How do you know if a job interview went well? What’s the best way to tell if you have a good chance of being invited to a second interview, or better yet, an offer of employment? Sometimes, it’s a gut feeling. Other times, it’s not so clear.
However, there are some signs that can help you determine if your interview was successful. Take a look at these common tip-offs that your interview went well.
You're Asked About Your Interest in the Job
It’s a good sign if your interviewer asks you questions about your interest in the job or where else you are interviewing. If the interviewer wasn’t interested in hiring you, your desire for the job—or interest in other companies—wouldn’t matter much. Inquiries about your interest suggest the interviewer is considering whether you would accept a job offer.
The Interviewer Shares the Details
Did your interviewer dive into the specifics of the job and the daily responsibilities of the individual in that role? If an interviewer takes the time to get into nitty-gritty details, it can mean they felt confident enough about your capabilities to take the conversation to that level.
Bonus points if the interviewer referred to “you” in the role. For example: “You would be reporting to Martha, the digital marketing manager, each day.” When hiring managers talk this way, it means they can foresee you in the role.
Your Interviewer Gives Positive Affirmation
If the interviewer provides positive feedback during the interview, you're on the right track.
Listen to how your interviewer responds when you answer questions. Positive responses like, “That’s exactly right,” “Great answer,” or “Yes, that’s just what we’re looking for” are key indications that an interviewer likes you and will give your application further consideration.
The more positive feedback you get, the more likely you are to move forward in the hiring process.
You Get an Invitation for a Second Interview
With this one, it's easy to tell if the interview was a success. Getting asked to come in for a second interview is the best sign that your first one went well! Remember, though, don’t let the news get to your head. There is a good chance that other candidates are also coming in for round two.
Embrace your confidence, but don’t dismiss the need to prepare for a second interview just because you think you have the job in the bag. You'll want to get ready for the interview just as carefully as you did for the first round.
Your Interviewer Sells You the Job
If the interviewer spends some time promoting the highlights of the position, the company culture, and why he or she loves working there, this is a good sign. Your interviewer probably wouldn’t try to “sell” you the job if he or she had zero intention of considering you for the position.
Another good sign is when an interviewer asks when you could start work if you were hired. Wanting to get an idea about when you can start is a good indicator that you're in contention for the job.
The Interview Runs Longer Than 30 Minutes
Did the interviewer spend time asking quality questions, listening to your answers, and discussing the details of the position with you? If you felt like you came away with a thorough idea of the position and your interview lasted for more than 30 minutes, consider it a good possibility that the interviewer was interested in hiring you.
However, in a case where there are multiple interviewers, however, one of them may feel the need to ask questions for the sake of doing so, to make it seem like they’re doing their job.
So, bonus points if it’s just you and a single interviewer and the discussion still carried on for a significant amount of time.
You Exchange Contact Information
It is excellent news if your interviewer gives you a business card or some direct line to reach him or her, such as an email or even a cellphone number. Even better if your interviewer encourages you to reach out if you have questions or concerns.
Take advantage of that opportunity and follow up if you have any questions or additional information to share that would help you get an offer. Also, take the time to send a thank-you note or email reiterating your interest in the job.
The Interviewer Responds to Your Follow-Up Message
Once you’ve sent your thank-you note expressing your gratitude for the interview opportunity, gauge how long it takes your interviewer or human resources contact to respond. A prompt response can be good news, but also keep an eye out for the tone of the message.
A message like, “Thank you for coming in to meet with us! We very much appreciate it and look forward to following up with you later this week. Have a great day!” bodes much better than something short and dry like, “You are welcome, and thank you. Speak soon.”
Salary Comes Up
Most interviewers won’t get into the (sometimes awkward) discussion of money unless they’re serious about hiring you. Interview questions about your current salary, past salary, and what salary you are expecting to receive can be good signs that they are seriously considering you for the job.
You're Introduced to Staff
Consider it positive news if your interviewer gave you a tour around the office and introduced you to staff. It’s even better if he or she introduced you to other staff members during the interview.
If you got to meet some management or upper-management staff, take it as a good sign that you’re being seriously considered for the role.
Evaluate the Interview Experience
Many variables can impact the outcome of an interview. So it's important to consider the full picture to get a complete and accurate impression of your interview experience.
For example, if you are interviewing for a large corporation, the level of personal engagement you experience during the interview process may be significantly less than if you were applying with a startup company, but that doesn’t imply you won't get the job. If your interviewer isn’t a warm and fuzzy person, their mannerisms may not reflect your likelihood of getting the job. The same goes if they're an especially nice person.
Look for multiple positive signals, not just one.
Trust your gut, but be fair to (and aware of) yourself. If you’re the type who constantly doubts yourself and you think you blew the interview, your judgment may not be accurate. Try to be as objective as possible when considering your interview performance.
Review the experience without engaging in too much emotion.
If the interview didn't go well, it could be a sign that this isn't the right job for you.
And, if you didn't do as well as you expected, consider it a learning experience and practice for the next time around.
When You Don't Get Good Signals
If none of these things happen, be aware that it might not be because of anything you did or didn't say. There are many reasons candidates don't get invited for second interviews, and some of them have nothing to do with the applicant.
Don’t beat yourself up. If this job doesn’t work out, it means it wasn’t the position for you. Keep your job search moving forward, and the right opportunity will come along.