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How to Tell if You Aced the Interview

Posted By: Alex Kecskes In: Healthcare & Medical

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.


Image courtesy of Ambro/

What do you think?
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The examples you gave were right on.  Is there anything else to look for or do before the interview?
Posted by: Alex Kecskes
Joe: No, they could just be swamped with other work. Give it time.Cynthia: If no interview after assessment, move on to another company.Isaac: It's very rare that they will tell you why. Eva: GIve it another week, then move on.
Posted by: GIORDANY B
I found these ideas very interesting.
Posted by: Joe B
Interview Tuesday he said that you would contact me on Friday if I got the job or not. But he never did call is that a bad sign.
Posted by: PatrickF
I have an interview as a vet tech tomorrow, these are the things I've always wanted to know!
Posted by: Nancy L
Sounds like this can be true for people interview for position below management level also.  
Posted by: Aram H
All good points but primarily for young persons.  At the age of 72, and tired of being "retired" I landed a job only because the manager of the company with the job requisition knew me as we attended the same lodge and he knew my skills.  As for the interview, my advice is this:  Take charge! Stop answering inane questions and concentrate on what you  can bring to the company you wish to join.  That means that you have to research the company well beforehand , what they make, or do, who are the principals, stock exchanges, financials, recent events, etc.   just to show the HR person how earnest you are and how valuable you can be to them.
Posted by: William L
I agree with everything in this article up to the reference check part.  My recent experience has been that my interviews skill and process has been all over the map.  Some are trained, many are haphazard in their interview approach.  I've had long interview days that were unproductive because the company was looking for "something else" even if you ace the interview.
Posted by: Cynthia B
Good. How do you get an interview after assessments?
Posted by: kelli.f
Good information.
Posted by: Mary T
All of these things have happened to me in an interview. I have been looking for a job for over a year now. Explain that one!
Posted by: Maria K
If you have no experienced in medical, no matter what kind of position, even a receptionist, you will not get hired. Been there done that. No one will train you today for anything!
Posted by: Karen G B
Good information.
Posted by: Gloriann S
I've had tours  of the job site, and I didn't get the job. Also was told that I would hear from HR and start in a month. This was with UPMC.  I've given up on them. No one ever gets back to you.  with anything
Posted by: Janetta H
Good answers :)
Posted by: COLINA C
very helpful information
Posted by: Julie W
I had the tour and the interview was long, I was even called back to interview with others. I've always heard you know in the first 4 minutes.  AGE is a factor and so is being over-qualified.  I think the hints are great. But they are common sense for anyone that is job searching.
Posted by: Isaac S
Very similar, spent hrs in & out of interview(2) w/tour but was never called. When your experience exceeds the job or you are over qualified. What's the answer? Job security for the person interviewing? Do they want someone who can't think on their own or control, never a call to tell you why!
Posted by: Mary C
Good information, thank you.
Posted by: ROSLYN L
These hints are right on target.  Having been a recruiter in the past and currently at a "C-suite" level, this provides a strong analysis of a successful interview.
Posted by: Elizabeth E H
Just interviewed for a big name chip company.  Their  job website was very mis-leading. They did not stress the high  level of physical demands. So I stayed and chatted with the interviewer even though  I knew he did not believe I was physically able for the "Olympic" style shape and pace one must have.  However, by staying and talking with the rep. I learned allot about this job world and he bought me lunch! I did suggest he interview at the actual job site so people could get a real view of the job. I am 62 and he says people in their 20's often get injured in this field as they do not follow the rules but I think the company should re-evaluate their expectations. They can't find anyone yet for this small mtn community.  Hang in there.....don't accept work you know will hurt you physically, move on..the job interviews alone are great hiring training.
Posted by: susan h
I went on an interview and got the job but now I am wondering if I made the right decision. I applied for anther job and the interview went well and I was given a tour etc. Havent heard back from them yet but they told me probably not till the end of the month. I am confused as to whether I should take this second job instead of the first one if it is offered to me. I don't know what to say to the agency that offered me the job and I accepted.
