Nothing quite beats that feeling when you walk out of an interview room. The preparation, interview nerves, and the fact that you’ve had to talk yourself up for the best part of an hour can really take it out of a person, so it can be quite a relief when it’s over. That is until you start to wonder how the interview actually went.
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. What you can do, is consider the below signs that your interview went well and make an educated guess.
Most opinions about candidates are formed within the first few minutes (that's why it's hard to overcome a bad first impression).
If an interview is less than its allotted time, it's generally not a good sign. If you exceed this time, and the interview is flowing enthusiastically and evenly between you and the interviewer, it augers well.
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.
Questions about your interest in the job
It’s a good sign if your interviewer asks you questions about your interest in the job or where else you are interviewing. If she or he wasn’t interested in hiring you, your desire for the job - or interest in other companies - wouldn’t matter. Inquiries about your interest suggest the interviewer is considering whether or not you would accept a job offer.
Getting Specific About the Job Responsibilities
Did your interviewer dive into the specifics of the job and the daily responsibilities of the individual in that role? For an interviewer to take the time to get into the nitty-gritty can mean he or she felt confident enough about your capabilities to take the conversation to that level.
Bonus points if the interviewer referred to “you” in the role; for example: “You would be reporting to Martha, the digital marketing manager, each day.”
Your questions are answered in full
On a similar note, because the interviewer wanted you to be sold on the opportunity, the interviewer would have been eager to provide full answers to all of your questions. If they provided enthusiastic and detailed answers to the questions you asked and checked with you that these answers were clear, then this is a good sign that the hiring manager wanted to impress you just as much as you wanted to impress them.
Your interviewer gives positive Affirmation
This can be an obvious but tell-tale sign of a successful interview. Listen to how your interviewer responds when you answer questions. Positive responses like, “That’s exactly right,” “Great answer,” or “Yes, that’s just what we’re looking for” are key implications that an interviewer likes you.
You were introduced to your potential colleagues.
If the hiring manager introduced you to other employees towards the end of the interview, then, again, this is an encouraging sign.
Better still, if you felt like you got on well with these colleagues and made a good impression, then this will put you in good standing.
You were introduced to senior decision makers
Like I said, the hiring manager isn’t going to take the time to introduce you to other people in the business unless they already have a good feeling about you. This is especially true if these people are senior stakeholders.
If you were introduced to a director or c-suite executive, then this is a sign that the interviewer knows these people will need to sign off their final hiring decision. Therefore, they wanted to speed up the process by arranging a face-to-face introduction, so that they can see for themselves why you are the right choice.
You are asked “closing questions” at the end
These include questions surrounding notice period and possible start dates. This can be a good sign that the interviewer is thinking ahead to the next stage.
You may have also been asked if you are still interested in the role and if you have any other interviews coming up. This suggests that the hiring manager is keen on you, they want you to feel the same way, and that they don’t want to lose out to the competition.
Exchange of contact information
It is excellent news if your interviewer gives you a business card, or some direct line to reach him or her, like an email or even a cell phone number. Even better if he or she encourages you to reach out anytime if you have questions or concerns!
Salary is bought up
Most interviewers won’t get into the (sometimes awkward) discussion of money unless they’re serious about hiring you. Interview questions about your current salary, past salary and what salary you are expecting to receive can be good signs that they are seriously considering you for the job.
The interviewer gave good feedback to the recruiter
When you spoke to your recruiter afterwards, did they provide you with positive feedback? If the organisation took it upon themselves to give good feedback to the recruiter shortly afterwards, then this implies that, yes, they have to continue interviewing other candidates, but they want you to know that your chances are strong.
A final point I will make is that you shouldn’t take the above signs as absolute confirmation that you have made it to the next stage of the process, and you certainly shouldn’t halt your job search because of this. Hopefully, you will get some good news soon, but if not, don’t lose heart.
The above signs show at the very least that you did something right, and were probably a strong contender. Find out from your recruiter what you did well, and more importantly, what you could improve on, so that next time, all of these signs point to a job offer.
Obviously, the more experience you have of interviews, the more accurate your self-assessment of your performance will be. As you can see from the above, the signs are all there and if you want to be really methodical, you can put a score to all of the above and give yourself a rating after each interview, so that you can improve if necessary.