After attending a job interview you tend to critique how you did and try to reach a decision if it went well. Your critique will influence your reaction and how you proceed with your job search. It is important to realise, during this time, the decision to hire you is based on the interview, but a lot of other factors will creep into the decision process. Many of these other factors that play into the decision is outside of your control. So how can you tell a job interview went well an early indication that you may receive a job offer?
Your interview time
Sometimes interviewers will give you a choice of days and sometimes even times. Ideally, try to be one of the first interviewees. This will help you to set the standard for later interviewees and help you stand-out. Ideally try to choose a time early in the day. By choosing an early slot it will mean your interviewers will be fresh and not yet succumb to pressures in the office.
Even if they do not allow you to pick your time. Sometimes, an early interview time may subtly signal their interest in you.
Being able to Establish Rapport
Being able to develop rapport from the time to you arrive to the time you leave is important indicator. Rapport for an interview needs to remain in non-controversial areas like the weather, location of the interview site, and general interests. Then in the interview rapport is about how smoothly and at-ease everyone is with you. Instead of a very regimented and militaristic interview where a question is asked, you answer, and then you move to your next question.
If you can move the interview from a very regimented process to a relaxed conversation, then it demonstrates your communication skills and your interviewers’ ability to become comfortable with you.
Atmosphere was more of a conversation than an interview
This can be the approach that the interviewers wanted to us by adding an informal element to the interview. Ideally, if you approach an interview as a conversation about how you meet the role and the business needs then you have a good change. Nonetheless, each interview is different. If the interview begins to feel regimented but then you begin to feel things shift to more of a conversation, then it can be an indication the interviewers were comfortable with you.
Each business runs their own interviews differently. A business may have someone in the interview dedicated taking notes while others ask questions. Others may alternate asking questions and take notes. This may lead to eye contact being broken. Nonetheless, a subtle cue regarding interest will be the amount of eye contact being made with you during the interview and how long the contact is made. The more eye contact during the interview, can be a sign it went well.
Watch body language
Body language is an indicator of how the interview is going. However, it is not always possible to know if the body language is in response to your replies or if something else is occurring that is influencing their response.
There will be certain questions that can indicate an interview is going well, such as
- Availability to start
- If you have any other interviews scheduled
- Best way to contact you
- Upcoming vacations / holidays
- Your opinion
Interview lasting longer than scheduled
If the interview lasts longer than scheduled it can indicate things went well.
Walking you out
I have had interviewers who walked me out that were genuinely interested in me and others did it as a part of the interview process because it was to get lost on the way out. Not much can be read without trying to read their body language.
Your feeling it went well
Never discount your internal feeling that it went well. Out of all that I have listed here, this is probably the most reliable.
There is not a 100% correlation between an interview that went well and receiving an offer. A lot of times there are factors, that you don’t know, will factor into the final decision. It is important not to get fixated on getting a specific job and it is more important to use the interview as a learning process to help you develop.
Furthermore, none of the above signs alone are an indicator of a job interview that went well. However, the more you can identify of a sign that the interview went well then, the more likely that it did.
Even if you did well and it did not become an offer then learn from it. Don’t get frustrated and don’t let it derail you from your search. Instead take the feedback to help you in the next interview and you will find, very soon you will have a job offer that will make you happy.