a job.

Thank you,
Shane

24 April 2015 30 replies Interviews

Answers

Advisor

Ali Hoban New York, NY

Hi Shane,

I think that asking for the job at the end of the interview can come across as pushy. Hiring decisions are often made by a team, not just one individual, so asking for the job can make the candidate seem impractical and impatient.

I'm always impressed when a candidate ends the interview with reaffirming that they really want the job my organization is hiring for, not just any job. Candidates often end interviews by explaining why they would be a good fit for the position. However, hiring managers aren't just looking to see if you can do the job. They also want to know that you really WANT to do the job. If you can end the interview by not only convincing them that you can do the job, but also that this is the job you're passionate about, they'll feel much more confident that you'll be an engaged and motivated worker.

Best of luck to you!
Ali

24 April 2015 Helpful answer

Advisor

Arsene Gerber Kenosha, WI

Shane,
As both a hiring manager and a job seeker over the years.....always, always ask for the job - if you want it. If you've done your job with regard to investigation of the company and position, and you feel that you and the position are a good fit for one another...and if the interviewer has done his/her job and laid out exactly what is expected and what they're looking for; then by all means Ask For The Job. When my kids were starting out, I always stressed to them to not leave the room without asking for the job if they really wanted it.
Good luck
Arsène

27 April 2015 Helpful answer

Advisor

Joe Hopkins San Antonio, TX

I prefer to ask the person conducting the interview what the next step in the hiring process will be, as opposed to asking for the job. You can also ask questions about their time table, such as when do they expect to make a decision and when would the successful candidate be expected to start.

It is important to understand the full interviewing process and the different types of interviews. Depending on the company/industry, you may encounter a screening interview first, which will only determine who gets selected to go forward for round number two of the process.

It is a legitimate question to ask the first company representative who contacts you for a brief explanation of the process. This will typically be someone from Human Resources.

12 May 2015 Helpful answer

Advisor

Jim Schreier Milwaukee, WI

Asking for the job and expressing your strong interest in the job (at the end of an interview and in follow-up emails/letters are two drastically different things. I've struggled to find an acceptable way to even phrase that question without sounding as some have said pushy. I did think about performance auditions where a "Chorus Line" type "I need this job. I really want this job." might be appropriate.

And it's obviously appropriate when initially applying to be "asking for a job." But not in an interview. Among other things mentioned by people, it puts you at a serious bargaining disadvantage. A recruiter might just respond with something like "Yes, you can have this job at 20% less than...."

6 May 2015 Helpful answer

Advisor

Sam Wright Sammamish, WA

Shane
An interview is a step in the decision process (gathering information) for both perspective employer and employee. You don't make a final decision until you see an offer and possibly even a counter offer. If you did your home work about the company and position you applied for and from the discussion/ interview you feel like it's something that you can be successful with, have much to contribute and meets your needs my approach/recommendation would be to go for it and say so loud and clear.
Best of luck.
Sam

24 April 2015 Helpful answer

Advisor

Anthony Menzorio Berkeley Heights, NJ

Some great responses. The interview is as much about you learning more about the organization as the organization learning about you. I'll add my two cents. Use the interview to learn more about the role, what they are looking for and the attributes needed to succeed and promote the organization. Use personal experiences to support these attributes. during the discussion. As the interview is winding down, use this as an opportunity to remind the interviewer of how you would be a perfect fit and express your interest in the organization..

Good luck

Advisor

Ramesh Thiyagarajan North Attleboro, MA

Hi Shane,

Thank you very much for your service.

Regarding your question, I am not sure if it is still relevant now - hopefully you've landed a great role! If it is still germane, here is my take, from my extensive experience as both an interviewer and candidate.

It is always best to show authentic excitement about the opportunity, especially if it is one that you really want. Articulating the why behind your intentions on the role is key. To do this, it's essential to express two things: why your experience is a great fit, and why this role (versus others) will help you get to where you want to be in your career.

Asking for the job is implicit in this process - I would never ask this explicitly. Showing rational, strategic career thinking, as well as genuine emotion about the opportunity, is always the best way to ask for the job, without specifically asking for it. This will also make you more valuable as a candidate.

