Have you ever walked out of an interview thinking you could have done more?
Many people are afraid to come off as desperate, so they miss out on a chance to push for the next step. But the reality is that interviewers want to know you want the job.
Most hiring managers appreciate it when a potential employee continually expresses interest in getting a job — as long as you do it the right way.
You don’t want to come right out and ask if you got the job during the interview. Instead, you want to sell yourself in subtle ways. After all, an interview is somewhat of a sales pitch.
Here’s what you need to know about how to ask for the job in an interview, plus five ways to do it without being too forceful.
You wouldn’t ask someone out on a date without leading up to it, would you? In the same way, you need to lead up to asking whether you have the job.
As tempting as it is, you shouldn’t come out and say, “So, do I have the job?” That can come off as unprofessional and could lead the recruiter to dismiss you.
Employers spend a lot of time and money on finding the right employees, so they typically don’t rush into offering someone a job, and won’t even make their decision on who to hire until after they’ve interviewed everyone.
That's why you should never ask for the job in the interview in a way that would require a yes or no answer.
Instead, you want to lead into it, making sure you pick the perfect time to let them know that you’re still interested in the position and want to move forward.
Here are five tips that will help guide you through the interview process so that you can pick the perfect time and way to ask for the job, along with some suggestions on what not to do.
If you feel like you didn’t get to show off your full skill set during the interview, use your closing questions to do so. You can ask the interviewer if there is anything else they would like to know or offer up a relevant experience yourself.
Depending on the job, you could offer to provide work samples or express interest in a trial. You want to take this opportunity to show that you’re capable of handling the job.
If there are gaps in your resume or you’ve switched jobs a couple of times recently, explaining your reasons could be beneficial. The average employee changes jobs every 4.1 years, and hiring managers use this information when reviewing candidates.
What you can say:
“Do you need to know anything else about me to know that I’m a good fit for the position?”
One of the worst parts of interviewing is waiting. Where one company might take a couple of days to get back to you, another could take a month.
Asking about the next steps in the interview process not only offers clarity, but it will give you time to prepare work samples or for a second interview.
It also lets the hiring manager know that you’re still interested in the position. A candidate who continuously shows interest in the job is more likely to get called back.
What you can say:
“I enjoyed speaking with you today. Can you tell me what the next steps in the interview process are?”
Being an engaging candidate is a good way to impress the hiring manager. When you approach an interview as a conversation, this comes naturally. After all, interviews are a two-way street — you’re also interviewing them to learn about the company and position.
Ask appropriate questions throughout the interview, both about the company and the role. It’ll help you get a better idea of what the job entails and whether it’s the right fit for you. Plus, it shows you’re interested.
You can also bring up aspects of the job description that you have more questions about. This is a good way to offer more information and highlight your qualifications for this new position.
What you can say:
“What will my first year in this role look like?”
What aspects of the job are you excited about? Is it the growth opportunities or the new project they’re working on? Now’s the time to show your excitement.
Hiring managers can recognize that an enthusiastic potential candidate is more likely to put their all into the work. By expressing excitement about the position, you’re telling the hiring manager that you want to be there.
Just don’t feign enthusiasm. Most people can tell when others aren’t being honest.
What you can say:
“I’m excited about the company’s work on XYZ project, and I’d love to help out. Do you have any questions for me regarding…?”
Showing a little gratitude after an interview goes a long way. Nowadays, not sending a thank-you email will make it harder to move past the job interview.
Your thank-you note is a chance to restate how interested you are in the position and to highlight anything that came up during the interview that you want to address.
If you feel you could have answered a question better or that you didn’t get a chance to share something crucial, you could include this in your thank-you note as well.
What you can say:
“It was a pleasure meeting with you today. I’m excited about the opportunity with XY. Is there anything else you’d like to know about me?”
While it may sound like a good idea, reaching out to employees not involved in the hiring process can put off your potential employer and those inside the company.
You want to make a good impression, so do your best to limit contact to those who interviewed you.
While it’s important to send a thank-you note within 24 hours of the end of the interview, there’s a fine line between following up and becoming overbearing.
It differs for every employer, but sending a thank-you note and following up once within a week is usually acceptable.
If you don’t seem like you’ll fit with the company’s culture, odds are you won’t get hired. Focus on making good impressions during your job search.
Asking in the interview if you got the job can come off as too forward and puts the hiring manager on the spot. Instead, you should try to keep it cool.
You want to subtly persuade the hiring manager that you’re the best fit for the new job. Answer their questions, but try not to brag about your accomplishments. Confidence is key, but entitlement won’t get you very far.
An interview isn’t the time to be vague. Make sure you’re answering interview questions thoroughly and offer to give more information when necessary. Bring up past experiences that relate to the job and use those to show off your skills.
You’re expecting them to tell you about the position, the company, and offer you a job, so don’t hide relevant details about your work history.
While it may feel uncomfortable, hiring managers appreciate a job candidate who remains engaged, confident, and interested in the position throughout the interview process. Asking questions and offering up information about yourself are ways to do that.
You shouldn’t explicitly ask for a job, but doing so in subtle ways will make you stand out. Try following the tips we’ve mentioned — they’re sure to pay off.
If you’re currently looking for a new job, you can visit our Getting Hired Resource Center for more tips.