How to Ask Questions, Negotiate and Follow-up at the End of an Interview – III?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Bangalore-based HR professional, Preeyan, tells us how to crack an interview in three parts. In the third and final part, he gives invaluable tips on how to ask questions, negotiate effectively and follow-up during, and after, the closure of an interview. The way you handle these speaks a lot about you. A polite, firm and smart closure ensures success. Here’re the guidelines for a fresher, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.

Last week, in the second part of this series, we talked about two aspects, your conduct, and presentation during an interview. In the third and final part, we shall now focus on the effective and smart closure of the interview. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the company, effectively negotiate not only your package and perks, but also growth opportunities in the company, etc., and learn to follow-up within 48-hours.

Ask Questions

You have prepared with some questions, most of which may have been answered during the course of your presentation. Before the close of the interview, the interviewer may ask if you have any questions, at that point they are giving away that they are interested. If that does not happen, don’t lose hope you can ask them to permit you to ask a few questions and then go right on.

Some questions you need answers should not be the simple stuff, it should have content.

Like is the position a replacement position? How good was the person you are replacing? What are the key performance indicators? What are the key things you need to prepare on before you join? How critical is the position as on that day? I think you get the hold of it, for fresh candidates stick to the basics. Don’t go into the questions like work timings, holidays, leave policy and all that. Because it shows that you are not interested in working but the perks you get.

When you ask the right questions, the interviewer starts feeling involved in the interview process, he likes responding and likes to take pleasure in telling people how great it is to be in his position. Allow that to happen it is helping you.

It is still not the time to talk salary, remember they have the information with them, during the course of the interview they may have asked all that they want to know about your current pay and what your expectation is. Don’t bring up any question on pay as that will happen when you negotiate.

Enjoy the flow and remain positive.

This is when you are ready to leave. Once they have said thank you, remember that you need to ask if they are done and then excuse yourself before getting up. Thank them for the time they have given you and the opportunity for attending the interview. Ask them when you can expect the result. Take their e-mail Id’s and number if you don’t already have them and leave with a smile.


This is the most important step most of us ignore whence we have attended an interview. Follow-up does not mean that you just ask the result of the interview, it is a platform you can use to reiterate someone’s impression about you and thereby influencing their decision.

This is to be done within 24 to 48 hours of the interview. Follow these steps and see what difference this might make to you.

  1. Prepare a presentation on what difference you will bring to the table if given this opportunity. Don’t spend too much time on designing the slide, keep the content rich and simple.
  2. Send an e-mail to the interviewers, the content should be mainly reiterating how good you felt about the opportunity that was given to you. Say that you would like to share a presentation that you had in mind post discussion with the team.
  3. Send out a reminder if you have not for a response after 48 hours.

Remember, no position is open for more than seven days unless you are told a specific timeframe to wait for some time. And if you have got no feedback it is ok to assume that you did not get selected. It just means that you need to prepare better.

Also, remember that every failure is only another learning curve. Never lose hope and always stay positive.


This is the final step, remember, if you do not do well here you may lose the position. It is important to understand what you will get. Let the offer be made by the company first. Get the structure of the salary checked with an HR friend or relative and see if it satisfies you. If it does not you can always raise a concern. They will call you to negotiate the cost, it is ok to mention what you please. If you feel they are close to what you are expecting to get go ahead ask for the salary structure.

Negotiation is not just about salary, it is where you get to know what the growth opportunities are in the organisation. How are employees treated, and all other things important to hold on to a job, because you really do not want to go through all this again in a short time?

Understand the salary structure completely and it is ok that you don’t take the offer because the structure is not satisfying or good enough. Don’t reject the offer only on the basis of money. You may not know what you have missed until you have learned everything about the organisation.

Remember the negotiation can also go the other way and the organisation always holds the upper hand as they can even withdraw the offer after you have accepted the offer. The way you handle the situation is very important.

Negotiation is not only about the pay it is also about when you can join. Give a commitment which is reasonable. The importance of keeping your word is very important. It will set expectations of how as an employee you work in the organisation. Hence it is important that you set realistic expectations.

It is not for me to say that you should have kept the organisation informed about your choice of leaving them before you have any opportunity in hand. In today’s competitive world it is next to impossible. Hence expect that and set a realistic timeline. If you have committed a timeline stick to it.

I have penned down what I can as a direction but it is important to remember that at the end of the day it is you who is making a difference in your life. A decision to change jobs is a life changing decision. Some people do it just for the excitement they get in doing so. For some, it is mere peer pressure. You need to understand and gauge the situation before you take the call. Once you have taken the call what you have just read through will give you scope or direction of how you prepare. With a job in hand to do all these preparations may be difficult, but if you are serious about a change in a job you might as well go through the grind.

It is you who is in control, so think about it stay positive and happy Interviewing.



©Preeyan Abraham

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Preeyan Abraham is a HR professional. He loves travelling and all the little intricacies that it brings. A foodie, he enjoys cooking for relaxation. A movie buff and music lover, he appreciates simple things in life. He comes from a mix of religious backgrounds that has helped him appreciate all the good things of what all religions have to see. He looks at life as a platform created to perform and give the best.