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Ending is Just the Beginning: Finishing an Interview Strong

One of the most memorable images of the 1996 Olympics was gymnast Kerri Strug landing on one foot in an athletic feat that secured gold for her team. If you want to win, always stick the landing. This is true of job interviews as well as olympic vaults. A good first impression can, unfortunately, be tarnished by a poor final impression. Many people struggle to conclude the conversation. Here are four tips to a winning ending:

1 Thank them for their time. Express your appreciation for the opportunity. Avoid gushing and stock phrases. Offer genuine gratitude, being as specific as possible.

2 Reinforce your message. Individuals often flounder at the end of an interview because they second guess whether they did enough or said the right thing. You won’t do yourself favors by trying to redo the whole meeting. Have a concluding statement that reiterates your strengths, such as “I am excited by how my experience could bring valuable perspective to this position.”

3 Make a positive statement about the next step. “So...I guess I’ll hope to hear from you?” is not a confident ending. If you have questions about the process, ask clearly and directly, then conclude with an affirmation of the next action. “I look forward to hearing from you once you’ve completed this round of interviews”

4 Smile. Don’t ramble on. Leave your interview on a powerful note with a warm smile and firm handshake. That’s it. Resist any urge to draw out the meeting unnecessarily or rush out of there. Be calm and confident and it will come across.

Watch the video here to help you channel Kerri Strug and stick the landing.