Ask Barb: Pre-Closing

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)

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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

Barb Bruno, CPC, CTS, is one of the most trusted experts, speakers, and trainers in the Staffing and Recruiting Professions. If you want to receive FREE training articles from Barb, sign up for her NO BS Newsletter! Barb has spent the last twenty years focused on helping Owners, Managers, and Recruiters increase their sales, profits, and income.

Her Top Producer Tutor web-based training program jumps-starts new hires and takes experienced recruiters to their next level of production. Barb's cutting-edge program, Happy Candidates, provides you with a Customized Career Portal in less than 10 minutes. Happy Candidates allows you to help the 95% of candidates you don?t place and eliminates the greatest time waster in your business.

If you'd like to contact Barb, call (219) 663-9609 or email