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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  • 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.
  • Mishi K
    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. :)
  • Bernadette M
    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 ?
  • Melissa Kennedy
    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.
  • BILL T
    BILL T
    Getting the grand tour is also a good sign.  I have to wait 30 days for my most recent interview!  
  • Jacob S
    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.
  • Tiffany B.
    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.
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