Hopefully this helps, and best of luck!

-Ramesh

Advisor

Linda Dater Foothill Ranch, CA

If the position is one you want, then definitely ask for the job. As you do so, mention one or two key things you could do to contribute to the company quickly. You'd be surprised how few people did that. You're right, though, not to do so if you and the interviewer didn't click.

Advisor

Linda Dater Foothill Ranch, CA

If the position is one you want, then definitely ask for the job. As you do so, mention one or two key things you could do to contribute to the company quickly. You'd be surprised how few people did that. You're right, though, not to do so if you and the interviewer didn't click.

Advisor

Chris Doolen Houston, TX

Thank you for your service!

I agree that you dont want to be "pushy", but if you want the job, don't push.... PULL.

What are the next steps?
What are the issues that keep a new employee in this position from being successful?
What are the reasons this position is now available? someone leave? company growing? Where are you trying to grow? How is my position going to help the company grow?
Tell me about the culture of the company?
How do you recognize your top performing employees? (if the company doesn't recognize top performers you might consider looking elsewhere for a job...)

By all means, do research on the company, and ASK QUESTIONS.

I interview, what appear to be, promising candidates who have no questions for me, or my business, with no indication that they even care if they get the job. They "say" the right things, but their actions don't match. They then walk out the door thinking they've NAILED IT, and they don't even follow up. If they do follow up, it's a generic thank you note.... no indication that they've absorbed anything or had additional questions about what the heck my company is all about.

Best of Luck!
Chris

Advisor

Thomas Steele Riverside, CA

Shane, first of all, take a position that as they are interviewing YOU you are interviewing THEM. Sometimes the idea of separating lookers for hiring positions, is appreciated. A good closing statement might be, so with respect may i ask, when could i expect to start if you found everything in good order... then ask what else may i provide to assist you with making a decision on me? After all making yourself different is not always a bad thing. Being prepared for the expectation of being hired is a great mental preparation for YOU.. suppose they say, great can you start today? Best of luck and thank you for your service

Advisor

robert castillo Huntsville, AL

I believe that if they don't understand you want the job at the end of the interview that's a huge problem, send me an email at robert.castillo@ngc.com. lets work the process with you

Advisor

Joshua Hartley New York, NY

Only if it's a sales position. Sales positions that require closing will want that pitch at the end because they want to see you sell. ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING ELSE, NO!!!!!

Advisor

Linda Weller Mars, PA

Don't ask for the job, tell them you are the best and most qualified candidate add your greatest strengths and why they should hire you in 2 minutes or less.

Advisor

Bob Molluro Wilmington, DE

Here is one approach to consider. You generally have a feeling on how the interview went and the rapport that you were able to build with that person. Certainly reinforcing your interest is appropriate. this could be followed by " is their anything standing in the way of me being offered the position?" Acting in a passive manner is rarely what people are looking for especially in a competitive marketplace.
Let me cite an example to prove a point. After a one hour interview with the HR person I had an interview with three plant managers at the same time. They set them selves up so that I could only see one of them at a time. They each took their turns at grilling me with tough questions. At the beginning of the interview they outlined the process and said that after they asked their questions I could ask them anything I wanted.
When they finished asking their questions I said, "Can I still ask my questions-yes". Since they were all peers I decided to pit one against the other. I asked the first person to tell me why he thought he was better than the other two, I asked another another person what his income was and why he was worth it. I continued to grill them.
The end result was before I left they made me an offer that was the highest ever given to this position and gave me the offer immediately that day which they had never done before. I believe the reason was that I read that they were aggressive, hard drivers and I wanted to let them know that I have similar characteristics. Learn to read the situation and react appropriately. Be yourself. You need to stand out. Hope this helps.

