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Is it ok to ask this question during a final interview?

After giving a final interview (final round) for a position, if the interviewer does not tell you "you can expect a response in X days", or whether or not you got the position is it ok to ask? If the interview is the hiring manager, how should you phrase it? #interviews #career #job-application #technology

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Jared’s Answer, CareerVillage.org Team

Absolutely appropriate (and professional!) to ask about next steps. You should find what feels most comfortable to you (protip: pracice in a mirror) but here are some examples to get you started:
- "Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me. I'm very interested in the position and before we go I'd love to ask if you have any idea what the next steps might be, and when you will be reaching out to invite some applicants to the next round."
- "Do you have a sense for what the timeline looks like for your interviewing? I'm considering a few other opportunities [...IF TRUE...], but I'm very interested in working with you."
- "Thank you for meeting with me! My hope is to start my next position in [week or month]. Do you have a sense as to what the timeline is like for your recruiting search, and whether the timeframes align here?"
- "When might be a good time for me to reach out to you to check in as to the status of my application?"

(Also, you didn't ask about this, but while we're on the subject: please always make a point to send a thank you note within 24 hours of your interview! In my experience, I've found that some people care a LOT about whether or not you send a thank you note, and it's been very hard for me to guess whether someone cares or not. I don't care, but enough people do that you should make sure to always send that note. And if you don't get it in within 24 hours, it's NEVER too late to send an email thanking someone for their time and expressing your continued interest in working with them.)

Source: I've been a hiring manager or interviewer for ~20 years in various roles.

Jared, CareerVillage.org Team recommends the following next steps:

Practice asking your post-interview questions in a mirror
When practicing, try practicing LOUD (so you don't build "muscle memory" of being very quiet with interview questions)
Ask a question on CV about what to wear to interviews in the industry in which you want to work
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice Jared! Sam
Thank you comment icon It's a great answer Jared. I do appreciate it. Belle F.
Thank you comment icon Great Answer. You need to show how confident you are during the whole interview process. NALIN DISSANAYAKE
Thank you comment icon It's a great answer Jared, I thought I will answer this question but checked your answer and found it very comprehensive. Prashant Garg
Thank you comment icon Thanks Jared for sharing great tips as a hiring manager and interviewer. Also, much appreciated in pointing out sending "thank you" notes after the interview. This is an area often missed by the interviewee. Sheila Jordan
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John’s Answer

First impressions are important Sam, but when it comes to job interviews, last impressions are also a pretty big deal. They’re your final chance to make sure the hiring manager knows that you’re the best candidate for the job. At the closing of your interview is a great opportunity to express your enthusiasm for the job Sam. One way to do this is to explain how the interview has confirmed your interest in the position. Play your cards right, and you might even use those last moments to score a job offer.

ASK WHAT HAPPENS NEXT – Before leaving the interview, make sure you know what to expect from that point on with the hiring process. Ask about the timeframe for finalizing their decision and if there would be any other layers of interviewing so you can plan any follow-up communications.

SEND A THANK–YOU EMAIL – To make the biggest, most positive impact Sam, use the immediacy of email to your advantage. Send a thank-you email within 24 hours and be sure to include each member of the hiring team.

INTERVIEW FOLLOW-UP – If you have a time frame for when the hiring manager will get back to you, follow up soon after that point. For example Sam, if they say that they’ll be making their final decision in the next two weeks, it’s fine to send a follow-up email to check in after the two weeks are up. After that … let it go. Repeated contacts won’t help your case and might annoy the hiring manager. Plus, a longer wait doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re out of the running. Many organizations take quite some time to come to a hiring decision.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, DON'T PAUSE YOUR JOB SEARCH – Do not stop searching for jobs, even if the interview went exceptionally well Sam. Remember the old adage about putting all your eggs in one basket. Keep networking and applying for jobs. Above all, stay open to opportunity. You never know when an even better job will appear.

Hope this helpful Sam
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Lisa’s Answer

Jared is spot on! It is absolutely appropriate to ask this question (I would say that this information should be offered by the interviewer - but if it isn't then ask!).

Going through the interview process for me is a two way thing - obviously the company is looking to assess your skills and fit for the role, but I would say it should be important for you to understand if it is a company where you want to work. My suggestion would be to think about the things you care about and whether this company has defined programs or policies supporting these.

For example, if caring for the environment is important for you, prepare some questions to ask about their approach to environment/sustainability; if developing your skills and creating a career path, think about questions relating to how they manage the employees performance, ask for examples of career paths within the company, ask about training opportunities and how they support development; if working in a diverse and inclusive workplace is a must, ask about their policies and practices to enable this. Many companies have a lot of valuable information on their websites - so I would recommend to spend some time seeing what is available and build some questions to get to more detailed information.
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Patsian’s Answer

It is a good question - during an interview, you may feel unsure about how to present yourself in the best way and surely feeling like you want to leave behind the best impression.

In my experience interviewing people, I find that those who demonstrate a forward-planning attitude have greater success in the interview process. They aren't only there to speak at that interview, they are thinking ahead to how their relationship with you can be further developed. That's why it is good, in my opinion, to ask about the next steps following this interview and the timelines involved.

