After an interview has been completed and the job seeker has returned home, the questions from friends and family will usually start coming in. It is generally the same question being asked, “How did the interview go?” When this question is asked, the job seeker (while hopeful) will often reflect and respond with an “I don’t know”.
The reality, however, is that the person probably would have a good sense of how the interview went if they paid attention to the signs that occurred during the appointment. While not foolproof, typically there are a number of clues that will serve to tip you off that things went well. The key is that you have to be alert enough to read the “tea leaves” and what it all means.
So, you may be wondering just what some of these signs are that may be clues that things have gone well in the interview. Let’s take a look at some of the most common examples:
• Conversation Reverts Back To Casual: It is standard for there to be some casual conversation at the beginning of an interview, serving as an ice breaker between the parties. If you find that the Hiring Manager starts to veer away from the prescribed behavioral questions and back to general conversation, then that is a positive sign that they have heard what they needed and want to find out more about you personally.
• You Go Long: For a Hiring Manager, if an interview is not going well, then you are trying to figure out how to end the conversation. The opposite is the issue, however, when the interview is proving to be a success. In this situation, you tend to go the full allotted time or even over.
• Positive Body Language: If the Hiring Manager appears very engaged, such as nodding to your points (or even smiling!) and sitting attentively, then they probably are liking what they are hearing. The Interviewer may even make comments that they agree or that they liked what you said.
• References To You In Job: If the Hiring Manager starts making references to you in the position, then that usually means they are thinking of that possibility. So, if you start to hear about “your team” or “once you start…” then the Hiring Manager is at least visualizing you in the position. If you are a definite “no”, then the Interviewer will usually go out of their way to speak to you in this way to avoid leading you on regarding their decision.
• Introductions Are Made: If the Hiring Manager tries to introduce you to people after the interview, then this is a very positive sign. If you were not a viable candidate, the focus would be on you departing the facility rather than making sure others get a chance to meet you. If you are placed in this position, make a point to offer a warm introduction to everyone presented to you.
• Given a Tour: A tour of a building is a time-consuming exercise that is often reserved just for legitimate candidates. A company also typically does not want to parade people through their office or plant in front of other employees unless they expect to hire the person.
• Asks About Job Search: It is usually a sign of significant interest if the Hiring Manager starts to probe about how far you are in the process with other companies. These questions serve to gauge whether they are competing with others, and your interest level in other opportunities you are pursuing.
• Outlines Next Steps: The more specific of an answer you receive in this area, then the higher the interest the Interviewer has in you. A lukewarm interview will result in a response that there are many other candidates being considered and that it may be some weeks before a decision is made. If you are of interest, then the comment will be around how you will be hearing back…(usually in a fairly short turnaround time).
• Shares More Compensation or Benefits Information: In the first interview, a prospective employer will often keep any compensation or benefits information pretty high-level. In fact, many Hiring Managers will even start getting annoyed if this area becomes a focus in the interview. But if the discussion is going well, then the Hiring Manager may start sharing information (on their own), such as a detailed salary range or information on the medical plan.
An interview is a stressful time for a job seeker, so it is understandable that a person may miss some of the signs that things went well. It is important, however, to try to recognize some of these clues so that you can take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself. Responding appropriately to these signals can help solidify your application, and also provide you with critical information that will assist you if hired.
As always, best of luck in your job search.
The following has been prepared for the general information of RochesterJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.
WNY Human Resources Professional
Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at: