Asking for the Job at the End of the Interview: Too Forward?

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Mark Hammer 9 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #114204

    Kyle David Jones

    Hey Everyone,

    I am currently searching for a full time job since I just graduated this May. I heard of a conversation the other day that took place between a pharmaceutical sales rep and another gentleman who does the hiring for his company.
    The sales rep was talking about how if you do not ask for the job at the end of the interview, then you will not receive an offer, for the most part. The gentleman said he wouldn’t hire anyone if they didn’t ask for it.
    To me, actually asking for the job seems a bit forward. I know I am young and maybe this is the way of the more “old-fashioned” people. I have never been told to ask for the job. Just to possibly ask “When is the first possible time that I will hear something back from you?” or something along those lines.
    Is asking for the job too forward? Or should I be doing this from now on?
    Thanks in advance for your feedback.
    (I realize this conversation wasn’t from someone in the government sector but in the private sector. If you know of either, I’d appreciate any advice/information!)
  • #114230

    Mark Hammer

    On the one hand, who applies for a job if they don’t want it? On the other hand, applying electronically has made it possible for people to apply for tons of things they would not have traditionally spent the money to photocopy a resumé and pay the postage for. So, yeah, people DO apply for things they aren’t particularly interested in, and I can see where a recruiter would like some sign to differentiate the truly interested from the I-just-happened-to-be-in-the-neighbourhood types. On yet the oher hand, you can also imagine people getting skilled in feigning interest, even when waiting to hear about something else they want more.

    So, it’s not always “forward”, but then neither is it always sincere or diagnostic to the recruiter.

    My gut says, play it by ear.

  • #114228


    Not at all! Suggest trying one of the following if it is a job you’re sure you want:

    1. “I think I could do a lot for your company and that we could work well together. Have I given you all the information you need to offer me the job?”

    2. Summarize your qualifications and then say, “That’s why I think I’d be a good fit for this position. Is there anything I haven’t covered?”

    3. This job sounds perfect for my skills and experience. I’d really like to work with you and your team.”

    4. After what I’ve learned about you and your company, I’m confident I’d be a good fit. I hope to hear from you soon.” – A little more subtle 🙂

  • #114226

    Tricia, this is very helpful information.

  • #114224

    Doris Tirone

    Asking for the job is an employer’s best measure of the candidate’s interest in the position! If you’ve put in the work to research the company, it makes sense that you have have intelligent questions to ask about the job and how it fits into the overall organizational plan. Be sure to ask about the “next steps” in the hiring process; the employer typically interprets this question to mean that you remain highly interested in the position; also be sure to tell the employer how the position fits into your career goals. Asking for the job doesn’t have to mean coming right out with a direct request but it does mean that you should communicate your continued and increased interest in being selected once you’ve heard more in the interview. Take that opportunity when the employer says “Now do you have any questions for us” ask whatever questions you may continue to have and include asking for the job… that is, if you still want it! If you don’t ask, you may not receive…. and asking doesn’t hurt. If the employer is interested in you too, you’ll make it easier for the employer to make that selection decision! P.S. It’s true: Many employers expect candidates to ask for the job if they really want it. Don’t be shy. Shyness won’t serve you well if you’re hired so why not show the employer beforehand that you’re confident of yourself and your abilities!

  • #114222


    Ruth – Glad the information proved useful! 🙂

  • #114220

    Heather Krasna, MS

    I know many folks who, in this economy, apply for jobs they aren’t really sure they want, just because they need to get something. Pretending you’re excited about a job that’s not a perfect fit isn’t easy, and I think most recruiters can easily tell when someone’s faking their enthusiasm.

    That said, I always tell my students/job-seeking clients that, if they can summon enough sincere enthusiasm, they should try to end the interview by looking the interviewer straight in the eye and saying, in their own words, “I just want you to know this is my dream job.” Or “I just want you to know this would be a perfect job for me, and I’m very excited about it.” You can get an offer without saying this if you are much more qualified for a job than the competition, but if you are competing against another equally qualified applicant, the employer will choose the applicant who seems most excited about the job.

  • #114218

    Doris Tirone

    …and the key to Heather’s advice is that your enthusiasm must be sincere. If you’re only reason for applying is “because you need to get something”, perhaps you should rethink your decision to apply for the job to begin with! Employers understand today’s economic realities and appreciate an applicant’s “need” more than job seekers might realize. But without that enthusiasm, most employers will believe that it’s only your need that put your application in front of them. If you can’t muster enthusiasm to do the job you’re applying for, simply don’t apply! Then you won’t have to fake anything!

  • #114216

    Glenn R Moore

    By all means, ask for the job!

    I especially like the finesse answer options Tricia provides because it directly connects your qualifications to the request. This summary type of dialogue also provides you the opportunity to cover something you might have “missed” during previous questions.

  • #114214

    Paige Rasmussen


    Your job interview is as much for you as it is for the employer. Somewhere down the line, you’ll go to an interview and decide that there’s something about the company or job you don’t like once you get a peek behind the position description. You will struggle between wanting to leave immediately so as to not waste time because you wouldn’t want to work there at all, trying to make a good impression so that you can be considered for another job in the future, or hiding your true thoughts and hoping you get the job because you really need the cash. I have a feeling you might be dealing with these issues at interviews. Your private thoughts will leak out through your facial expression, tone of voice, and other body language. When you can see yourself working there, it’ll come out as you speak because you’ll be asking really specific questions of your potential boss like “How often do you like status updates?” and of HR like “is there anything I can be doing to further prepare for employment here?”

    You need to let the interviewer know what you want and if it’s not obvious that you’re really excited about the job because you’re pitching yourself hard for it, you’d better say something and you can get right to the point and just say you’d love to work with them. You want to give the interviewer(s) a warm and fuzzy feeling that they would be making the right decision by hiring you. They’re looking for your passion, fit, motivation, and energy for the work they need done.

    Good luck!

  • #114212

    Terri Jones

    It may not be too forward, but it may be premature. You might be the first interviewee! I do think that I have been swayed by the interest the interviewee shows in the position and especially in their understanding of the company or agency they are interviewing for. I notice when the interviewee has clearly researched the company/agency! Also, politeness and a commitment to serving the customer has motivated me to hire someone, even if their interview was less than “stellar.” I think the preparation tells me you are interested, as well as the energy you bring to the discussion!

  • #114210

    Joseph M

    “when do we start ?”

  • #114208

    Alvitta Leffall

    Hi Kyle. I am a pharmaceutical representative and asking for the job or business is not forward. As a matter of fact it expresses your genuine interest in the position. However, always remain professional focusing on the needs of the company and how you can contribute to the continued success of the organization. Remind the interviewer of the mission and goals of the organization and how your background can assist in achieving these outcomes!! Most importantly, keep it short and polite!

  • #114206

    Ingrid Koehler

    I have never heard that before. I would certainly express in an interview how much I wanted the job, but I’ve never said “So can I have this job?” (But I work in the public sector in the UK – so I know they would never be able to say – “yep, here you go” because there’s a process that I’ve been on the other end of, too). I also try to use language that places me in that job to help the interviewers see me in that role.

    I am 1 day in to my active search for roles in the US (I’m an American citizen) – so I’ll bear this in mind. Been a long time since I’ve worked or applied for a job in America.

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