The Art of Departing from Job Interviews

Let’s be honest, the idea of going on an interview to convince someone that you are awesome enough to hire is a little awkward. There are specific times during interviews that are especially cringe-worthy, one of the worst being the departure. Believe it or not, people often botch this crucial moment because we focus so hard on the do’s and don’ts during the interview that we forget about the end. Have you ever thought about how awkward a goodbye can be if you don’t practice or even think twice about it? Rushing out of an interview could really hurt your chances at a job. To help make sure you don’t end up in this position, here are some end of an interview situations and our tips for handling them:

Picture this: You walk away from the interview and forget to offer a handshake and to thank your interviewer for their time – automatic interview killer. While a handshake might be considered a no-brainer tip, an important part of mastering the departure is a proper goodbye that starts (or ends) with a handshake.

Do this: Let the interviewer walk you to the exit and, before entering the elevator or leaving the building, offer a firm handshake and make eye contact. Then, thank the interviewer for their time. This shows confidence and appreciation for the time spent.

Picture this: You exit the building and realize that you forgot to ask one of the most important questions, “What are the next steps in the interview process?” Forgetting to ask the ultimate question at the close of an interview can give off a vibe of disinterest and leave you confused as to how and when to follow up.

Do this: Always remember to ask about the next step in the process. This will show interest in the position and ambition.

Picture this: You completely draw a blank on the interviewer’s name. When you go to leave, they repeat your name, but you are left standing there without a clue of what their name is. While this potential slip-up is subtle, it’s important to leave an interviewer knowing you were interested in them and what they had to say.

Do this: Research your interviewer and always remember names. Let’s face it, we love to hear the sound of our own name. This is a simple sign of respect.

Next time you go on an interview, think twice about your goodbye. Job interviews are all about making a great impression. A well-thought out departure strategy is a critical part of the process even though many people often miss this simple step to success. Slow down, be present and close the interview with a bang! Have some more exit strategy tips? Share below, please:

45 thoughts on “The Art of Departing from Job Interviews

  1. Thanks for the examples of how to leave a lasting impression after an interview. It would appear to be common place but a refresher always helps.

  2. This was very helpful.Cause some of these steps I forget or there was something they said and I didn’t like and just didn’t like.But I will remember.

  3. Very interesting point and things changed so much these days you should be more professional.But I will remember this thanks for the input.

  4. Besides all the above awesome advice, let’s not forget to send a note of thanks through email or a text to the interviewer after the session.

  5. What about the situation (this happens a lot in laboratory jobs) where you and the interviewer have to walk a fairly long way from their office back to the front door. Since you are walking through the inside maze of an office you aren’t familiar with, the interviewer kinda has to walk you all the way to the entrance. How do you break up the silence during this walk? Assuming you already did the requisite interview-closing things as you ended the interview in their office. And how much of this should you repeat when you finally part ways at the actual entrance?

    Thanks in advance for any tips. Thank you also for the tips already provided in the article.

    • Thank you for the great scenario, Nate! When you need to break any possible silences, have questions readily available to ask the interviewer. Also, as the interview goes on, pay attention to everything the interviewer says in case you need to ask a question pertaining to the information given to you. In addition, a great way to generate more questions is to pay attention to your surroundings! Hope this helps you out!

  6. eye contact, repeat name, handshake, question about next steps, thanking them for their time, and Id add some small talk on the way to the elevator that creates a bond…

  7. You should also include to always ask for a business card so if any of the above scenarios happen, you can backtrack and contact the interviewer.

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