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5 Ways To Tell If Your Interview Went Well

Posted By: Staff Editor In: Job Seeker - Interview

So, how can you know if your interview was successful? Being offered a job is the best indicator, but there are a few other things that can give you clues. Here are 5 things to look for:

 
You get a clear timeframe. If a recruiter gives you a firm answer about when you'll hear back, it's usually a good sign. Of course, sometimes a company will have a strict timeline in mind, but for the most part, they leave themselves open to making a decision, even if it takes longer. So, if the recruitertells you that you should hear word by next Wednesday, it's a good sign. If the recruiter is vague about it, it can mean that the company hasn't made up its mind and that it still has other interviews to conduct.
 
The interview takes longer than scheduled. If the interview is quick, then it means that you didn't impress the recruiter. Typically what happens is that someone who interviewed before you was someone who they really want to hire. It's bad manners to cancel an interview, so instead, the subsequent interviews are shorter. With this in mind, if your interview takes longer than scheduled, it means that the employer really wants to hear what you had to say. Even if you don't end up getting a job offer, you can feel confident that the employer was at least interested and had seriously considered you for the job.
 
The recruiter talks about personal stuff or shares jokes. When the formal interview questions and answers are over and the conversation turns to chit chat or personal bonding, it means that the employer really wants to know who you are. The recruiter is looking for common ground and so far, you’re an attractive candidate. It's half the battle and it's a clear sign that they are seriously considering you. If an interviewer isn't impressed with your resume or you lack some required skill, an interviewer wouldn't waste valuable time chatting with you just to make you feel better. Although you might not always get a job offer after an interview like this, being personable and likeable can help you get the job.
 
The interviewer discusses the problems with the position. If the interviewer shares with you some of the problems that the previous employee had or talks about the details of the challenges of the position, it means that  he or she is wondering if you can handle the job. Typically, an interviewer doesn't give this type of information to people who aren’t qualified for the job. An interviewer may talk details with a handful of people, trying to decide which person to hire.
 
You make plans with them for the position. When this happens, it's very, very likely that you'll be getting a job offer. If you and the hiring manager begin brainstorming and coming up with a strategy for success, it's a really good sign. It means that the hiring manager is already picturing you in the job, which is exactly what you want. In order to get to this place, you had to impress them with your understanding of the company and its needs. Even if you don't get the job, this is a clear sign that you are doing all that you can and that you're on the right track.
 
What other signs do you look for during an interview? Have you ever known that you weren't going to get a job based solely on the interviewer’s behavior? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
 

