When you’re answering a job interview question, do you find yourself meandering at the end, repeating yourself because you’re not sure how to stop?
As an interview coach, I often hear mock interview answers that wander around in circles or trail off into something like this:
“… and, uh, yeah, that’s about it.”
(That’s one of the worst endings you could use, because it implies that the good things you were just saying were all you have!)
Here are 5 better ways to wrap up your answer to an interview question.
Relate your answer to the company and/or the opening.
“So that’s the accomplishment I’m most proud of, and it shows one of the approaches I might take in marketing your products in Latin America.”
Summarize or refer back to the question.
Let’s say the question was “What would you be looking to accomplish in your first 30 days on the job?” You might end like this:
“… so these relationship-building and planning activities are what I’d want to accomplish in the first 30 days, in order to build a foundation for achieving the longer-term goals.”
If you’re talking about an accomplishment, specify the beneficial results.
“… so I was able to complete the project right on time despite the challenges I mentioned.”
“… and my plan resulted in a 20% increase in revenue.”
“… The division manager said the new process was ‘brilliant’ and invited me to present about it at a leadership meeting.”
Briefly add something positive beyond what was asked for.
For example, if asked to name your greatest strength, you could add another.
“… so that’s my greatest strength, and if I may add one more, a close second is …”
End with a question to encourage dialogue and to gain useful feedback.
“Is there anything more you’d like to know about what I’ve just said?”
This is especially useful in answering an initial request like “Tell me about yourself.” If there was something you said that particularly intrigued them, a chance to say more about it is bound to be beneficial to your cause. On the other hand, if they have concerns or confusion about anything you’ve said, it’s useful to surface that right away and respond to it.
Try out all of the above before your next job interview, and don’t over-rely on any one type of ending. With a little practice you’ll find that most of your answers come to a natural, effective close.
Good endings like these can help turn what could be a stiff, awkward job interview into a smoothly flowing conversation – leaving the employer impressed with your communication skills and wanting to talk with you again!