Advisor

Jeanine Boyle West Chester, PA

Hi Shane! I love this question because I also have read the same thing and pondered it myself. In my opinion, interviewing for a role is a two way street - the company evaluates you but you also evaluate the company. Hearing at the end of an interview that the candidate wants the job, sees it as a good fit and communicates their energy around it is great information for the employer to have. I would do that but stop short of directly asking, especially if there were multiple interviewers. All the best to you!
Jeanine

Advisor

Jeff Martin Ashburn, VA

In most situations the job can't be offered during the interview so asking for it is out of place. I think its a better strategy to express your confidence that you can do the job well and that you're very interested in the job. I'd express that verbally at the end of the interview and again in writing as a follow up. Asking about next steps and timing is also a good idea.

Advisor

Weeks Ringle Oak Park, IL

Shane - I have worked in a variety of industries before starting my own business and agree with the comments that it is not appropriate to put the interviewer on the spot by asking for the job. You don't know if you're the first of 50 interviewees or if this is the first of several interviews you'll have to endure to be given an offer. I think what you can do is worry less about getting the job and focus more on whether or not the job is a good fit. If it's not and you do get the job, you won't be happy and you won't succeed. Go into the interview with a list of goals and situations that would help you thrive as well as a list of circumstances under which you would not do your best work. Ask a lot of questions about the work environment, pace of work, work culture, typical hours, how conflicts are resolved, how people advance, etc. Sharing with the interviewer things that you think you could contribute as well as your goals tells them that you are motivated and are there for more than a paycheck. It's not about GETTING the job. It's about finding the RIGHT one for you. Because if it's not the right one, you will be back in the interview chair looking for a better job. Good Luck!

Advisor

Deb Miller Bardstown, KY

I am not sure how that would come across to every interviewer. I have interviewed so many people in my career, honestly, what impresses me the most is enthusiasm for our corporation and proven ability to do the job. Hey, I have hired people who weren't "educated" or even experienced in the field - but showed the aptitude to do well and was Never disappointed. I have asked interviewers when I can expect to hear from them, what the room for growth is in the company, and then on jobs I didn't get, I requested ways I could improve on my interview and in my current company I ask for ways they suggest I can grow within the company. I think asking if I may have the job is redundant since, by your showing for the interview, you clearly want the job. You know I have had people follow up after they didn't get the job, and ask for a detail or training period in my operations to gain experience. Once you are in a company - that is a great follow up question to ask. Being confident, enthusiastic, well versed in the company's vision and the actual duties of the job is the most impressive things I find in an interviewee.

Advisor

Steve Laudermilch Philadelphia, PA

As a hiring manager I appreciate when candidates express strong interest in the position, ask about next steps in the process, and offer to provide any additional information that may be needed to make the decision. Asking for the job may be perceived as overly aggressive depending on the person you're speaking with.

Advisor

Dean DiSibio Marlton, NJ

There is no perfect way but a way goes as follows:
What are the traits that will help one be successful in this role?
Listen, take notes and if you were not able to address one that is given during the interview, feel free to ask if you can address one or several identified.
Once done, ask if they feel you possess these traits?
If not, why and address if you can.
Finally, I believe I can contribute at a high level working for you and the organization. What are the next steps that can help me gain an opportunity?

Advisor

Dean DiSibio Marlton, NJ

There is no perfect way but a way goes as follows:
What are the traits that will help one be successful in this role?
Listen, take notes and if you were not able to address one that is given during the interview, feel free to ask if you can address one or several identified.
Once done, ask if they feel you possess these traits?
If not, why and address if you can.
Finally, I believe I can contribute at a high level working for you and the organization. What are the next steps that can help me gain an opportunity?

Advisor

Joseph Hadida Morrisville, PA

Hi Shane,

To answer this question you have to put yourself in the position of the hiring individual. He/She have only one goal in mind: to hire the most qualified person. When you ask for the job you are assuming that you are that fellow. Possibly someone else who was (or will be) interviewed has more education, experience and qualifications than you do. Best approach in my opinion is to state your qualifications to the best of your abilities, show enthusiasm, let the interviewer know that you are very interested in the position and that you would love to work for that enterprise. Send a Thank You note the next day.

Thank you for your service and best of luck!.

