The interview process can be a stressful and uncertain time for candidates, with employers holding their cards close to their chest. It may be difficult to judge how well you’ve done after an interview, which can be hugely frustrating. So how do you know if an interview went well? If you know what to look and listen out for, there are actually a few ways you can tell.
1. Interviewer Body Language
One key observation to look out for during an interview is the interviewer’s body language. The employer’s general demeanour will give you a good indication of how interested they are in you as a potential employee. If you’re not sure what positive body language to look out for, here are some common indicators:
- The interviewer is smiling, holding eye contact and sitting up straight throughout the interview.
- The interviewer seems interested and engaged in what you’re saying, possibly leaning forwards when you speak and nodding their head along.
- The interviewer is conversational and energised when they are talking and encourages you to speak.
As well as affirmations from the hiring manager, did you feel you had a strong connection with them? Having a good connection can sometimes be important because interviews are as much about discovering the personality of the candidate as it is about their credentials. Ideally, you want your interview to flow naturally like a conversation and avoid it stopping and starting with blunt answers. If the interviewer speaks to you like you’re already part of their team, then that is a great sign the interview went well.
Body language isn’t always a guarantee the employer is interested however. Certain interviewers may be trained to conduct all interviews energetically, while others may naturally seem more relaxed while still being very interested in you as a candidate. Of course, this isn’t a useful sign for interviews conducted via Zoom, as body language can be difficult to interpret on camera. Something that is easier to interpret, however, is what the interviewer speaks about.
2. Interviewer Informed And Sold You On The Job
It is a bad sign if you leave the interview not knowing more about the role than you did going into it. The hiring manager should be informing you of the important information about your role and the business itself. If you are a primary candidate for the role, the interviewer should balance talking about your experiences with your potential specific responsibilities. This is because they want to know if you will be comfortable with your tasks, should you be given the role. Not being informed of these responsibilities is a sign the interview did not go so well
A true sign your interview was successful though, is if the employer attempts to sell you the role. If you’re the candidate they want, then they will make the effort to get you excited about working for that company by selling the benefits of the role and the company culture. They will try to make it clear why it’s better to work there than somewhere else. If they have done this during your interview they will be doing it because you are the candidate they’re after. Because they’re not rolling out the red carpet for every applicant.
3. You Were Asked Many Questions And Yours Were Answered In Full
Another way of knowing if an interview went well is whether your questions were answered in full and how many questions the interviewer asked you. Going into an interview, you should have a number of questions ready to get a better understanding of the role and show the hiring manager you’ve done your research. On the interviewers part, these questions being fully answered positively and in detail is another sign they are trying to sell you on the role and want to make sure you don’t leave the interview with any doubts.
Of course, in any interview, lots of questions will be asked about your work history, skills and the role itself in order to test your critical thinking and comprehension skills. You can tell the interview is going well if you receive an extensive amount of affirmative questions, as this is the interviewer trying to build a detailed profile about you. They wouldn’t waste their time doing this if you weren’t a stand-out candidate.
A positive sign that the employer is interested in hiring you is if they enquire about any other positions you have applied for. They ask these questions because they want to know who their competition is when hiring you. As a result of a successful interview, they will not want to lose out on you to competitors and will be more likely to make a quicker offer.
Closing questions such as possible start dates are also a positive sign because an uninterested employer is unlikely to discuss the post-interview process.
4. They Talk About The Future
If during the interview, the person you’re speaking to starts to share information on a career path for you in the company and what potential advancements you could make, this is a forward-looking signal. They are trying to assure confidence in you that this role will take you places. As previously mentioned, the employer selling you the job is never a bad sign.
This sign can be taken with a pinch of salt, as interviewers may be instructed to brief you on the next steps of the application process. Generally speaking however, you should be encouraged if a timeline beyond the interview is brought up.
If the interviewer introduces you to potential future colleagues, it may be an indication they are trying to settle you into the company and have already made up their minds about hiring you.
5. The Interview Lasted a Long Time
A successful interview will never be cut short. If the employer is genuinely interested in you as a candidate then they will want to get as much out of you in the interview as possible. This may mean that your 45-minute interview ends up running for an hour. An interviewer taking their time and not rushing through the meeting is a sign that they want to learn a lot about you and are clearly interested in you for the role.
This is a simple but important indicator that your interview has gone well. Even if you do not end up getting the role, it demonstrates that you are not only a competent candidate but also a likeable and interesting personality too. Which will serve you well in your future applications.
6. You Received a Fast Response
Finally, once the interview is wrapping up, if the interviewer lets you know when you’ll be notified about the position, take that as a gesture of confidence. The hiring manager acting quickly after an interview is a sign they’re ready to move onto the next stage of the hiring process.
If the employers reach out to you via a call or email in the few days after the interview, even if it is just to thank you for attending, it’s likely you interviewed well. As long as it isn’t a rejection message, quick follow up responses let you know that the hiring company are interested in you and the interview has put you in contention for the role.
If you want to leave a good impression once the interview is finished, a small piece of advice is to send an email thanking the interviewer for their time. This will help demonstrate your desire for the role and will give the hiring manager something to remember when reviewing the candidates later on.
Noticing these signs will help you know if an interview went well for your future applications. These signs should reduce your anxiety and offer encouragement that your interview was successful but is not a guarantee. Try not to assume you are the front runner for any role after an interview until the company tell you that you have the job. Confidence is good, but cockiness isn’t. Still haven’t landed that dream interview yet? Check out StudentJob and start browsing their 1000’s of vacancies today!
Written by Jack Curtis