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Posted by James Hawley, Hays US EVP, on Tuesday, Jan 9, 2018
Getting to the interview stage can already feel like a big win in your job search, but often walking out of the interview it’s hard to judge how it went. Many people tell us they don’t always remember what they said, even those who get the role.
So how can you tell if the interview was a success?
Your recruiter will be able to call you with specific feedback after they talk to the interviewer, but in the meantime there are a few ways to tell if your interview went well.
1. You were in the interview for longer than expected
Your recruiter may have specified how long the interview will last for. A hiring manager’s time is precious especially during a recruiting period. If they choose to dedicate this time to learn more about you, then this is one of the signs that they are clearly interested.
2. The interview felt conversational
Did you find it relatively easy to talk to the interviewer? Did the interview feel like it was more of a conversation than a sterile Q&A session? If so, then you more than likely successfully built up a good rapport with the interviewer and demonstrated some strong interpersonal skills. More so, by gelling well with the interviewer, you have made it easier for them to imagine you getting on well with the rest of the team.
3. You are told what you would be doing in this role
By this, I mean that the interviewer says things like “In this role, you would be expected to…” as opposed to “The successful candidate would be expected to…”.
Following this, the interview went into great detail about the ins and outs of the role. This is one of the signs that they are already imagining you in this position, and now want you to get the full picture of the role and what it entails.
4. The interviewer seemed engaged
As you answered their questions and spoke about yourself, did you feel like the interviewer was interested? Consider their body language and their responses. If they leant in, nodded, smiled and agreed with what you had to say, then chances are the interviewer was engaged with what you were saying. More so, they were encouraging you to keep talking, because they liked what they were hearing.
5. You feel sold on the company and the role
Did you walk out of this interview feeling convinced and excited about the opportunity? And is this because the interviewer talked animatedly about all of the best aspects role and organization – from what you could gain from it career-progression wise, to the rewards and benefits on offer?
If so, then the interviewer obviously felt sold on your suitability for the opportunity and wanted this feeling to be mutual.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. The interviewer is clear about the next steps
As the interview came to a close, did the hiring manager tell you what the next stage would be (i.e. – a second interview), and when you could expect to hear back? In doing this, they are saying that you are in with a chance of making it to this stage, so don’t lose interest.
11. The interviewer gave good feedback to the recruiter
When you spoke to your recruiter afterwards, did they provide you with positive feedback? If the organization 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.
While a great interview doesn’t mean you’ll definitely get to the next stage of the process – you can’t control for the other applicants – it’s a step in the right direction. Don’t stop your job search until your recruiter confirms the offer, but hopefully you’ll get some good news soon.
Even if you miss out this time, a strong interview is a good sign for your job hunt, and the next role could be the one for you. Find out from your recruiter what you did well, and more importantly, what you could improve on, so that next time, you could be signing a job offer.