How to Ask for a Job During the Interview
By Patrick Ropella. Posted 09/07/2010
When you are in a job interview, the one thing that matters the most to you is, Will you get the job or not? Of course, wondering about this during the interview will create some stress on you. But why go home with that same stress and have to wait and wait for a phone call that may never come? Why keep on wondering if you did everything right? It is even likely that asking for feedback, and more importantly the job, may actually help you to secure the job right there – but only if you ask. Here are some ways that you can ask and possibly get the answer you need before you leave the interview.
Interviewers expect you to ask some questions during the interview. If you don’t, they are apt to conclude that you don’t really care for the job because interested people will ask questions. They also very well know that the one thing that you want to ask - more than anything else - is whether you got the job or not. Most interviewers actually like to hear an interviewee ask for the job, since it shows a proactive attitude, readiness and excitement about the position and work.
This really is not a time to be bashful about going after something you really want. It is not a time to be afraid to hear a "No," either. Realize that they may need to fill the position quickly and that if your credentials match the need, and if they like you, just the slightest friendly pressure from you may be all that is needed for them to answer "Yes" to your question.
Here are some ways you can pop the question without being too obnoxious about it. You can also use more than one of these ways at key places during the interview.
The Feedback Approach
After you answer a question it is a good idea to ask for feedback. This is what’s called doing test closes. With this method, you are testing whether you fit the position throughout the interview, by asking small questions. So when you ask the big question - "for the job" - it’s not so glaring and it comes across more natural. For example, test questions like; Was I on the right track there? Was that enough information or would you like me to explain further? Would references regarding this subject be of interest? Based on this answer, do my skills and experiences line up with what you need for this role? How would you grade me based on that particular requirement? Would you recommend me as a candidate based on what we’ve discussed so far?
These types of test questions help you gauge the temperature of the interview – during the interview. This prevents you from getting all the way to the end of the interview and then finding out that the interviewer is cold toward you, and then is turned off – or worse yet – shocked – when you ask for the job.
The Indirect Approach
Another style of approach is to tell the interviewer at the close of the interview of your desire to work with the company, and to ask if there is any more information needed to fill in any gaps. This shows your willingness to help them make an intelligent decision and it also reveals your readiness to get started. This clearly places the ball in the interviewer’s lap.
You may say something like: “I am very interested in your job position. I would love to entertain an offer. Is there any more information that I will need to provide before you are ready to offer the job to me?”
A Summary Form
This form will enable you to help the interviewer to better see why you are the best match for the position. Because the pieces of the puzzle may not yet be clear to the interviewer as they are to you, you want to quickly summarize the key bullets or hot buttons as to why you believe that you are the one they are looking for.
Say something like: "It sounds like your job description is a perfect match for my talents and experience. I believe that your need for a __________ is best met by my proven ability to _____________, _____________ and to _____________. With that said, What is the next step in the hiring process?”
The Direct Approach
While this form certainly cuts to the chase, it may not always be the best. It should probably only be used if you know that you now have a very good rapport with the interviewer, and if you feel you have provided and learned enough information for both of you to make a well informed decision. Karen Burns at Money.USNews, mentions that creating good rapport will make it a lot easier to ask the question you really want an answer to.
You might ask like this, “I am very interested in this position. From what I have heard, I believe I am a good match for it. If you agree, What’s the next step towards me getting an offer?” Or, “Based on what we’ve discussed, I hope we agree that this seems like an excellent fit for both of us. How soon could I expect to hear about an offer?”
Karen also mentions that you only want to ask for the job if you are pretty sure that you really want it. If you absolutely don’t want it, then asking is wasting time – both yours and theirs. If you are on the fence – not 100% sure if you want the job or not – sometimes finishing the interview process and actually receiving an offer can provide the additional information needed to motivate you to want it, or at least help you decide why you need to reject it.
Keep in mind, you don’t always know everything you need to know until you go through the final stages of the interview. Often once the company has made the emotional decision to hire you - they become much more forthcoming with all sorts of additional information that they held back during the interview – simply because they hadn’t made a decision about you yet. Now that they have, you are now in the driver’s seat, and they will answer your questions in much greater detail. This will enable you to make a much better decision about whether this position truly is the right fit for you.
So always be sure to ask for the job - early and often. Or, at least ask about the next step in the interview process, unless you are 100 percent against taking this position. If there’s even the slightest interest, always show your interest enthusiastically (again, no matter how little it is), because your interest often will grow as you learn more by completing the full interview and offer process.
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