Ask Barb: Pre-Closing

Article main image
Nov 2, 2011
This article is part of a series called Ask Barb.

Dear Barb:

I was in your audience at a conference in Orlando, FL. You had suggested we should often pre-close during our interviews vs. just asking questions and obtaining answers. Could you provide a simple example?

Mary T., Austin, TX 

Dear Mary:

The reason I suggest a pre-close is to verify that you understand what your candidates is saying to you. If you don’t pre-close you might apply your definition of certain words which could differ from your candidate. Here is a simple example:

Q                     What is most important to you in your search?

A                     I’m looking for advancement.

Q Pre-Close Would you please give me your definition of advancement?

                        (Pre-Close to clarify definition)

A                     I want to be able to be promoted.

Pre-Close       So what you are asking me to do is find you a job that you can grow into and not out of?

A                     Yes.

The word “advancement” could have several different meanings, such as salary or level of responsibility. This is why it is important to pre-close throughout your interview.

Barb Bruno, CPC, CTS

Would you like to Ask Barb a question? Email her at Each month in The Fordyce Letter print edition, Barbara Bruno answers questions from individuals in the Recruiting Profession. We will bring you some of these Q&A responses from Barb each week on

This article is part of a series called Ask Barb.