 
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Comments
Posted by: Gwen Reynolds
Great tips I'm glad I am not alone, when I go to a interview it seems to go well I'm positive, good eye contact and a nice smile. They say I have a good work history and a lot of experience. I am 52 years young I have a sense of humor, but I know when and how far to take it. I have been out of work for nine months now. Its hard to stay positive. I really think it is my age but how can I prove it. Thanks for reading have a blessed day and good luck to all of you keep smiling they can't eat us. ?    l
Posted by: Cristina Clayton
Good answers to wondering if the interview went well.  I received 3 - 1. joke and told person stuff, 2. They discussed problems with the position or common things about the person I would work with.  3. It took longer than planned, but when I asked the timeline, they said they just starting interviewing and have more to interview.  The last is what made me think they were not interested.
Posted by: LINDA NIXON
The article is pretty spot on. I sometimes have a hard time after when I am asked how did the interview go. I quite often don't like to comment at all.
Posted by: Meg Vasquez
Good write-up. I absolutely appreciate this site.Thanks!
Posted by: MARY JO SHANNON
Very impressive help.  Thank you!!!
Posted by: Michael Cook
This is a very interesting article and it does bring out some finer points.  To those who feel that their "old age" is against them---think twice about that.  What you may need to do is re-invent and market yourself differently to stay on the competitive edge.  Remember the old adage:  That was then, this is now.  Stay current and competitive!
Posted by: Ann Cecchini
This article makes very valid points that coincide with  my own experience. Even if you don't get a job offer, or decide against taking the position, you can leave the interview knowing that it was a positive interaction.
Posted by: Diane Lindsey
Reading all of your comments is comforting to me.  It basically tells me that i am not alone.  I am not a young candidate.  I have noticed that with younger hiring interviewers, I am at a disadvantage.  I am learning how to interview with the "kids".  Sometimes, it's just age that is making the difference.  I am very qualified as an Occupational Therapist Assistant.  I'm just not the first choice.  It's discouraging and scary because I still need to work.
Posted by: Renee White
I will start my new position next week. All of my interviews with the company had all of these indicators.  Best advice - imagine yourself excelling at the company and helping your teammates excel.
Posted by: Julia Jones
a very good article...with good related advice
Posted by: Kathy L
I've become so jaded with hiring authorities lying that even if they tell me they'll call at 10 am on Monday, I don't put much stock in it.The younger people are less likely to do what they say they'll do. I had a phone interview scheduled with one company, and no one called. So I emailed and asked if SHE wanted to reschedule with me. She did. When she called me, she called 20 minutes late. At the end of the phone interview, she wanted me to interview with another person, and told me she would call later that day to set a time. She didn't. Neither did the other person. I emailed her again, and asked about it.  THREE MONTHS later I get an email from the second person who wants to meet me in person. The day before the interview, I sent a reminder email to her, and she admits she "forgot" about it and could we re-schedule it. NO! Why would anyone want to work with or do business with people like this?
Posted by: Carita Rozie
9/20/2013I went to a direct job interview with the Housing Authority of Springfield MA. The position was for a Purchasing Manager. I did excellent on the first interview and met all of the positive indications that was referenced in your article.I was called the next day for a second interview that took place with other team members. The second interview was even better then the first. I believed that I nailed the position. I really was a great fit.I received an e-mail a few days later stating that another candidate was a better fit for the position. After I did some quick web research I found out that the hired person already worked at the Housing Authority and did not have any purchasing experience.I guess that is politics for you.
Posted by: Cara B.
Has this happened to anybody else? I had an interview at a major Hospital and after the Supervisor and Manager interviewed me together they copied my resume, gave it to 4 employees who then came in and asked me questions,the Manager said because she said maybe she forgot something. The HR manager told me to allow extra time because if they are interested in me they will send me for testing a couple blocks away. After the employees asked me questions, or as I feel, they were given a chance to see if I they liked me and would fit with their team. The Supervisor came back in the room after several minutes and told me thank you. I was not sent to do testing. I even asked her about testing and she said well at a later date. I knew after the employees left the room that management had let the employees make their decision. First, never have I had employees given my resume without asking and then 4 employees ask me tricky questions and management only says thank you to me. I feel my privacy was violated and management was very wrong in treating me this way.
Posted by: Raymond Cowie
Hello I am just inquiring why I am having problems getting employed in certain businesses.I have a DUI that I had in 1990 and I have paid my fine and licence suspension.Why should that have any affect on the jobs Ihave applied for.Looking for a reasonable and sensible answer.Thankyou Raymond
Posted by: David Fabico
they won't hire you, (1)they keep asking many questions about you but the sincerity and tone of voice are NOT true. (2)your ethnic minority (3)your NOT a graduate of this country (4)your qualified, highly qualified and over qualified (5)they only NEED grade 12 or graduate students or even lower.
Posted by: Shar V
I had three great interviews with a company, was showed the work area, taken to lunch, and then the team spent their time texting and checking their messages.  The first time this happened I was really insulted.  I guess I was expecting the team to ask me some questions even personal stuff during lunch, but they just talked about their vacation plans and checked their messages.  One of the team didn't bring their phone and actually spent some effort in getting to know me.  I almost felt like the team for the majority was wasting my time.  I've had this situation happen a couple of years ago upon working for a firm that I was providing contract consulting for a company and the team was very young.  I attributed it to their age, but in my opinion, I would not treat a potential hire in this manner.  I'd give them my attention and expend some effort in getting to know them to see if I'd like to work with them.  I'd love some feedback from others if they've had this situation happen to them and how they felt about it and what their outcomes were.
