Your last job interview went great — at least, you think that it did. You addressed all the questions smoothly, and thought you did a masterful job explaining how your skills and experience match the company’s needs. You even shared a laugh about the strange things dogs do after realizing you and the hiring manager both have furry friends at home. Everything indicates you rocked the interview, but what, exactly, are the signs an interview went well?
After your initial feelings of relief and pride following a solid job interview performance start to fade, it is all too easy to begin doubting yourself. You worry that maybe you paused too long before answering the question, “Why do you want to work here?” And was that joke about the dog park actually funny? Can you know for sure if you made as strong an impression as you think (and was that impression a positive one)?
Instead of spending any more time worrying and self-critiquing, take a look at the following seven signs an interview went well and gain more confidence that you really did shine:
1. The interview ran longer than planned
The interview schedule is usually a tight fit, with job candidates slotted in between existing meetings and other commitments. If the interview ran over by more than a few minutes, it’s typically a good sign. It indicates the interviewer liked what you said and had more questions.
2. You felt a rapport with the interviewer
This is another one of the key signs an interview went well. Typically, you can sense when you click with someone. The conversation flows a little more smoothly. Your witty comments are greeted with a smile or laugh. If it felt like the interviewer could be an old friend, that’s a clear sign the job interview went well. It’s also an excellent indication that you’d mesh well with the company’s work environment.
3. The interviewer had positive body language
Not sure if you developed rapport or not? How would you evaluate your interviewer’s body language? Smiling, making eye contact and taking time to listen thoughtfully to your responses are all signs the interviewer was engaged and interested in you and what you were saying.
4. You were asked about other job prospects
When interviewers ask whether you’re interviewing for jobs elsewhere, they’re trying to get an idea of how quickly they need to move you to the next stage of the hiring process. They may be feeling pressure to prevent you from slipping away to another company. If they scheduled the second interview before ending the first or indicated that they would be contacting you promptly about setting a follow-up, then you’re in consideration for the position.
5. You were invited to meet others in the company
You know an interview went well when you were introduced to people who weren’t on the schedule. That would mean you were being evaluated as a potential colleague. If that happens again in a future interview, be friendly to everyone you meet so you also make a good impression on them. Also, use the opportunity to ask questions to get a better sense of the corporate culture and whether these are people you think you could work with each day.
6. You were encouraged to stay in touch
If, after your first interview, the hiring manager says, “Here’s my direct line and email address; don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions,” it likely means you’re on track for a second interview. Statements like, “Let me know if you’re called to interview anywhere else” or “Be sure to contact me if you receive an offer from another employer” would indicate serious interest on the hiring manager’s part.
7. You were asked for references
If this request occurs after your first interview, it means the company was seriously impressed and is looking to fast-track the hiring process. That’s why it’s good advice to line up a strong roster of professional references before the interview, so these valued contacts know you are interviewing and will be ready to take calls from potential employers.
While there are no guarantees that your first interview will lead to a second interview, or that your second interview will lead to a job offer, the seven signs outlined above are a good indication that you did deliver a standout performance as a contender. So, don’t be discouraged if it turns out you don’t get the job. If you really like the company, stay in touch. Ask for feedback from the hiring manager. And when another opportunity with the organization arises that interests you, don’t hesitate to apply.