How to Close an Interview with a Job Candidate

For some hiring managers, figuring out how to close an interview can be tricky. As the interview winds down, you can bring it to a graceful close by following these steps:

1. Let the candidate ask questions. Before closing the interview, provide an opportunity for the individual to ask any questions he or she may have.

2. Let the candidate know what comes next. Advise the candidate how and when you're going to be in contact and whether any further steps need to be taken — forms, tests and so on. In addition to being a common courtesy, this interview closing practice creates a positive impression.

3. End the interview on a formal but sincere note. Thank the candidate for the time and repeat your commitment to follow up. Either stand or shake hands again. This action is a way of formally closing the interview and provides a signal for the candidate to leave. Walk the applicant out of the office to the elevator lobby or front door.

After closing the interview

Knowing how to close an interview includes knowing what to do once the face-to-face discussion ends. As soon as possible after the candidate's departure, take some time to collect your thoughts and summarize your impressions in notes. You don't need to make any definitive decisions at this point, but recording your impressions immediately after the interview closing — while they're still fresh in your mind — will help you immeasurably if the final choice should boil down to several candidates of comparable qualifications.

The interview is just one important aspect of the recruitment process. Learn more about how to recruit employees.

Learning effective methods about how to close an interview is best perfected through practice. As you meet with more job candidates, the simple tips listed above will make closing the interview much easier and ensure that the candidate knows what to expect going forward. With practice, every business owner can conduct outstanding interviews — and end them on a positive note at just the right time.

Read the Robert Half blog for additional hiring advice.

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