Posted by: Queen C
Well stated!!
Posted by: eva z
11 days ego I had an interview; how long should I wait?
Posted by: Kathi M
Very informative and helpful.
Posted by: Debora P
Guys, if you haven't heard back in a week, I feel you should be giving them a call to see what is going on.  Remember, a thank you follow up letter after the interview is proper etiquette.  And today,it helps to know someone in the company to get the job.  All industries are becoming very competitive, even nursing.  Good Luck!!!!
Posted by: Nichelle g
Wow I read most of the comments and I too was the one that all these thing happen for me as well  and I didn't get the job left to believe that I had done something wrong or said something wrong maybe perhaps the interviewers didn't know how to interview,  or  wanted to offer false hopes, but  I'm a true believer what God has for me is for me and that settle it.
Posted by: Sherry H
I must state that all the above happened for me at  two of my interviews, but I never received a call back. Really need feedback on what may be the problem for me
Posted by: Jen W
I can't even get a foot into a facility.  At 60 with over 20 years of experience in what I do, after applying for a job exactly in my profession, it took me about 15 minutes to get a thanks but no thanks letter back.  It looks like all of us over 50 here need to work and look at all of these posts.  This is very scary. I need work as well.  Yes, very scary.
Posted by: Pamela B
I thought the article was very informative.  Good check list on how well you've done in interview.
Posted by: Ann O
If you know you are being bad-mouthed in the industry. Do you address it?If its been a long time since your last job due to family illiness what is the best way to address it.
Posted by: Fran M
Good information.  I agree that employers are still looking for the younger folks but what they lack at the time of hiring is the stability of older folks vs. younger folks who tend to move from job to job more often. Experience and life events say a lot for older folks.  Still looking too.
Posted by: Linda G
I believe what was said in the article was accurate, and true. signs of being hired usually appear in this order, older  people seeking employment must come in demonstrating their experience and value to the company or they will be  looked over for a much younger contender.
Posted by: Joycelyn S
good information
Posted by: David L
educational, I just received a call back, to meet the plant manager and tour the company.I feel better about my chances know, I want this job bad
Posted by: Gale S
This is excellent advice with one caveat, even though all the above signs are positive, there could still be other people to be interviewed, so you still may not get the job. It might b useful if you could find out how may more interviews will be conducted?
Posted by: Marybeth H
great advice.
Posted by: Ronald B
Very informative and useful. I was already aware of some of the 6 items, but concluded that being aware of these meant that at least I have been making some good choices during the interview process.
Posted by: Carla R
This all was true, but I am not sure it still is.  Companies are very rude to people now.  I just received a message from a company that I applied to, saying that the position was filled and they would hold onto my resume.  That is very unusual today.  I was impressed.  Most companies seem to think that employees are just a necessary evil.
Posted by: Della J
Thank you I found this information very important
Posted by: Hilda G
After reading all other comments, I would like to add that interviewers who walk you around and introduce you to employees without being the final decision maker in the hiring process, are showing off, trying to convince themselves they have more authority than they do.  Their superior needs to be aware of this and train them while informing them of their actual job duties. Very unprofessional.
Posted by: Hilda G
Very informative article.  I have experienced all examples.  And as stated, when you are walked thru the offices after the interview and introduced to other employees, you are a top candidate.  A day or two later, I received a call and an offer.  Professionalism, no need for promises they will not fulfill.  Action speaks louder than words.  Hard to believe I know, but there are still people in charge of making hiring decisions who are true professionals.  Yes, they are out there.  If you haven't met one yet, I do hope you meet one soon.  It can be very discouraging in your job search when you don't.
Posted by: Dorothy S
I also have had these experiences; have been "one of two" final candidates (three times in two years), got the tour, etc and still didn't get the job.  I have excellent skills, experience, references and education.I have taken temp/contract jobs that last only a few months and believe this may be part of the reason employers look at me differently because of the short-term jobs, even though I explain that the contract ended.I need to work, so what am I to do? The tips are good, but not an accurate picture of the reality we the unemployed are faced with.
Posted by: Althea W
Interesting but not always true.
