In the rigors of any employee or job search, the interview is pivotal. It is the aftermath of already impressing the hiring manager with your curriculum vitae. It allows the companies as well as applicants the space to determine whether or not they see this as a thriving opportunity.
While there is no actual concrete concept to measure the effectiveness of your interview, there are some key performance indicators that could set off the siren that the interviewer was, in fact, interested in pursuing a professional relationship with you.
With so much out there left to get lost in translation, it is important to decipher the code comprehending the holistic good signs pertained in any interview. It is also important to steer clear of negative signs and to know what to do if you are stuck in a sticky situation.
The job interview process is layered with the anxiety of trying to interpret the body language of the interviewer, the common interview questions, the company culture, the role that you will play, and much more. It is not a surprise that the waiting period tends to be equally nerve-wracking.
The general gist of a successful interview is determined by the collective opinions of the interviewers, fluid conversation, rapport-building, body language, and evidence that you’ll be a value-added candidate in the company’s future.
Although there is no concrete way to determine whether your interview process was, in fact, successful, there are factors that significantly amplify the probability. If you’re looking for ways to job search tips, predict whether or not your interview was a success, for key performance indicators that validate you in the eye of the hiring manager, or for proactive measures to pursue afterward, then this is the perfect guide for you.
In the process of an interview, it is important to know the bad and good signs to look out for so as not to get lost in translation. It will serve as guiding stones, and help you decipher whether or not your interview went well.
That said, you won’t always be able to outline and pinpoint whether your interview was, in fact, holistically successful. It isn’t always clear.
The prompts and cues are usually very subtle. The interviewer is keen to not get your hopes up either way.
What are the good signs to look out for during the interview?
1. Did your interviewer prompt you with positive affirmations?
Each and every conversation that has happened can be holistically deduced into the body language of the person across from you. This will tell you if it is being translated poorly or if it’s a thriving conversation. Studies affirm that body language holds a shocking 90% of the meaning embedded in conversations.
An interviewer is probably responding to your body language and verbal cues. Eliot Kaplan, the Muse career coach, encourages applicants to pay attention to the body language of the recruiter.
If a recruiter leans in, agreeably nods, and remains engaged, it is a sign that the interviewer is impressed with you.
Other indications of subtle body language cues include eye contact, focus and compliments (about you or your skills and experiences). An example of verbal affirmations is if the recruiter outlines that you have the potential in serving as a value-added entity.
2. Did the interview last significantly longer than expected?
If you’ve been speaking to your hiring manager for an hour onwards, it probably is a very good sign that they’re pretty serious about signing you in.
Employers will not spend excess time having an aimless conversation with someone they do not see as a potential employee. Any interviewer that extends the conversation for much longer is invested in your potential. It shows commitment.
3. Did you have a discussion about the company culture and the role that you will play therein?
When a hiring manager is convinced that you are the ideal caliber, the tone of the interview shifts from skills assessment to discussing the competitive advantages of the workspace, and the potential role that you will play.
The remarks to take the job, subtle or not, are clear indications that you are strongly considered for the role. A few examples of this entail highlighting company culture, perks, benefits, daily tasks or activities, and much more.
4. Did the hiring manager introduce you to some members of the team?
If your interviewer made the effort to introduce you to any members of the team, it’s an indication that you charmed them. A hiring manager will not take the time to introduce applicants if they are not under serious consideration.
Thus, any form of introduction is a significant step forward. Jill Panal, an HR consultant, suggests a hiring manager will only introduce you to the members of his or her team if they consider you to an esteemed caliber and they want other decision-makers to give their two-cents.
5. Did the hiring manager discuss a future with you?
If a hiring manager starts to discuss the future with you, this is an indication that you performed significantly well in your interview. Some examples of this are discussions about next steps, potential start dates, outlining precise responsibilities, etc.
If you experienced something of similitude, it is an indication that something positive is possibly brewing. It also says a lot about the recruiter. It indicates that the recruiter is organized, clear, and values transparency for their applicants (and their employees alike).
If a hiring manager is talking to you about the onboarding techniques, it’s a good sign that the interview was successful. Examples of onboarding processes include recommendations, reference checking, background checks, documents, and reviewing company policies.
Pay attention to the selective language of choice that the supervisor uses with you could say a lot about if there is an intention of hiring you (or not). If an interviewer considers you a value-added member of their team, he or she will begin to address you as part and parcel of the team.
