After an interview, no matter how confident you felt at the time, it’s not uncommon to start over-analyzing what you said, what you didn’t say, and what you think you maybe should have said. The self-doubt creeps in and we start picking things apart, sometimes so much so that it’s impossible to decipher between what we actually said and what we wished we had said.
If you’re having a moment like this after an interview, relax. It probably went much better than you think. In fact, before you get carried away wondering if you’re going to get a call back, take a look at our ten signs of a good interview. If you can tick most of these off, you should be feeling very good right now.
1. You felt aligned with the interviewer, role and company
If you’re intuitive, you will have got a general feel for how well you were aligned with the company, the role and your interviewer. If you felt this, it’s likely that your passion and enthusiasm shined through and you made a good first impression at your interview.
If your interviewer seemed excited and engaged, they probably felt the same about you. You could pick this up from their body language, as well as how they spoke to you. Note whether there was good eye contact, smiling, nodding and a general warmth.
2. The interview felt light
Interviews can feel incredibly formal and stressful, but sometimes, even in such a daunting situation, the mood can be light, and the experience can be smooth and conversational, despite your interview nerves. This is a great sign that you did well. You gelled with your interviewer, you demonstrated your excellent communication skills and built a rapport, showing that you would be a natural addition to their team.
3. You answered all the questions
A massive clue as to whether you’re in the running is whether you answered all the questions asked of you. Of course, answering all the questions (even if they feel like stupid questions) doesn’t indicate whether you gave good answers, but not answering a question is a red flag, because you know you scored zero for that question.
If you answered everything, consider that a plus point, because you already did better than someone who didn’t.
4. The interviewer talked about what you will be doing for the company
Did your interviewer talk about what “you” would do in the role? A tell-tale sign can be whether the interviewer talks about “the successful candidate” or “if you get the job”, compared to whether they talk about you directly. If they start saying “You will do…” this could be them subconsciously putting you in the position and imagining you working in the role.
5. You were taken on a tour
If your interviewer spent time giving you a tour of the workplace, this is a sign that they think you are in the running. It’s unlikely that they would take the time to do this if they didn’t think you were a candidate worth their consideration. If you responded enthusiastically to the tour and communicated your interest, this will have worked in your favor.
6. You were introduced to key people
Like a tour, being introduced to potential colleagues or key decision makers is a sign of a good interview. This means that your hiring manager saw you fitting in. If you were able to react well to the people you met and engaged in a positive way, this will have backed up their good feelings about you joining the team. It’s also possible that they will seek the opinion of the people you met and if you made a good wide impression.
7. The interviewer expressed what will happen next
In a similar vein, if the hiring manager took the time to express what will happen next, it’s likely that they felt you were in the running. An interviewer who has already made a decision against someone will be unlikely to describe the process, instead they will probably give a more vague “We will call you”, or words to that effect.
You can take outlining the next steps, with a timeline of when the next stage will take place and when a decision will be made as very promising. They are actively expressing that you are continuing in the process and making sure you don’t lose interest.
8. You were asked follow-up questions
Were you asked follow-up questions towards the end of the interview? These could be further questions about a project you’re working on that grabbed the hiring manager’s attention, or specifics about your current role, or even more telling, it could be about notice periods, references or negotiating a salary.
These are not the kind of additional conversations that are engaged in with people who they have no intention of hiring. If your interviewer spent time with you finding out more, that’s a strong indicator that they liked you.
9. You were asked if you had any questions
This part of the interview can be easily skipped if the interviewer just wants to see the back of you, or questions can be given short, vague answers. If you were asked if you had any questions for the interviewer, and you asked insightful, useful questions that were met positively and given detailed answers, that’s a big tick for you.
If the interviewer took time to answer your questions fully, it will have been because they liked you and wanted to make sure you were sold on them, as well as the other way around.
10. Your interview overran
Did your interview take longer than expected? If you kept your interviewer talking and listening, and answered all the questions asked of you, you were most likely engaging. An interviewer would hurry you along if they had already sensed that you aren’t for them. They certainly wouldn’t spend time asking you additional questions, showing you around and asking if you had anything you wanted to know about the company.
It’s natural to question yourself after an interview; we all do it. Just don’t let the voice in your head that casts the doubts make you believe you didn’t do well.
Using these points as a guide, you can ask yourself some valuable questions to realistically determine how well you did. Even if, on this occasion, the verdict isn’t good and the interview went badly, don’t be disheartened. Learn where you can improve and make sure that your weaker areas are built into your interview preparation for next time.
If you’re still stewing over how well you did or didn’t do, why not send a follow-up note? This could be a reminder of your candidacy, and a thank you note for taking the time to interview you. This is a great way of putting you in the mind of the hiring manager when they are making their decision. If you get an answer quickly, this is a strong sign. If you weren’t on the list of potential hires, answering immediately wouldn’t be a priority.
What signs did you pick up on when you had a good interview? And did you end up getting the job? Let us know in the comments!
This is an updated version of an article originally published on 3 January 2019.