The final moments of a job interview can be filled with different emotions: excitement about the prospects of a new job, nervousness over how you performed, uncertainty about what will happen next, and even anticipation that they’re about to make an offer.
How you conduct yourself during these tense last few minutes will make an impression on your interviewer and will likely be the last thing they remember about you. Make that impression the best one possible by using a strong interview closing statement.
What is an interview closing statement?
An interview closing statement summarizes why you’re the best candidate for the job in a few succinct sentences.
Think of a trial in a courtroom. What happens just before the jury goes off to deliberate? The attorneys make their closing statements–their strongest and best arguments for why their side deserves to prevail.
Your closing statement during your job interview works similarly, making your case to the hiring manager one last time before they adjourn to compare candidates and make their ultimate decision on who to hire.
Why a strong interview closing statement is important
Your closing statement is likely the final interaction you’ll have with your interviewer. Depending on where you are in the hiring process, this may mean it’s the last time you’ll be speaking with someone from the company in person before they make a hiring decision. So, you want to make this interaction a good one to ensure the interviewer walks away with positive thoughts of you in their mind.
Your closing statement conveys what the company has to gain by hiring you. Just as the most effective sales language answers the question “what’s in it for the buyer?”, a strong closing statement clarifies how your employment would benefit the organization.
Your closing statement is also your last chance to emphasize your relevant skills. You’ve probably spent much of the interview talking about this already, but it’s helpful to summarize it in bullet-point form, so there’s no question that you possess all of the required qualifications.
Interview closing statement types & examples
Highlight your top achievements
Your closing statement is a great time to showcase your “greatest hits”–the biggest wins you’ve accomplished thus far in your career–and tie them to what you’ll be able to achieve in this new role.
“I was able to increase my team’s output by 20% without any additional resources, so I believe I could help you accomplish your goal of keeping productivity high even with fewer staff in the office.”
Emphasize your passion
If this is a job you have a personal connection to or it’s a company you’ve always dreamed of working for, use the last few minutes of your interview to explain your passion for the role. This can help set you apart from other candidates and is a detail the hiring manager will likely remember.
“My sister was born prematurely, and it was a lot of stress on our whole family. Without her amazing team of NICU nurses, we couldn’t have gotten through it. It’s what inspired me to become a nurse and why I’m so passionate about joining the team here at St. Andrews.”
Share what you’ll bring to the table
By this point in the interview process, you’ve hopefully learned what success looks like in the role–what exactly the company is looking for from the right candidate. Use your closing statement to state how you’ll accomplish those objectives explicitly. The more you can mirror the language the hiring manager used, the better, as it will help them see that you’re on the same page about what will be required of you.
“With my strong relationships in the logistics industry, I believe I can help Satelite Robotics solve many of its distribution challenges. We’ll be able to get products out the door faster and increase the accuracy of deliveries, which is in line with your five-year plan.”
Show how you’re different
Do you have a rare credential that most of the other candidates aren’t likely to hold? Or, maybe you held an uncommon position which means you’ll bring a unique set of experience to the job. Talking about this in your closing statement.
“My time in the Peace Corps gave me the unique experience of completing important projects while working across international borders and language barriers. I think this experience will be highly useful to me in accomplishing your community outreach goals we discussed earlier.”
Ask strategic questions
It’s always a good idea to wrap up an interview with a few thoughtful questions that reinforce your interest in the job. Questions like “how is success measured in this role?” and “could you describe the most important things you’d be looking for this person to achieve?” show that you’re invested in landing the job and succeeding in the position.
Utilize this checklist for questions to ask a hiring manager to ensure you learn about all aspects of the role.
Provide additional information
Some of your background or experience will be highly relevant to the job, but that doesn’t come up during the interview. Use your closing statement to fill the hiring manager in on these things, so they have all the information to accurately judge your candidacy.
“One thing we didn’t get to talk about was my background in political lobbying. I think it would be an asset to me in this position because it gave me an inside look at the different powers at play behind the scenes that impact the margins in our industry.”
Express your thanks
Wrapping up an interview by expressing your sincere thanks is a surefire way to end things on a high note. Cite the specifics of your conversation to show that you’ve been actively engaged.
“Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me. I really enjoyed learning more about the company’s philanthropy work, since it’s important to me to work for an organization that gives back.”
Interview closing statement advice
End on a positive note
Some job interviews will have a more serious tone, while others will be a lighter conversation. But no matter what the case, it’s a good idea to try and bring the mood upward as the interview winds down. You want the hiring manager to leave the interaction feeling good about your candidacy rather than leaving any uncertainty by ending things on a somber note.
Use the job description to your advantage
The company’s own job description is a big asset when formulating your closing statement. Use it to pinpoint key skills and qualifications that are most important to the hiring manager–these will be positioned at the top of the job requirements list and are often mentioned multiple times in the description. Sprinkle these words and phrases into your closing statement to ensure you check all the boxes.
Practice out loud
Make sure your closing statement rolls off your tongue by practicing it in advance, out loud. Say it in front of a mirror, record yourself on your smartphone or enlist the help of a trusted friend or mentor to listen and give you feedback.
Master your interviewing skills by enrolling in Coursera’s Advanced Interview Techniques course.
What not to say at the end of the interview
Anything negative about your current job
No matter how much you’d rather have this new position than your old one, it reflects poorly on you if you badmouth your current employer in any way. Avoid speaking negatively about your job, even in generic statements like “I can’t wait to get out of there.”
Asking the wrong questions
There are many good topics to ask about at the end of a job interview; vacation time, salary and benefits aren’t among them. Questions like “how much does it pay?” and “how soon can I take time off?” make it seem like your head is in the wrong place. These are valid questions, but they’re best discussed after you’ve received an offer.
Too much personal information
While you want to communicate your enthusiasm for the position, avoid oversharing details that can make you appear desperate, difficult, or lacking good judgment. For example, maybe you need a job ASAP to make ends meet, but it’s not a good idea to tell the interviewer “my husband got laid off so I really need a job so we can pay our bills.”
Keep your closing statement positive. Focus on your qualifications and how you’ll bring value to the company, leaving the interviewer feeling confident that you’re a high-quality pick for the job.