Regardless of whether they give you a job offer right off the bat, cues such as ‘once you start’ or “when” rather than “if you do” make all the difference. This amplifies that the prospective employer is envisioning a future professional relationship with you.
Ultimately, if an employer discusses a potential future with you, it can be deduced that they are preparing you to be a member of their team.
6. Did it feel more like a natural conversation than an interview?
If the conversation flowed organically and smoothly, it is almost definite that you have landed a job offer. A hiring manager gravitates towards candidates that engage and maintain composure in uncomfortable situations such as interviews. It also illustrates that you’ll fit right in with the company culture. It’s important to feel you’ve developed rapport towards the end of the interview. If your conversation unfolds into this, you will truly be unforgettable.
7. Did the hiring manager ask you about your current job search?
A hiring manager will only ask about your other potential job offers, opportunities, positions, and experiences to understand how urgent and competitive the offer needs to be before you’ll be swept off the market.
8. Did you remain on topic?
The sole purpose of interviews is to identify your ability to answer the hard questions on the spot to decipher comprehension, critical thinking as well as interpersonal skills. If you can remain relevant to the topics discussed while giving thorough and expansive answers, it amplifies that you are the type of person who does due diligence. This is always a good sign.
9. Did you have the desired salary discussion?
Most interviewers will not discuss salary expectations unless they are considering a qualified candidate. If the hiring manager asks about your salary expectations, it’s a good sign that the interview went well. Some interviewers ask these questions to predominantly filter candidates who align with their budget. This indicates that the conversation was effective and convinced the hiring manager that he or she needs you onboard.
10. Did you get a tour of the workspace?
If a hiring manager chooses to take the time to give you a tour, introduce you to several members of the team, and show you the space you could potentially work in, it demonstrates a clear intention of an upcoming job proposal.
11. Did you leave with a business card or a general information card?
If a supervisor gives you their business or personal card, it’s a good sign that the interview went smoothly. This resource will only be given to a qualified caliber that they want to keep in touch with. It’s essential to utilize this information respectfully. It’s advisable to reach out with a follow-up call (or email) to show gratitude to them for taking the time to meet you. This simple follow-up gesture could guarantee you the job.
12. Were your references contacted?
The aftermath of a successful interview entails and necessitates that your references are contacted. It is advisable to prompt your references of a potential phone call (or email) during the waiting period. Keep in touch with the reference(s) to be informed of whether or not they were contacted.
13. Did you receive a positive response to your follow-up email?
Supervisors have plenty of interviews with countless numbers of people on a fairly regular basis. Most of these applicants will do the common courtesy of sending in a thank-you email after the interview process experience.
Due to the number of thank-you emails being sent in so frequently, interviewers do not always have space or time to respond to candidates who they didn’t find intriguing.
Mathew Kerr, a career advisor, suggests that if your email is responded to quickly and graciously, it’s a strong indication that you should get ready to sign your contract.
14. Did you get an invitation to a second interview?
This is an obvious indication that you are advancing in your interview process. However, it is not a definite yes.
It does, however, give you a prominent window to prepare for another intervention. It merely means that you earned a space in round two. This is a great opportunity to readily prepare for the second interview.
You had an engaging interview that you feel great about, now what?
You expect to move forward in the interview process. The interview went great, now what? Well, take a moment to enjoy your win today. Afterward, write a thank-you email, if you haven’t already. Tap into cautious optimism. Keep your options open. Keep working towards your goal until you do sign a contract.
What are the signs that indicate that your interview didn’t go so well?
If you believe you perceived negative signs or didn’t do as well as you expected, there is a good chance that you have. It is not uncommon to have less than candid interview experiences every once in a while.
These experiences could be rooted in many things. It could mean that you were not prepared enough, or that simply it was not meant for you.
Either way, it isn’t worth being hard on yourself for it. Consider it a learning experience. Keep leaning into the pursuit of a job you love that compliments your skillset. There will always be other opportunities and potential experiences.
Did your interview end significantly sooner than expected?
If you go in for an interview and leave significantly sooner than you were scheduled to leave, it isn’t a good sign. This almost always means that your responses to essential questions have decided that you do not align with what they are looking for in a potential employee.
Did you receive any form of detailing?
If a supervisor is invested in signing you, he or she will provide you with generous information about the potential position. That said, if you are on the brink of leaving an interview with no information about your potential responsibilities or start date, there is a good chance that you are not under consideration.