Joe

Advisor

Mike Dunlap Kennewick, WA

Shane,

I have been a hiring manager and a job seeker. In all the interviews I've conducted over the past 15 years no one has asked me the question I am about to share with you. I have asked this question twice and both times I was complimented for asking it and both times I was hired for the job. At the end of the interview, assuming you feel you did well, you say, "I want you to know I am very interested in this position and believe I have the skill set necessary to succeed in this position. However, what's more important is what you think. Do you feel I have the skills necessary to be successful in this role?" There are basically two options. One, you're told no and you move on saving yourself time. Two, they say yes or some varying degree. What it comes down to is it shows a high degree of confidence without being arrogant or pushy. It allows you to state your level of interest and allows the interviewer to stay in control.

Russell

Advisor

Ted Mittelstaedt Portland, OR

the best advice I can give you is never ask any question in an interview that would make you uncomfortable to ask it. If your personality is such that you would feel comfortable asking for the job, then do it. But if it would feel forced or unnatural, then by all means don't. Your question will come across as insincere and that's a deal killer. While if you would normally be comfortable asking, then you can get away with asking without sounding insincere.

I know people particularly in sales who can establish such a rapport with someone they are talking to that 20 minutes later the person is telling them all kinds of intimate details about their life that they would never think they would tell a stranger. But most people are not that way. A job interview is a lot like dating, it can't be rushed. You should not be focusing so much on the specific questions as practicing how to put people at ease.

mot interviewers are not actually competent at interviewing. They think they are but they aren't. Many times the only reason they are even interviewing the candidate is due to office politics, because it's a feather in their cap that they can pull enough rank to access the incoming candidates. There are professional actors out there who have done studies in conjunction with HR pros and figured this out. Martin Yate for example once boasted in one of his books that he did a string of test interviews in medical companies and was given job offers 20% of the time when he was lying like a dog as he knows nothing about medicine.

Advisor

Bill Felice Springfield, PA

Hi Shane,
This is a great question. I leave the interview letting each person I meet know that I am very interested in the job, but really re-make my case with a very strong "thank you" email within the next business day to keep me fresh in their mind. If a business card is not offered, I make sure to ask for the interviewers email address before they leave the room. I must say I've gotten very positive reactions just by asking, believe it gives the impression of follow up and detail orientation. Good luck, and thank you very much for your service!

Veteran

Tim Keefe Washington, DC

I doubt this would work when getting a government job, or a job in a highly structured organization where the person interviewing, or even the hiring manager, probably doesn't have the last say in the hiring process. (Instead, HR makes the final call.)

With my current job (government), someone from the agency did a phone interview with me and then I got a letter from HR a month later with a firm job offer. Just the way the game is played.

Advisor

Douglas Lavelle Chatham, NJ

Recognizing that the interviewer would not hire a person in the interview, I would say from a sales perspective (even selling your resume and you as a person) that you need to always ask for the business. That being you in the interview. You can craft the wording, but I do think one always should ask for the business even if it is oneself. That tends to be a major gap where people make a case and don't close with the ask. I hope this helps. Thanks for your service. Best- Doug

Advisor

Joshua Hartley New York, NY

Shane,
The only time I would recommend considering this was a sales job where you'll be closing deals. In those types of interviews, you're selling yourself like you will a sale for their product. These types of interviews are very rare though and usually there's a couple of front line interviews before you get to the one where you would be in front of a decision-maker and use this tactic. This is the exception.

As a rule, these decisions are not made in interviews and it would just make things uncomfortable at best --- you would come across pushy or obnoxious at worst.

Best Regards,
Josh

Veteran

Shane Snyder Fallbrook, CA

Thank you both for the response! I share a similar mindset with both of you on this.

Ali - I agree that it can come across pushy and presumptuous. That is what led me to ask this question.

Sam - I also agree with you. If one is confident they can do the job, the company and interviewee are a "match", and the interviewee feels they did well in the interview then why not and as you said "say so loud and clear".

I do not have an interview coming up; however, I'm beginning to "prep my battlefield" and doing some "force shaping" which is why I am asking these questions.

Thank you!
Shane

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