You landed the interview and you immediately start reviewing interview questions, researching the job and hiring agency, manipulating your schedule and trying to stay cool about this awesome opportunity.

The big day comes. Arriving early, you hold your portfolio and prepared questions to keep your shaky hands at bay. Soon you are escorted into an office. A firm, sweaty handshake and a brief description of yourself begins the interview. Your preparation has set you up for success as you confidently answer questions and highlight how your skills would help push forward the goals and mission of the organization. Finally, the interviewer puts down his paper, looks you in the eyes and asks, “Do you have any questions?”

You do. Well, you did. The questions scribbled out on your notepad have all been answered. Nothing comes to mind and you start to sweat. The beginning and end of an interview are significant, and the pressure is on to finish this meeting strong. What should you do?

Do not just say ‘no’.

Pause and take a moment to think. Learn to be comfortable with brief silences and do not give into saying ‘um’ or other filler words.

Consider if you have a clear enough understanding of the job and your prepared questions to tell someone else.

If your questions have been answered, asking them again shows lack of attention. However, if you do not have the ability to later tell your spouse or friend about the details, ask for clarification. The important thing is to make the interviewer aware that you were listening, but would like more explanation. You do not want to go home and try to fill in the blanks to your missing information.

Do not ask a question for the sake of having one.

Thank the interviewer for providing so much information and respect their time. Dragging on a discussion about unimportant details will do the opposite of leaving a positive, lasting impression.

Let the interviewer know s/he has answered them all.

It is okay to have no more questions, but use this moment to mention those that have been answered. Reiterate the answers of your most important questions back to the interviewer to show him/her you were paying attention and confirm what you heard is correct.

This confidence, along with gratitude and  a firm handshake, is sure to finish your interview strong.

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Allison Struber is an educator, writer, military spouse and mother of three. Read more of her writings at