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I would like to ask you a paricular question. Recently I had a job interview which, as far as I am concerned, went great. However, I might have made a stupid mistake and I would like you to tell me whether it sounds awkward or not. So, in the final stage of the interview I was asking questions myself. After the last question I said something like: "That's all, thank you very much." I wanted to thank the interviewers for answering my questions, but I didn't add this detail. Now I think that it might have sounded bizzare, as if I was the one who conducted the interview and wanted to finish it. What do you think?

  • This is more a question of the workplace context than the actual English language used so you might get a better response if you post it over on The Workplace. – KillingTime Feb 10 at 0:15
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if you said "That's all, thank you very much." after the interviewers had answered all of your questions, then the "thank you very much" would be taken by them to indicate gratitude for the answers, and no more would be required, and omitting to say e.g. "...and thank you for answering my questions" would probably not even be noticed. Anyhow, the only answers you are going to get here will be opinion based and thus off-topic.

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    The nuance lies not at the end of the sentence but the beginning. "That's all" is spoken by someone in a position to say the meeting is over. "Those are all of my questions..." is spoken by someone who is not in that position. So, there's some social signaling involved. What is "appropriate" may depend on your bargaining position. "That's all" signals "You need me more than I need you." Maybe that's true, and maybe it's tactically smart, and maybe not. The wisdom of the choice is a matter of opinion, but I think the meaning is a matter of usage. – remarkl Feb 9 at 14:14
  • I will happily use "that's all [that I have to say]" to signify the end of a list or series I have been delivering, e.g. in a meeting, merely relinquishing the role of speaker, without fearing that the other people present will think that I am declaring the meeting over. – Michael Harvey Feb 9 at 14:23
  • The context was a job interview, a negotiation in which power relations matter. In other situations, other messages may or may not ride on the same words. – remarkl Feb 9 at 14:42
  • Maybe I am spoiled by interviewing, and being interviewed in Britain, and mainly in Government service, where interviews are more conversations between equals. As an interviewer, I more concerned to know whether a candidate has good job and social skills than I am to see obsequiousness. As a candidate I am concerned to find out if the job will be a good fit for my abilities and needs. Anexcessive and forbidding aura of "power" at an interview will make working for that organisation seem less attractive. Maybe other cultures are different. – Michael Harvey Feb 9 at 15:01
  • A job in interview is a dance, and the questioner should understand the steps. "That's all, thank you very much." sounds dismissive to me. Maybe it doesn't to you, or maybe you want an employee who doesn't care. But we are not talking about what you want in an interviewee; we are talking about what signal is being sent. – remarkl Feb 9 at 15:13
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There's a nuanced difference between That's all and, say, That's all I had. The latter can have a tinge of deference and the former can have a tinge of command, as if you were running the interview.

But a deferential tone of voice and body language would probably counter the latter effect, and even if it didn't, some interviewers would appreciate the fact that it's a two-way meeting, where the candidate wants to learn about the organization just as much as the organization wants to learn about the candidate.

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