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Author: Duncan J Carter

Published date: 2017/11


Many interviews are in that grey area, between outright good and bad, and so with a bit of common sense and objectivity you can begin to assess yourself – and improve. During any interview there are many signs that indicate how well you are doing – so you need to be aware of them.


By taking careful note of job interviewer indicators, you can shift your approach and take action in the moment, when it counts the most, also remember that just because you didn't feel you performed well doesn't mean you lost out. The job interview is also your opportunity to vet the prospective boss and company, so remain objective.


Smiling, nodding, and other positive body language point to the fact that you and the interviewer were on the same page. If you noticed any of these signs during your interview, it means that the hiring manager was really interested in what you had to say and was able to engage with you on a personal level. Although having a great connection isn’t the only determining factor in getting an offer, it’s a positive sign that the interviewer liked you enough to seriously consider working with you.


Usually if an interview is going well, they’ll try to sell you on the company and position. They want to attract you, just like you’re trying to sell yourself to them.


If the interviewer said things such as 'once you start,' or 'when you join the team,' it may be a sign they can see you working at the company. Similarly, if the prospective employer discussed specific projects and referenced you – as opposed to ‘the successful candidate’ – working on them, this may have been their way of giving verbal cues about your future with the company.


Remember, interviews are designed to help both the company and you determine if the job is a good fit for both parties. If your interview avoids these pitfalls but you don’t receive an offer,  brush yourself off. Be thankful for the opportunity and keep searching until you find that perfect job.


As the interview came to a close, did the hiring manager tell you what the next stage would be (i.e. – a second interview), and when you could expect to hear back? In doing this, they are saying that you are in with a chance of making it to this stage, so don’t lose interest.


So if your interview runs over the scheduled running time, it’s almost always a positive sign. Not only do they want to learn more about you, they also don’t mind sacrificing their time for it.


This isn’t 100% true in all cases, and I definitely know people who got jobs they didn’t expect due to the “shortness” of the interview. But for the majority of cases a longer than scheduled interview is usually an indication that interviewers are happy with you, and are willing to invest their time to find out more. If you found yourself in a dialogue with the interviewers, rather than just straight answering their questions before moving onto the next one, this is also a good sign. It shows that communication was easy between you and you’ve just demonstrated that you’ll be a straightforward person to work with – someone who fits with the agenda of the company.


A successful applicant is usually contacted within 1-2 days after an interview, even if you are told it will be at least two weeks before you hear anything. I say “usually” because there are exceptions – interviewees sometimes need to reschedule due to illness for instance, which puts things back a bit as they are still entitled to be interviewed. An interview panel can usually make their decision the minute the last interviewee is out the door. If the final decision maker/s are not available for reasons like holiday, conferences, etc., sometimes this process can take a bit longer and is the cause of much nail biting – but normally you don’t have to wait too long if you’re the successful one.


This limbo period following your interview is tough, and whilst you may have a gut feeling, you may still be second guessing how you performed.  I wouldn’t recommend reflecting on every answer that you gave, or worse, harassing the company for an answer. 


If ultimately, you didn't get the job, it is easy to feel deflated. Experts say you should never take interview rejection as a personal attack – it doesn't necessarily mean they didn't like you, it probably just means someone else was a better fit for that particular role. For next time, you should focus on the negatives – not the positives, Think specifically went wrong and learn from your mistakes. It adds that you shouldn't dwell on every detail – but try and figure out where you went wrong. You could also ask the recruiter for feedback which could highlight key areas to improve on.


You should go back to basics and do more preparation, whether that is on interview techniques or swatting up on the next firm you have an interview with. Sitting down and putting down your skill and experience on paper may help bring them to be highlighted more next time.

Good Luck