Want the Job? Ask for It!


Sometimes it’s what you don’t say during an interview that disqualifies you as a candidate. Not demonstrating your interest in the position is one of them. When I was interviewing for my current position I made a bold move that I later learned landed me the job: I asked for it.

As a job seeker, it may seem obvious that you want the job. After all, that’s why you applied and attended the interview. However, hiring managers identify failure to ask for the job and a lack of enthusiasm about the opportunity among the top 10 interview mistakes.

The key is to use the right approach. Don’t gush about how badly you want the job. Rather, reiterate how your skills will benefit the employer and state your interest in the position.

How to do it
As the interview is concluding, say something like this: “I’m really excited about the opportunity to work here, and I’m confident my skills and experience in a, b and c will help me succeed. At this point, do you have any reservations about hiring me?” While this approach invites the interviewer to voice his or her uncertainties, it puts you in a position of strength because you can address any concerns in your follow-up.

For example, when a former colleague of mine in municipal government used this approach the hiring manager admitted he had doubts about her analytical skills for a data-intensive role. She asked to be given the opportunity to demonstrate her knowledge and was given a take-home assessment. She turned it in early, nailed it, and got the job.

But, proceed with caution…
Some critics advise against asking for the job during the interview, likening it to proposing on a first date. Their reasoning is that you couldn’t possibly know for sure that you want to work for a given organization this early in the game. You need to do your part to ensure that it is a good fit.

While I certainly agree, demonstrating you’ve done your research, that you like what you see, and having the confidence to say so can be a great way to end an interview – and position you as a leading candidate.

The bottom line: Simply asking for the job isn’t enough to land a position but, backed by your skills and qualifications, confidence and enthusiasm can go a long way.

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Hannah Moss

Such good advice! I’ve never really thought about asking for a job during an interview, but seems obvious now that you’ve said it! Thanks for sharing.