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Title: Closing on the next step of the interview process

The term "closing" is meant as something that makes one agree to a take a certain action (as in signing a contract or writing a check.) A complex sale invloved a number of small closes before the final closing purchase. The interview process is a series of closes leading up to the final job offer.

If you have purchased a car lately you know that the sale starts with the text drive and moves forward through a series of carefully crafted questions such as "do you prefer silver or black", "Which of you will be the primary driver", "Shall we park this in the sale-pending area", "Do you wish to trade your car in, or shall we finance this 100%". The effective sales person knows that closing steps must take place- attempt to skip the steps and he may loose the entire sale.

A job seeker must work much like a sales person to identify the small closing steps needed to move the sale forward, however; rather than sales the job seeker must understand the closes necessary to keep the intreview process moving forward toward a job offer. Those steps look something like this:

  1. The cover letter must entice the reader to read your resume.
  2. The resume must motivate the reader to call you in for an interview
  3. In the first interview ask for a second interview:
    1. "When would you like to schedule our next meeting?"
    2. "Is there and reason you wouldn't consider inviting me back for a second interview?"
    3. Who will I meet in the second interview?"
  4. In the second interview ask to speak with the decision maker:
    1. "Who, besides yourself, will make the final hiring decision?"
    2. "When is convenient for [Mr./Ms]. [Decision Maker] to meet with me?"
    3. "Is there any other presentation materials I should bring when I visit with [Mr./Ms.] [Decision Maker]
  5. When speaking with the decision maker ask for the job offer:
    1. "Are there any objections that prevent you from extending an offer?"
    2. "When would you like me to start?"
    3. "What challenges would you have me tackle first?"

Asking for the next interview or the job offer may seem bold, but you should try it. You will find yourself invited back more often and feel much more in control of the interview process.

Once you've mastered and applied the three essential skills for effective interviews you'll see your job-search efforts accelerate and your confidence soar.

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