Posted by: Carey M
I interviewed almost 4 weeks ago and it went very well (the recruiter called me an hour after the interview to set up a 2nd interview.)I had the 2nd interview 3 weeks ago and was told that both meetings went very well. They were more like conversations than strict question to answer.I'm still waiting to hear back, I've already called once (last week) and was told I'd get a call back the next day. It's been 8 days :/Not sure how to follow up without being a bother.
Posted by: Mishi K
I just completed my 3rd and final interview with the VP of Admissions. I was supposed to receive a phone call Thurs or Fri of last week, and it never came. I was assured by the campus director that he's incredibly busy and currently traveling, so I should just wait it out. According to a friend of mine who already works there, the Campus Director was re-forwarding the same email reminder that he needed to call me lol. I feel like I sat on the edge of my seat, completely nervous. Today is Wednesday, and I finally got the call, but had to miss it due to working at my current job, so i returned his call this evening and apologized that I couldn't get back to him sooner due to my work schedule. He then apologized to me for taking so long to call. :) The interview went really well, but he certainly kept me on my toes. Once or twice I felt like I gave a not-so-good answer, but he would then rephrase it or ask me to tell him more, which was obviously his way of helping me out. Always a good sign when they give you a second shot at a question in order to see what else you have to add that they're looking for.For me, the main thing that I listen for comes after all the interviewing. What you need to look for at the end of a final interview is the question: "If we offer you this position, when you be able to start?" That usually means they want to get you on board ASAP, are checking to see if you will put in a 2 week notice with your current job, and are looking to figure out your timeline. If you hear, "Thank you for your time, we'll get back to you shortly with a decision." you have about an 80% chance that you were not their candidate.Thankfully, I got the "How soon could you start?" question at the end. According to my friend currently employed there, that means I'm good to go. Especially since everyone in the office staff thinks they'll really enjoy working with me and they're excited to get me on board.Wish me lots of luck! Although it already seems like I have it in the bag, you just never know for sure until you get the official word. I'm 99.9% on my way to this job, and I feel great about it! It is more than double what I currently make in a month! I currently make just shy of $1,200 per month, and this job would pay an additional $2,400!!! My monthly pay would amount to just around $3,600!!! That's an amazing opportunity for me. I will finally be able to boast that I am self-reliant, I can finally get off of food stamps, and I'll finally be able to pay my bills on time with no help from anyone! :)I am so done being overworked and underpaid to the point that I'm $300-$400 short every month compared to the 5 monthly expenses I actually have in my life: Electric, Rent, Gas for the car, car insurance and my basic cellphone payment. I don't spend frivolously, either. I need to budget all that I can, and even then I still fall short by $300-$400 dollars per month. It's been a frustrating time always trying to play catch-up with my bills and figuring out how to make money pop out of thin air. This job certainly won't make me rich, but it will put me in a place where I can live more comfortably in my finances, with less worrying about how I'm going to pay for anything, and start a savings account for my son's future education. :)
Posted by: Bernadette M
I had two interviews phone,then on site it went well. I was told i would hear in a weeks time a week past .. After my thank you letter i decided to call the recruiter. He told me the position i interviewed for had been filled but they pulled my  resume to the side for several up coming positions in the next few week. How do i follow up without being a pain. Were they just letting me down easily or are they really considering me ?
Posted by: Melissa Kennedy
Thanks so much for the really great comments. You're right, Jacob, no matter how badly you want the job, don't take any rejection personal. Let it go and move on as best as you can. If nothing else, it was good practice. Harness the positive from the experience and use it to motivate your search. Karen, that's so unfortunate. There's no way to know what happened, but since they were super nice to you, it probably had nothing to do with you or your shortcoming, so try to move on.
Posted by: BILL T
Getting the grand tour is also a good sign.  I have to wait 30 days for my most recent interview!  
Posted by: Jacob S
These are all good suggestions, but don't be let down if you don't get the position. Sometimes, for whatever reason, something happens and you are not offered the position. I recall an interview I had a few years ago, where everything went well: the interview was long, we talked about personal stuff, she said she would call me after the weekend - heck, she even showed me what cubicle I would be sitting at! So don't beat yourself up like I did, and perhaps it just wasn't meant to be.
Posted by: Tiffany B.
I had a really good interview a couple of days ago. She was really nice, and so nice to where she wanted me to get interviewed by the hiring manager right then and there, but unfortunately she said that she wasn't available that day. So she said they would call me by Friday which is today, and I'm on needles just waiting patiently for the call! It seems like time drags when your really expecting to receive an important phone call, but if she does not call me today. I will follow up with my interview on Monday to see if they have made a decision.
Posted by: Karen P.
I had two interviews for a position that I felt really good about. The HR manager gave me a time frame as to when I would hear back from them. When she didn't call back within that time frame, I followed up a day later. She said that they were still interviewing but that I was definitely a front runner. A week later she called and said that while the manager was very impressed and I was qualified, they went with someone who was a better fit. I'm so confused as to what happened!!
Posted by: Theresa B
What it comes down to is it your lucky day. On a side note I am surprised with all the errors in people's comments. Those would be red flags in your resume, cv, and thank you note. Just saying.
Posted by: Glenice R
Very helpful questions and answers that help you determine whether or not you might be a candidate for the job.
Posted by: Thomas P
If they ask for your references, that is a good sign.
Posted by: SusanF
I have been on many interviews.  8 out of 10 interviews placed a check mark from this list beside my name.  I wasn't hired.What is wrong??
Posted by: Melissa Kennedy
