By: Brooke Eshleman
Lily Zhang’s article for The Muse, “3 Bold Ways to End an Interview (and Land the Job)”, makes a couple of important points I always avoid listening to. Why do I do this? Because I, like everyone else, gets nervous during an interview, and I play it safe. As I have learned, asking questions is vitally important and shows that we are pushing past the anxiety to really get something out of the interview. We can’t just let the interview end so you can breathe a sigh of relief; this is the time for the hirer to tell us what we’ll really be doing and who we’ll be working with. We will also be able to get a good idea of the employer’s expectations, because sometimes we just won’t be the perfect fit for your dream job. So it comes as no surprise that we’ll actually have to do some research beforehand.
What is a little stunning are the brazen questions Zhang suggests we ask to end the interview. It is hard to be gutsy when we feel like newcomers to the “real” world, but showing off our spark will always be better than remaining passive. The first question proposed is “do I have the job?” Of course not everyone’s personality fits with such a line, though it is a strategy to consider becoming comfortable with. I don’t think it’s rude to ask the interviewer what they are thinking, plus the question provides a good opportunity for feedback.
Following that question, we have left room for two more: “Is there anything we discussed today that makes you feel that I am not the one for the job?” and “What can I do to convince you I’m the one for the job?” This prompt gives us a way to address the concerns a future employer may have. We oftentimes forget to stand up for ourselves as college students entering the workforce, believing we are at the mercy of those who are doing such a service by hiring us.
I once did a partner interview for General Mills where we worked through various situations- it wasn’t a bad interview, but I could feel myself losing ground each time I let my partner dominate the presentation. I allowed myself to doubt the ideas I had generated and didn’t end up proving myself to the interviewers. There is a stigma around showing off and thus we let humility be our excuse to be meek.
There are other ways to “wow” at an interview, we just have to make sure we do “wow” and not “eh.” In the end, Zhang is promoting self-expression and confidence; we can keep practicing until we find the right mixture of professionalism and pizazz.