Posted by: JULIA P
had a great interview--have 21 years experience on database company uses--did drug screening-references-and was told I was at top of list--could have started job with very little training-could it be my age-I am 64.
Posted by: richard d
I agree with everyone. Being 65yrs old with BS Management does NOT open any doors, just makes them slam louder. been on many tours and received the THANK YOU letter, but NO job. Being a VETERAN does NOT put your applicant at the top of the heap. Employers want MINDS they can mold into their way of thinking, NOT experienced persons.
Posted by: Devorah L
I have also had the tour, long interview, etc., but in one case I was not hired, and in another case I was.  In the case I wasn't hired, an internal person got it.  In the case I was hired, I was the internal person.  It helps when the people who interview you know you.  Networking is key!
Posted by: James M
Thanks for these tips.  I have an interview on both Monday and Tuesday upcoming.  On one interview they've already checked my references before I interview.  thanks.  
Posted by: April D
Not always true. I had long interviews and was told I will hear back and never got the job!
Posted by: Michael N
Pretty interesting facts, that I would consider helpful in the near future. THANKS
Posted by: Mary S
The statements in your article are very TRUE, I'm 52 years young and I wished to do more procedures in my field of study, being a Surgical technologist and a recent graduate as a radiologic technologist which has a very low job market at this time.  As stated in your article, my interview took about one hour along with a tour of the surgical facilities.  So I say to age 50 plus applicants keep your head up and keep applying.
Posted by: David H
Another "good sign" - people are added to your schedule on-the-fly while you are there.  Obviously not always a sure bet, but if they want to invest more peoples' time with you, the odds are looking good for you.
Posted by: Joseph U
These are good tips.But I was wondering, do you submit your references with your résumé or give them at the interview?
Posted by: deborah t
The above has happened to me too. However, I too am still looking for a job.  Put on a lot of short lists and still no job.  Had tours...second interviews...nada
Posted by: Carolyn B
The comments being made on the above article is somewhat factual, but I have made it through an interview at the age of fifty plus, later to receive that we will call you within the next couple of days and never here back from the company. I have great references and they are tried and true to good or great comments about my skills so I feel the fact still remains that sometime age and national origin also is still in place as well. I have great credentials and education and great personality along with a good resumé, but find it much harder to get my chance to show my skills.  What's a person to do!
Posted by: Henry S
All interaction is good.Q&A is good from the canididate short and sweet.Confidence must be in attitude.
Posted by: Editha H
All this clue happened to me but after all the of those Q&A they never come back to me or at least tell me if I got the job or not.  But this is a good insight too. Best of luck....
Posted by: Jennifer p
I agree with Eric I was told everything and did everything that was said in the article and im still looking for a job. What can that possibly mean??
Posted by: Sandra C
I agree with most of this however, I have been introduced to workers and taken on tours but not hired.  At one particular interview I was excited because I was given the tour and thought it meant a good thing but never heard again.  This was after I had my doubts  about the interview because I had thought there was too much chit chat.  Then when the tour was conducted my hopes rose.  But nothing. So then I decided the interviewer really didn't know how to interview and I was  confused as to what the outcome would be.
Posted by: Shelly M
I have been asked more than the basic interview questions, I have had tours of companies, one company told me I was their top candidate, I have been tested on computer programs and my scores were high, I have a great resume and several cover letters, I have been engaged in several very long conversations and long interviews.  I am 45 years old and was with the same employer for 6 years.  What am I doing wrong?  What will it take for the employer to say, "yes", to me?Any information you have would be most appreciated.Signed,Still Unemployed
Posted by: Patricia H
So do people still send references along with their resume? I thought that had gone by the wayside.......
Posted by: JUNI S
Very informative. Thank you!
Posted by: John G
There's nothing new, surprising or informative in this piece. And watch your spelling - that's a good way to not get your foot in the door from the get-go.
Posted by: TimothyL
Everything you mentioned happened to me on the interview. I just received a call today to meet with another manager on Monday. Hoping for the best in getting the position.
Posted by: Yusuf A
I think this makes a good point, I have to agree with the concept.
