How did the interview go (really)?
You just wrapped up a job interview for a role you are excited about. You think it went well.
But did it?
Now that you have had some time to take a breath and reflect on that interview, confusion and self-doubt have kicked in. You have overanalyzed every answer, offhand remark, and facial expression, searching for clues about whether or not you can expect a second interview.
You are not alone. We all do it.
The job search is filled with a lot of uncertainty, and there is no surefire way to get inside your interviewer’s head. If you did your homework and followed my steps on how not to blow an interview, there are a few signs that indicate you knocked it out of the park or conversely, there are some clues indicating that it didn’t go so well.
8 Signs You Nailed Your Interview
Before we jump in, a friendly disclaimer: When it comes to the interview process, there is really no such thing as a guarantee or a list of fool-proof signs.
While there are some exceptions, there are certain indications that the interview is going well. Or not. Let’s talk about some signs that you likely impressed the interviewer and are one step closer to landing that job.
- Your Interview Ran Longer Than Scheduled
Your interview was scheduled for half an hour, but it was closer to 45 minutes or an hour before your conversation wrapped up. Chances are, your interviewer is interested in you and was highly engaged in the information you were providing.
As a recruiter, if I know a candidate is not a fit, I do not want to waste anyone’s time and generally wrap up right at the scheduled time or sooner. When I find a stellar candidate, I try to spend additional time to find out as much as we can so we make an informed decision.
- Your Interviewer’s Body Language Cues Were Positive
Nonverbal communication—particularly body language—carries a lot of weight:
- Does the recruiter seem engaged with what you are saying?
- Are they leaning forward when you say something particularly incisive?
- Smiling? Do their eyes have some spark in them?
While these types of cues can be more difficult to pick up on in a video interview, there are a few things to look for. For example, it is a good thing if your interviewer makes frequent eye contact with the camera and sits upright rather than slumped in the chair. Hint: you need to be doing the same thing.
- Your Conversation Flowed Naturally
While this is easy to forget when your nerves are running high, interviews really are person-to-person conversations.
Smooth, natural conversation flow is a positive indication and makes the interview feel less like an interrogation. Polite small talk and some friendly back-and-forth show that the interviewer was not only interested in you but also felt a certain level of comfort.
Just be aware that some companies conduct very structured interviews with pre-determined lists of questions asked in a certain order to satisfy diversity and inclusion criteria or abide by other company policies, so do not feel discouraged if your interviewer seemed to use a script and was determined to stick to it.
- You Were Asked Follow-Up Questions
Interested interviewers will dig deeper into your answers with related questions.
Did they ask follow-up questions that build upon what you were saying? Or are they just going through their checklist of required questions?
Pressing you for additional detail is a good sign, even if it feels a little intimidating in the moment.
Important Tip: If the interviewer restated the same question they already asked, it could be a sign that you were not giving enough information in your initial answer.
- They Want You to Meet Other Team Members
When you are asked to meet with other team members or a decision-maker (i.e., the interviewer’s boss), it is a very strong indicator they are interested in you. Most likely, they want to advocate that you could be a great fit and ensure that the approval process gets expedited by having other influencers meet you.
On the other hand, if you only meet with your scheduled interviewer, don’t take it as a bad sign. Meeting with additional company influencers is not a common scenario, especially when the interview is virtual.
However, if the hiring manager mentions wanting to introduce you to another decision-maker, you can still mark it as a positive sign. Remember to be patient; follow-up interviews with others do not often happen quickly.
- Your Interviewer “Sold” You on the Job and Company
It can be tough to remember that job interviews are supposed to go both ways, but they do. The employer is evaluating if you are a good match for the role and the company, and you should be obtaining more information to see if this is a place you would like to work.
With that in mind, if your interviewer is actively selling you on the job by touting things like growth opportunities, perks, company culture, accolades, and more, that is a sign they want to get you excited about the position. Similarly, take note if they ask about your job search and if you are interviewing with other employers. They could be evaluating how competitive their offer needs to be.
- Your Interviewer Gave You a Timeline for Next Steps
Getting to this interview is a big deal, but it is also just one step in the hiring process.
If your interviewer went into detail about the hiring timeline and what you could expect to happen next, they are interested and want you to be in the loop on what is coming next. Not only is this a good sign about your candidacy, but it also says a lot about that employer. It is proof that they have a clear and organized interview process and value transparency for their applicants (and most likely their employees too).
- 8. Your Follow-Up Email Got a Quick Response
You already know the importance of sending a thank you note after your interview, and you took my advice and wrote a personalized email. If your message received a response almost immediately to thank you for your time and to tell you that they will be in touch soon, it is a good sign. A quick reply is a confirmation that you are top of mind, and they want to keep you engaged in the hiring process.
You Aced Your Interview—Now What?
You’ve tallied some (or maybe even all) of the above signs, and now you’re feeling confident that you can expect to move forward in the process. Here are a few things you should do to make the most of that momentum:
- Take a minute to celebrate—you’ve earned it!
- Send a thank-you note or email if you haven’t already. According to one survey, 80% of hiring managers find these messages at least somewhat helpful when reviewing candidates.
- While fresh in your mind, jot down some notes about the important information you received as well as some of the main points and stories you mentioned in the interview. If you move forward in the process, it is good to have these details as reference.
- Avoid thinking you are a shoo-in until you get confirmation that you are moving forward. Confidence is a great thing, but you also do not want to set yourself up for disappointment.
Having an interview strategy and tips are so helpful when you’re looking for a job.
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