Your heart is pumping. All of the witty things you wanted to say have vanished from your mind. Your hands are shaking, your knees are trembling as if you were walking on stilts, and your face is flushed. No, these are not symptoms of a health problem or the signs that you’re about to go on a rollercoaster ride at your local theme park. No, these are the nervous feelings you have just before you go into… a job interview!
Cue the suspenseful music!
No matter who you are, you will inevitably have some consternation heading into an interview. It’s normal. But that doesn’t mean you should immediately spell your doom once the phone interview or face-to-face talk is done. In fact, you may have had the interview of your life once the initial anxiety passed.
While you will likely overthink the entire 15 minutes, from the ninja-like handshake grip to your joke about the three priests who walk into a bar, you should try to look at any hints that it was stupendous.
So, how can you tell you had a good interview? Here are 10 signs!
1. The Interview Went Over the Average Time
The longer the interview, the better.
It is estimated that the average job interview takes around 30 minutes. It might be shorter if you’re disinterested, apathetic and uncouth. It might be longer if you’re engaged, astute and excited.
Typically, if your job interview is going over the average time – say 45 minutes to an hour – then you know that your odds of landing the position are only going higher with each passing minute.
Remember: if the hiring manager had very little interest in taking a chance on you, they would have asked the basic questions, perused your CV and bid farewell.
2. They Made Eye Contact with You
The art of eye contact is dying. Let’s be honest: we are either making too much or very little of it. We need to bring back this art form now! This is especially true during a job interview – for both parties.
In fact, consistent eye contact on the part of the employer is a great hint that they’re interested in you. If the interview has passed the 20- or 30-minute mark and the interviewers are still engaged with you, then that’s a superb sign you’re in line for a job offer.
3. They Delved into Specifics
There are generally three parts to any good job interview:
- Introducing yourself
- discussing what you bring to the table
- going over the job specifics
The last one is the most important because it’s a sign that you will either definitely be given the content marketer position or you’re in consideration for the entry-level latex salesman job at Vandelay Industries. The company would not take the time to discuss the specifics of the employment opportunity if they were not intrigued by the prospect of hiring you.
What should you be on the lookout for? Here are a few things:
- they outline perks
- they list the role’s daily responsibilities
- they talk about hours, schedules, vacations and so on.
One more thing: if they keep referring to ‘you’ in their descriptions of the job specifics, then that’s another point in your favour, like ‘you would be in charge of our 12 clients in Liechtenstein’. This might happen on purpose or accidentally, but it’s a telltale sign.
4. They Referred to Your References
References are imperative to landing a full-time permanent position these days. They can give you that distinct advantage over the dozens of other candidates who have similar skills, education and experience.
In other words, if you and your competitors went to comparable schools, attained the same degrees and put together the same length of time in the workforce, but you have a recommendation from a high-level, well-known and respectable executive that they don’t have, then you have the advantage.
How do you know? If the employer refers to your references early on by noting how they know such and such person or they are deeply impressed by the kind words of so and so.
5. You Received Positive Feedback
How to know if a job interview is going well?
Well, between 10am and 10:15am, the greatest words in the English language are ‘great answer’, ‘yes, that’s right’ and ‘that’s a splendid answer; how come I never thought of that?’. These are all real-time indicators to show you where the interview is headed.
Ultimately, if the interviewer continually provides positive feedback throughout the interview, then it is a sign that it went well and that you can expect a job offer in the next two business days at the latest.
6. They Kept Slipping up with ‘When’
Businesses never want to get the interviewees’ hopes up. To avoid potential disappointment, or to prevent a candidate from thinking they will get the job when they likely won’t, the interviewers will say things like ‘if hired’ or ‘the person in this position’ or ‘the right person for the job’. But if you’re acing the interview, then these people might be slipping up with one key word: ‘when’.
By using the word ‘when’ and not ‘if’, it’s likely that those in charge of hiring and firing are slipping up and their thoughts are coming to surface. It’s these verbal cues that you need to pay attention to and to remember when you perform your postmortem.
7. The Discussion Transitioned to Casual Talk
So, how ‘bout dem defending World Series champs, the Red Sox? Do you think they will re-sign Craig Kimbrel or will they rely on Ryan Brasier or Matt Barnes to close out the ninth inning?
If the interviewers are abandoning shop talk and transitioning to more casual conversation, then it is apparent that they know they have found their guy or gal. Rather than going through a mundane by-the-book interview, the employers want to discuss something more fun, like your theory on the Whitechapel Murders or your opinion on elementary particles in quantum mechanics.
This is another area where you can shine because it is a soft skill, something that is turning into a crisis in the modern-day workplace.
8. You Met the Team
Have you met Sally from Accounting? Bill from Marketing? Jane from Human Resources? Jack the mailman? You will if you aced the interview and are given a tour of the office.
Once the interview is complete, and the interviewers take the time to introduce you to all sorts of people at the office, then it is an indicator that you did well and you’re going to work with these people in the next couple of weeks. Heck, if your performance in the room was any sign, then you might overtake Bill or Sally and get promoted for that lucrative corner office!
9. You Talked about Your Salary Expectations
One of the hardest parts of job interviews, particularly if you know that you’re one step closer from being the perfect candidate, is talking about your salary expectations. On the one hand, you don’t want to sell yourself too high and price yourself right out of a perfect employment opportunity. On the other, you don’t want to lowball yourself and get paid peanuts for a job that yields 30% more than your number.
That said, if the firm is really interested in hiring you, then they will ask questions about your past or current salary, what your salary expectations are and how much you think you’re worth.
Don’t fret. These are good things!
10. They Tried to Sell You the Job
Conventional wisdom dictates that your role in a job interview is to sell yourself. However, if you’re doing an admirable job in amplifying your strengths and hiding your weaknesses, then you might discover that the roles are being reversed: the interviewer is trying to sell you the job.
When the person on the other side of the table starts highlighting company culture, the many perks they offer, how your skills match the firm’s mission statement and even their own love of the company, then it is obvious that they’re trying to get you to say that one magical three-letter word: ‘yes’!
Why are they doing this? It’s simple: they understand how much of an asset you would be, and they don’t want you poached by somebody else. How flattering, indeed!
Everybody wants their interviews to go well. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen because you failed to ask questions of your own, you refrained from making eye contact or you lacked chemistry with the interviewer (it’s not your fault if you don’t find their toilet humour funny!). That said, if you are aptly prepared, professional and eager to advance your career, then there is a good chance you will outperform and excel like you never expected, whether it is by phone or in person. There are plenty of signs you got the job, you just need to know what to look for.
What other signs do you look out for to tell if your interview went well? Join the conversation down below and let us know!