Your last job interview seemed promising. You answered all the interviewer’s questions, did a masterful job of explaining how your experience matches the company’s needs and even shared a laugh. Everything indicates that you rocked the interview! But did you really make as strong an impression as you think? Can you really tell if a job interview went well?
Let’s face it, leaving a job interview can be as unnerving as preparing for one. When you walk out the door, it’s easy to begin second-guessing yourself. You did pause for a couple extra moments before answering the third question. And was that joke a little funny?
Spend too much time trying to put yourself inside the hiring manager’s mind, and you’ll drive yourself crazy. Still, it would be nice to know how to tell if a job interview went well.
Compare your experience with the following seven signs to determine whether you aced your interview:
1. The interview runs longer than planned
The interview schedule is normally a tight fit, with candidates slotted in between existing meetings and other commitments. If an interview runs over by more than a few minutes, that indicates the interviewer like what he or she hears.
2. You feel a rapport with the interviewer
This is a key factor in knowing how to tell if an interview went well. Typically, you can sense when you click with someone. The conversation flows a little more smoothly. Your witty comments are greeted with a smile or small laugh. If it feels like the interviewer could be an old friend, that’s a clear sign the job interview is going well. It’s also an excellent indication that you’ll mesh with the organisation’s work environment if offered the job.
3. The interviewer has positive body language
Not sure if you’ve developed a rapport or not? Evaluate your interviewer’s body language. Smiling, leaning forward and making eye contact are all signs the interviewer is engaged and interested in you and in what you are saying.
Related: 8 Ways an interview is like dating
4. You’re asked about other job prospects
When interviewers ask whether you’re interviewing for jobs elsewhere, they’re trying to get an idea of how in demand you are and how quickly they need to move you to the next stage of the hiring process. They may be feeling the pressure to prevent you from slipping away. If they schedule that second interview before ending the first, you’re definitely in consideration for the position.
5. You’re invited to meet potential colleagues or other decision-makers
You know an interview is going well when interviewers start introducing you to people who weren’t on the schedule. At this point, you’re being evaluated as a potential colleague. Be friendly to everyone you meet so you make a great first impression on them as well. Also use the opportunity to get a better sense of what the corporate culture is like. Are these people you could imagine yourself working with each day?
6. The interviewer invites you to call or email with questions
Handing out a business card can be a good sign, but at some companies, it’s standard. Pay attention to what the interviewer says when handing you a card. “Here’s my direct line and email address; don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions,” for example, likely means you’re on track for a second interview. “Let me know if you’re called to interview anywhere else” or “Be sure to contact me if you receive an offer from another employer” indicates there is serious interest on the employer’s part.
7. You’re asked for references
If this happens on your first interview, it means the company is seriously impressed and looking to fast-track the process. So before interviewing, be sure you’ve lined up a strong roster of professional references and they are ready to take calls from potential employers.
How to tell if a job interview went well
Whether or not you see the signs above, you’ll know how to tell if a job interview went well the next time you meet with a hiring manager. And sometimes simply knowing where you stand with a potential employer is all you’re looking for.
A key part of the job search process is knowing how to negotiate the right starting salary when a job offer comes. Download a copy of the Salary Guide for insights into salary and hiring trends.