Posted by: Tonikia F
I agree with you John, I have had all these things happen to me also, but stay positive and optimistic!
Posted by: Shirley B
Well on the last two interview I went on she had called all my references call me back and told me everythg looked good and I will be hearing from her I am still awaiting dat call 3 weeks later. And the one prior walk me throught the facility met with d ceo and paper work was in tact and everythg still waiting on dat call 2 months later so what else left 2 do tell me so I will do somethg different on my next interview
Posted by: Birgitta W
Posted by: Susan B
I had half of the above in one interview and was a relaxed, enjoyable time.  I did not get the position and feel personally I did not get the position because of my age; I am 63.  Because of this, from then on, I stated that I have not health issues and do not smoke and want to work for the next 10-12 years.  I am working now in a more physical job; would prefer an office position and the one I mentioned above that I did not get was for data entry only.  I am perplexed!
Posted by: Maqsud K
Very informative. I am 67 years old and have 17 plus years in Sales Managment. How should I tackle the age factor. I am badly need of job. Your advise will be very useful. Can you please help me.
Posted by: William J
Very enlightening and some well appreciated information. Thank you.  William J
Posted by: Patricia J
I have been through numerous interviews during the last three years. My interviews always end in long conversation. I always thought this was a good sign, then I get the disappointing news" we choose someone more qualified.It takes a total on a person after awhile.
Posted by: Laura M
I thought the advice on a successful interview were very helpful tips when trying to decide whether an interview went well.
Posted by: Barbara G
My last position was Corporate Credit Manager of largest Cement company in the world.I don't want a position like that today I am looking for a contract position. I get the feeling when I interview they feel I am a threat to  their position. How do I get around that?
Posted by: Melissa H
This article was very informative. I enjoy the tips, they help me to get a little edge to know how I might have done no the interview.
Posted by: Jean C
In California it isn't legal to contact ANYONE before you are offered the job. If an employer contacted my references before I even had an interview I would cancel the interview and never work for such a shady company.
Posted by: J B
I just went for an interview couple days ago, and they gave me a nice tour. I was also told that they will call me next week to offer me a package. I still have questions in my mind.
Posted by: Stela K
very realistic article.
Posted by: Linda A
I had an interview and all the things happen as you stated. its been a month and i have not heard anything back from them. i did think that i got the job however its taking them so long to inform me if i did or not.
Posted by: Bruce D
Good article with insight of things to look for.
Posted by: Maribel R
Too good to be true for someone in the 50's.
Posted by: Katheryn G
If gave me some hope. I was feeling down until I read your article. Thank you. Pray for me, I really need to work.
Posted by: H. Patricia D
Just went thru this yesterday they asked for more info today, hopefull that is a good sign!! Looking for a job when your older is tough.
Posted by: Marie L
The article is very educational. It gave me hints as to how I can better gauge the interviewers reactions to my answers- if he/she was impressed with my responses/considering me as one of the contenders in their list of candidates to consider for the position.
Posted by: Jacquelyn S
Not always true. I have been to interviews where I have met the employees and walked around the building and still didn't get the job. I still get the your interview was great but we hired someone else.
Posted by: MICHAEL C
Very good tips, but you are not considering that now employer are looking for younger people to pay less. So after the whole interview they also9 leave s9on signal of that too.
Posted by: Andrew B
The article paints a picture of probable defeat before you start .An interview is a rarity to begin with Very few applicants ever get to this stage.Its a travesty to have to eliminate a candidate before they start. I blame the whole job debacle on Mr. O and his henchmen
Posted by: Volena S
The info in this article sounds great and positive.  However, why is it that employers do not respond to follow up calls or emails after interviews.  I understand that they are busy but I feel it is just common courtesy and to give all applicants an answer about the job they applied for, also.
Posted by: Donna M
Thanks for sharing this info
Posted by: Kerry H
Well written and helpful.
Posted by: John Eric K
All of your observations happened to me. I am however;  still looking for work. Cold comfort reading about the process "coach."
Posted by: theresa j
very informative.
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