5 Ways To Tell If Your Interview Went Well

Posted by in Career Advice


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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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Jean so sorry you had to go through such a bad experience. After the interview, did you send a thank you card? Such a simple gesture but it could have been the turning point. Did you call HR to find out why? They may not tell you the whole truth but at least you wouldn't have been waiting a month for a response. After your next interview, ask the interviewer when they are going to be making a decision. Ask if you can call and when? Don't just say thank you and walk out. Put them on the spot and ask the questions. If them hem and haw then you probably don't want to work for the company anyhow. And remember, you are competing with hundreds of other job seekers some of which are equally qualified and say that they are fast learners. You have to make yourself stand out from the crowd. I wish you the best in your next job interview.

  • Jean Craney
    Jean Craney

    I had an interview that went so go, at least I felt leaving that way. The company is a hired out HR and they were looking for a payroll specialist. I have a bit of experience with payroll, not a specialist however and am very capable of learning. It has been over a month and I still have not heard a thing from this company. Not and e-mail, vm, or phone call, NOTHING! I do not want to work for this company at this point but have to stress the frustration I have lived with thinking I did well but yet I guess I didn't?Additionally, the following day I had to take an at home computer test, like Myers Briggs for personality or adaptability, this was no picnic, for some reason the interviewer had me believing this was a simple test and no worries. I wish I was more prepared with math equations dealing with fractions. I would have brushed up on my skills. Maybe this was the turning point, regardless, it would really be nice to know! For a professional HR business I would have to believe this is bad business to not at least give the person you interviewed a reply to the time I thought was well spent!

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    So sorry @Mary-Catherine. So sad when that happens. But it happens more often than you would think. Not sure why a recruiter does that. Maybe because you are the better candidate and something about you intimidated her? Maybe because, even though you were the most qualified for the position, her best friend's son needs a job and she has already decided to give it to him. But she can't give you a glowing report and then hire someone else so she has to tell a lie. I know I rattled on there but you get the idea. It could be for any number of reasons and you are right - it's not a place where you want to work. Good luck with the next interview.

  • Mary-Catherine G.
    Mary-Catherine G.

    Appreciate the write up. But those don't always apply. I thought the interview went well. We laughed, talked about football. She talked about the issues coming up for the role (upcoming challenges, moving offices). She mentioned how she arrived at the position she was in. I was floored when the recruiter gave me the feedback that I had been 'unprofessional'. I had never in my life gotten that before. I had previously turned down some job offers so this was just a truly a one off and not my lack of professionalism. But it totally blew my mind! If she wanted someone that stiff, I probably didn't want to work there anyway. Good luck for the next candidate.

  • Graham P.
    Graham P.

    Look at your positive values and forget the rest!

  • Elizabeth G.
    Elizabeth G.

    We're all aware of it and talking about it--age discrimination, but what are we going to do about it? It seems that this form of illegal bias is almost as prevalent as was race discrimination in the 1950's and '60s. Unless we 'silver soldiers" begin putting the issue out there with our elected representatives, little is likely to change. Doesn't anyone know of an organization that supports the cause (other than AARP)?

  • TS T.
    TS T.

    except for hiring a 66 yr old ... who spent the last 12 yrs taking daily care of his mother's last years [left a great job willingly - warehousing my mother was NEVER an option] ... haven;t lost skills, perfect health, enthusiastic - cos still afraid i might bail in 6 mos .. nah, 5 years minimum in the right place, right fit. two interviews fit all the above benchmarks, but, age-discrimination (what else?) blew it.

  • John M.
    John M.

    Good article. Good advice.

  • Gwen Reynolds
    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
  • Cristina Clayton
    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.
  • LINDA NIXON
    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.
  • Meg Vasquez
    Meg Vasquez
    Good write-up. I absolutely appreciate this site.Thanks!
  • MARY JO SHANNON
    MARY JO SHANNON
    Very impressive help.  Thank you!!!
  • Michael Cook
    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!
  • Ann Cecchini
    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.
  • Diane Lindsey
    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.
  • Renee White
    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.
  • Julia Jones
    Julia Jones
    a very good article...with good related advice
  • Kathy L
    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?
  •  Carita Rozie
    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.
  • Cara B.
    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.
  • Raymond Cowie
    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
  • David Fabico
    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.
  • Shar V
    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.
  • Carey M
    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.

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