Speed Up My Job Search

Closing question for phone interview

  • Someone recently suggested that on an initial 30 minute phone interview I should ask this near the end of the time:

    Do you think in our discussion I’ve met the requirements for this opportunity?

    What do you think of this question? If it’s a quick “yes” that’s great. If it’s a “no” then I can ask to clarify what has been missed. I doubt I would get a “maybe”.


    Paul Cameron

    I definitely like the idea of a closing question, and I like one that encourages a yes or no answer, but that one seems unnatural to the conversation and is geared to get a “yes” more often. That has the feel of, “does this outfit make me look nice?” Yes is your only real option unless you like sleeping on the couch!

    The goal of the interview is to create a likable impression, and that one sounds scripted and not real personable. If you watch the Q&A tactics video, I talk about how to close the interview near the end, and I give a specific question to ask. It also encourages a yes or no answer, but it even allows for a “maybe” to be an acceptable answer, because to all 3 of their answers, you’ll have a good response. I recommend posing the question in a more conversational tone, and adjusting the word choices to your situation. For a phone interview, “Given everything that we’ve talked about (use the person’s name), I’m curious to get your thoughts, does it sound like I’d be a fit for this position?” I use the word “sound” because you’re on the phone, and this question will then set you up for one of the 3 possible answers you’re looking for. The Q&A tactics video goes through it in more detail. I hope that helps.

    The phone interview with the hiring manager went very well and I didn’t have to use the closing question. As we were near the end of the 30 minute phone call the hiring manager stated he needs to get me onsite and meet with 3 or 4 of his team. The recruiter reached out to me at the end of the day stating from the hiring manager “you guys had a great conversation”.

    So now I need to prep for an onsite interview. Do I just keep rehearsing what I did for the phone interview or is there a new dynamic that I’ll be meeting some of his staff?

    Paul Cameron

    That’s good news, congrats on a good interview! The closing questions should really only be asked if you’re either not sure how the interview went, or if you’re sure it went poorly. If you’re certain it went well, which obviously you were, then no need to ask.

    Per our recent quick phone call, you were asking how to convince the senior execs that you could be able to get buy-in from the team even though they aren’t reporting to you, and I have a video that can help. The video is geared towards handling difficult co-workers and employees, but really this will apply to anyone who needs to be convinced to change their mind to your way of thinking. The link to the video is below.


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