Today is Election day in the U.S, with Barack Obama and Mitt Romney falling silent after months on the campaign trail to allow American voters to have their final say at the polling stations.
A few days ago both candidates travelled to swing states to make what political professionals call their ‘closing arguments’ to crucial undecided voters that could win them the presidency. This is the closing of the sale, the last chance to quash any rebuttals – the final stage of the interview.
“The question of this election comes down to this, Do you want four more years like the last four years? Or do you want real change? President Obama promised change, but he couldn’t deliver it. I have promised change and I have a record of achieving it.”
“I will lead America to a better place, where confidence in the future is assured, not questioned. This is not a time for America to settle. We’re four days away from a fresh start, four days away from the first day of a new beginning.” Mitt Romney
“We know what the right choice is, but let’s face it, Gov. Romney is a talented salesman, We know what change looks like, and what the governor’s offering ain’t it.”
“I’m a very nice guy, people will tell you. I really am, but if the price of peace in Washington means cutting deals to slash student financial aid or give health-insurance companies more power, I’m not going to make that deal, That’s a price I’m not willing to pay.”
“That’s not bipartisanship. That’s not change. That’s surrender to the status quo. I am a long ways away from giving up on this fight. I got a lot of fight left in me. I don’t get tired. I don’t grow weary. I hope you aren’t tired either, Ohio.” Barack Obama
These are just a few quotes from each of their closing arguments, Obama’s in Ohio and Romney’s in Iowa. Both ‘closes’ are partisan with the speakers attempting to take down their counterpart to thrust themselves to the top. Articulate emotive language, referencing previous successes, relating to the listener on a personal level, and passionate calls to action seem to be the Washington 101 on closing the deal on the biggest job in the world.
These are all important points to factor in when closing any deal whether that be sales, or a job interview. If you are interviewing for a sales or recruitment role, it is pivotal that you ‘close’ the interviewer to try and seal the deal. Why waste time puffing hot air on how good you are at closing deals when you can just prove it right there and then.
In an article and video by James Caan for LinkedIn he presents two killer questions to ask the interviewer, giving you the chance to make the perfect closing statement.
1. ‘Is there anything that you’ve seen in the other people on the shortlist that you have not seen in me?’
2. ‘So what is your gut feeling about me as a candidate?’
Both these questions will put the interviewer on the spot, and if they give you any negatives, doubts or aspects they are unsure about, it gives you the chance to fight your corner and make them realise that their points are flawed, what they think is wrong and that you are the best candidate this side of the moon. If you don’t do this, you are just allowing the interviewer to mull over their uncertainties post-interview, which could end up in the decision not going your way.
This technique would probably be less effective for the two presidential candidates as opening up the question ‘what is your gut feeling about me as a candidate’ to the floor, would most likely end up in a barrage of negative comments too plentiful for even a rebuttal handling master.
It’s too late now for Obama or Romney, the U.S public are now mulling over their finer points at polling stations up and down the country. But when you are gunning for your dream job, whether that’s to become head of state or some other more ‘lowly’ role. Be sure to close the deal with Obama-esque articulacy, Romney-esque confidence and a sense of actual intent which neither of them seem to successfully muster. Then ask those magic killer questions, and the job will be yours. (subject to references)
Take a look at parts of their closing arguments here.