An interviewer probably won’t be readily giving any specifics about the company to those who they do not see as a qualified candidate.
Was the interview too serious?
If an interview feels too stern, dull, disconnected, negative, or formal? If so, it is not a good sign. A successful interview has an organic flow in conversation therefore, anything outside of that fragment is a bad sign.
Was the hiring manager distracted?
The interview process is exciting for all companies. It adds a plethora of flavor, talent, and skills to the company. This energy should be felt during an interview. A successful interview will be engaging and focused. Anything about lower energy frequencies or divided attention is perceived as a very negative sign.
Did the interviewer mention other potential candidates?
An interviewer will engage when they believe that they have finally met their ideal employee. They will not bring up other potential candidates if they see you as right for the role. Any mention of other candidates or applicants indicates that the hiring manager is probably leaning their way.
Did you get any details of possible next steps?
If an interviewer is impressed with a candidate, they will give extensive information to possibly ready them for the role. This effort helps save time and smoothen the shift from candidate to employee.
Some examples of this type of information include a time frame to expect a callback, contact information, and the holistic detail of the onboarding process. However, if an interview is translating poorly, then there is no need for the interviewer to share this information with you as they are leaning towards other applicants.
Did the interviewer have any concerns about you or your potential?
If the hiring manager or interviewer discusses concerns they have about a potential candidate, their potential in a specific role, etc. it is a negative sign that indicates that the interview is not going so well.
The scope of concern could entail years of experience, a lack of proficiencies, or gaps in employment. This does also necessitate that if no concerns were brought up during your interview, it is a positive indication that your interview did go well.
Your interview did not translate effectively, now what?
It’s human nature to feel disappointed particularly if you had your heart set on it. While there is a small chance that your interview went significantly better than you thought, it is important to try to make the most of your circumstances. It is important to allow yourself to feel the way that you do so.
Thus, if it means taking a moment to feel disappointed, so be it. However, don’t stay there too long. Instead, dust yourself off. Rather than reenact it excessively, here are some proactive steps that you can take:
Proactive step #1: Send a thank-you email.
Regardless of whether or not your interview went well, it is important to send a follow-up email to thank the hiring manager for their consideration and time. This will leave a lasting impression regardless of the aftermath of the interview.
Proactive step #2: Consider asking for feedback.
If you have a gut feeling that the interview didn’t translate well, it is advisable to ask for feedback to decipher what went wrong to make room for constructive criticism.
This will serve you in the future and reconstructs each and every “unsuccessful” interview to only sharpen the saw so to speak. Taking each failure as redirection and a learning experience will set you up on the trajectory for success.
Proactive step #3: Remember that it is not personal.
Remember: it is not personal. If an interview didn’t go as well as it could potentially go, don’t get absorbed by the negative energy. Instead, take it as an opportunity to grow.
It is commendable to run a self-assessment in regards to your experiences in the interview, and consider how you could be more prepared the next time around. Write down constructive pointers of how you could improve in the future.
Tips to guarantee a successful interview:
Here are some additional tips to ensure your interview is effective and successful:
1. Do your homework!
This means practice, review common interview questions, and prepare. Always drawback examples that are rooted in your skillset, experiences, and ultimately your competitive advantage.
2. Research the industry and company
Research the industry as well as the company to show the interviewer that you are prepared and intentional about your pursuit of a career with them in particular.
3. Align to their dress code
Decipher the company’s dress code before your interview and dress the part.
4. Be prompt and punctual
It is best to show up five to ten minutes before your interview time. This is a great time to utilize grounding techniques, power stances, or simply to mentally prepare before the interview to show up as your highest self.
Don’t get caught up in your head. Instead, maintain eye contact throughout the interview process. Actively listen, engage and ride the wave of conversation. You’ve got this.
Some golden tips on the aftermath of your interview
During this tedious waiting period, it’s important to tap into optimism, but be careful not to get too carried away. There are no definite certainties.
Even if all the positive signs occurred in your interview, they still might go another way when filtering candidates and making final decisions. Until you do sign your contract, nothing is final.
Send a follow-up email after a few days. Proactively decipher your performance reviews of your interview and possibly create a SWOT analysis to do better next time.
Reach out to your references and check if any of them were contacted. Apply to other jobs, go to interviews, and be even more prepared than the last time.
Understand the company, show how it compliments your strengths, relax, build rapport, be proactive, and maintain a sense of confidence.