@Pooja - You make an excellent point. The objective of any interview is for the company to consider how you would fit in the position and for you to think about how you would like working for them. When it's a great fit, it can feel perfect. Just remember that the things that bother you in your office might not be a problem at another office. The important thing is to find the right chemistry.
Posted by: Pooja
This is a tough one.The primary raoesn that people are terminated from a job is in not getting along with co-workers. My feeling is that the people who are going to hire you like you in the first few minutes (first interview) but when they spend more time with you, they find things about you that will be problematic with the group you'd work with.As a former owner of several companies, I had similar issues in hiring people.  Things that would be the kiss of death for a potential employee (and I never told them this) were: someone who smokes (too much time outside), too talkative (too much time wasted), too much of a know-it-all (destroys team spirit), too much pontificating of a religious belief), and others.You need to take a hard look at yourself and see if you have any abrasive qualities, anything that would get on the nerves of people after they have been around you for more than the first interview. It's likely that you won't be able to recognize these yourself.  In that case, ask a friend   someone who will be brutally honest with you.  It's my guess that the problem will be revealed if you do this.  Once you know the problem, it's up to you to take steps to solve it.Or, maybe you will soon find a place that's the perfect fit for you.  Good luck.
Posted by: Melissa Kennedy
Thanks for the great comments! @Debbie, that sucks. I can't believe they could be so mean.@Harold, if you haven't heard back, give them a follow up call.@vernesia, Good luck! I hope you get the job!
Posted by: Jean C
The 5 ways notification is so true.  I recently went to an interview which I thought would take about one hour.  I was there for four hours.  I met 5 different people that day.  The hiring manager was very social chatting about his son who happened to be a wrestler since I used to wrestle.  He was more interested of getting to know me in a personal level,  He discussed the challenges with the position and even started talking about other future projects.  At the end, he stated that I will here from him or HR in couple days.  I did get a call in two days with an offer.  
Posted by: Debbie S
During one of my interviews, one of the interviewers turned to another and said, Didn't Rachel say she would have to give two weeks notice?  That was after they asked me how soon I would be available.  I knew right then they were not interested in me - they were interested in this Rachel person.  Talk about rude!  I never knew someone would actually do something like this right in front of you.  
Posted by: Harold Barringer
The information here is good but I have had a lot of good interviews. They would say you will here from us by Friday. Three Fridays pass and nothing. The interviews should play by the same rules as those who are appling. Sitting and waiting for a yes or no is ruff!
Posted by: vernesia washington
Thanks for the advice!  I interviewed for what turned out to be 5 positions at once ( wow was the key word) which i found out about at the end of the interview.  This was the first time, i was not shaking in my boots under the table.  They did explain to me the good and bads of one particular position, and we started 'chatting it up' after the interview.  Monday is 2 weeks, then I will call and find out what is up!Thanks - I felt alot better after reading this article
Posted by: Harry R
Very helpful, however i would like to know if you get a reply such as talk to you soon what should that reply tells you?
Posted by: Teresa Y
Excellent feedback.  I agreed with the above indicators, especially on a short interview when there were other candidates being interviewed before you.
Posted by: Yolanda M
This is very useful and helpful.  It is a reminder for questions that can be asked during the interview process.
Posted by: Melissa Kennedy
Thanks for the great comments! Just because an interview went well doesn't mean you'll get the job. However, it does mean that you are being seriously considered, which counts for a lot. It lets you know that you are doing all that you can to stand out. Maybe it wasn't the right opportunity for you. Even if your interview goes well, don't forget to send a thank you note and make a follow up call.
Posted by: carmen f
All the above happened for me....interview went well all the good signs,they say you will here from us in one week...never here back,no thank you,no answer...very stressful,waste money for gas,time to prepare what to say,and not even thank you for coming to interview,or something....This was very helpful!
Posted by: Candice B
I agree with this article.  It is nice to be able to self-evaluate a bit after an interview.  When I interview, I am also wanting to know that the candidate knows at least something about the corportation.  Also, overconfidence can be somewhat of a negative, depending on the type of position.  I think overconfidence might be expected in Sales, but not so much in another position.  I also think you owe people an answer even if they did not get a position...at least send them an email.
Posted by: MaShell K
This was very helpful! I interviewed twice with a company in the past 2 weeks. I was asked at the second interview to come in and sit with the person that I would be hired to replace because the interviewer valued her feedback when it came to making a decision. I was told prior to sitting with her that it was her last week, but on the day that I went in to sit with her I was told that, that day was actually her last day. While in the office with the interviewer, completing some background check paperwork, he actually made casual conversation with me. I am still waiting to hear back from this company as to their final decision on the job, which should come this week.
Posted by: Aijaz M
The comments offered in the above article make sense except "You get a clear timeframe". It has happened to me twice.  The interviewer told me to hear from him on 2 days. In both cases the HR called me on the promised dates that they 'll not be proceeding with my application.  I do not know other people had the same experience.  But I appreciated the company calling me as per promise, because I would have done the same if I were in their position.  It is called discipline and honesty.  Anyway, it is a common sense article.
Posted by: Grant S
Great article, and very relevant to my job search right now.  Had an interview last week, and felt very good about it, but then the nerves would hit me and I would worry that I said the wrong thing, etc.  This article gave me a way to grade how well the interview actually went.It has been a really long time since I honed my interviewing skills, so this article is a great help.
Posted by: Regina D
your tips are very informing. There are things that I did not know. thank you for informing me.
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