You just finished a grueling interview for that hospital management job. You think it went well. But you heard that employers are reluctant to hire people in their late 50’s. You need this one. It’s this or you don a blue vest and become a greeter at Wal-Mart. So how can you tell if the job is yours?
The interview goes long on time and engagement.
A longer than scheduled interview is a good sign. So are detailed answers to your questions. It says the interviewer is interested and engaged in who you are, not only as a candidate, but as a person who might just fit into the company. If the interview moves from the Q&A stage to the conversational stage, it’s a clue that you’re on the very short list of candidates. Judi Perkins, How-To career coach and president and founder of Find the Perfect Job, says employers tend to be more hypothetical in their questions if they really want you to say yes. For instance, "the unconscious phrasing of the question 'Can you travel?' is pretty neutral," says Perkins.
You hear a decisive decision date.
If, on the phone, the interviewer suggested they need a few weeks to decide on “the right fit,” but at the end of your interview, you’re told you’ll hear back in a day or so, that’s another good sign. It means you’ve made it to the very short list.
You take the tour.
If after the interview you’re given a tour of the building, facilities and group/team members, things are looking up for you. Most employers don’t have the time to waste on these tours unless they consider you a prime candidate. Be sure to make a good impression on everyone you meet. Vickie Austin, founder of the business, executive and career coaching company CHOICES Worldwide, notes that incidental introductions to staff can provide a clue of your ranking as a candidate. If "you're being led back to the reception area and are introduced to one or two people in passing for a 30-second chat in the middle of the hall," you’re on the short list, notes Austin.
Your references are contacted before your interview.
They like what they’ve seen on your resume and cover letter. And they enjoyed talking to you on the phone. If they called your references before you walked in for the interview, it’s a good sign that you’re a top pick—and that the interview is yours to lose.
It’s a nail biter no matter how you look at it, but the clues noted above should tell you whether you’re a serious contender or if you should see what you look like in a blue vest.
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