You may find that, if you ask "what are the next steps and their timeline", that the answer mentions everything else BUT when the hiring decision will be made! (e.g. next interviewer, background checks, writing tests, etc.) Unless you actually have a pressing timeline to follow (e.g. you may have another job offer to make a decision about), I suggest that getting a view of the next 1-3 steps in the process is enough for now. If you really want to know when they will make the hiring decision, it is ok to politely ask as a follow up "Thank you for letting me know the timelines for the process. Can you let me know when you'll be be ready to make a final decision on your preferred candidate?"

One point to watch out for is - you may receive a counterquestion from the interviewer about whether YOU are under any timeline pressure. It is important to answer this question professionally - you don't want to give the impression that you're just coasting, waiting for the next interview to come along. I suggest responding in a way that conveys you are planning ahead e.g. "I am speaking to a few organisations at this time, and they are all in the interview stage. Between them, I hope to hear about my progression in the next few weeks." or "I aim to be closing in on a few shortlisted organisations in the next 2 weeks who are keen to take the conversation forward, as I had planned to start work in a new place on XXX".

GOOD LUCK!
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Ifeoluwa’s Answer

Yes, it is okay to ask questions. There are no good or bad questions, so feel free to ask them whenever you can. It shows your level of confidence and excitement to join the team. Another thing you should take with you in an interview setting is gratitude and appreciation.

Aside from your experience/skills, what keeps you going is how well you treat people and appreciate them. Whether the interviewer is friendly or not, you should appraise them and let them know you are looking forward to hearing from them.

In other words, you bring in all the excitement and enjoy the moment. In your head, repeat this "I'm the one they are looking for".

At the end of the interview, you can say something like:

"Thank you for your time interviewing me for this position. I'm glad to have made it this far, and I can't wait to hear the GOOOOOD news in the days to come!! I love your organization; the impact <company name> is making in society is highly recognized, and I want to be part of that family. I'm super excited to learn, grow with the team, and contribute tremendously towards the company's goals and vision. Thank you."

Another thing - follow-up!!!!!!!!!!!! If you did not get any feedback from them in a week, make sure you reach out to them. So please please, please follow up with the company HR. Wishing you all the best! YOU got this!

Last note - keep appreciation and gratitude around your neck, and freely give it out to people whether you think they deserve it or not. It goes a long way, and they will remember you for that! "You are the right person for that position" :)
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Robin’s Answer

It is totally appropriate to ask this question. The interview is a two-way conversation. You should come prepared with questions, including when they expect to make a decision. Having questions shows the interviewer you're interested and that you came prepared for a good discussion about the position, work environment, and company as a whole.
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Belle’s Answer

It is absolutely okay to ask that question to the interviewer.
As Jared said, it's a 2 way interview. You can actually ask the interviewer the timeline on when you can expect their answers as it would also be included in your plans and what next steps you're going to take.
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Nancy’s Answer

It is appropriate to ask as long as your question is worded wisely. I like to keep things simple. For example, "Could you please give me an approximate timeline as to when you hope to make a decision on this position?"
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Sridhar’s Answer

You must remember that this is a 2 way process. You are taking a call on the organization as much as they are taking a call on you. Often interviewers look for this attitude when making a decision on the person, since that shows the individual understands the value they bring to the organization. So yes, Do go ahead and ask them - When might be a good time for me to call in and check on the status of my application ?
Or
When are you likely to make a decision on the candidate and what is your expected date of joining ?
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Jon’s Answer

For all interviews, but really just the work place in general, just use your manners and ask the questions that make sense to you. Usually during a job interview, as you wrap the meeting, they will tell you next steps (i.e. I will call you in the few days, or the recruiter will get back to you soon, etc).

Most times, they likely won't tell you if you got the job or not. There may be some obvious signs (that you did or didn't get the job). If they act disinterested or seem less than thrilled for some reason, you may not be the best candidate. Other times they may downright giddy about you being there, and they could even say very up front comments that lead you to believe you got the job (i.e. I really see you doing well in this role, you really are a strong candidate, you really stuck out from the others by displaying strong XYZ skillsets, etc.).

As long as you keep it simple and professional (i.e. what are my chances of landing this role, or how do i compare to the other candidates for this role, or do you see me as one of and/or the top candidates for this role, etc.), feel free to ask away!

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Sheila’s Answer

Hi Sam - As others have already shared some great comments you can't go wrong with any of the advice. Best of luck to you!

~ Sheila
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Gene’s Answer

You should definitely ask questions about the hiring process in every interview, including what the next step is and when you can expect to hear back. It shows you are really interested in the position and are taking initiative. Also, if you are really interested in that specific position then tell them that you want the job and are eager to move forward.
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Angela’s Answer

One question I've asked before the interview comes to a close is, "do you have any concerns or reservations about me as a candidate that would prevent you from hiring me?" This is has been great for me to get a good understanding of what the person thinks of me and it's great feedback for future interviews!
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Jeremy’s Answer

It is perfectly fine to ask that question. I always have a list of questions that I intend to ask in an interview. Sometimes the interviewer will answer some of them in the interview process. It is always a good practice to research the company and position that where you are applying. Your research will help you find questions to ask. Remember you are also interviewing the company that you are interviewing with to ensure that it is a good fit for you.
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