Going to a job interview, both physical and virtual, can be an exciting but stressful experience. Even though you prepared thoroughly by researching the company and preparing intelligent answers for tough questions, it’s still hard to know whether it went well or not.
After an interview, there can be a feeling of relief; however, the most challenging part comes afterward. Wondering how the meeting went and whether you made a good first impression can be a little disheartening. Reflecting on how you answered each question could be just as stressful as the preparation itself.
There's no sure-fire way to understand how an interviewer thinks, and you will face a lot of uncertainty during the interview process. Fortunately, there are a few signs that indicate that your interview went well!
1. You had an engaging conversation
When you are nervous, it's easy to overlook that interviews are human-to-human interactivity. Try not to stress! If the interview seems like a natural, interactive discussion with the hiring manager, rather than one that sounds like an interrogation, then it's a good sign! When you successfully build a rapport with hiring managers during job interviews, you demonstrate outstanding interpersonal skills. This not only shows that you'd fit in with their company's culture but also that you'd work well together if the company hired you.
2. The body language of your interviewer was positive
Non-verbal communication, in particular body language, is extremely important! Most candidates pay attention to their own body language and how they present themselves, but have you ever observed your interviewer's body language? For example, if the interviewer smiles, maintains eye contact, or nods in agreement with you, it's safe to assume they're comfortable with you and actively engaged in your conversation. While these cues are difficult to recognise during a video interview, it is essential to look out for signs of positive body language from the hiring manager as it indicates that the interview is going well.
3. The interview runs over the scheduled time
While going through a lengthy interview process is not a guarantee for landing the job, it does indicate that at least the interview is going well. Keep in mind that the hiring manager's time is valuable, especially when undergoing a recruiting process. If a recruiter spends a considerable amount of time with a candidate, it indicates that they are a potential fit.
4. Your interviewer introduces you to the team
The employer may introduce you to other team members or people within the business if they feel good about your abilities. This allows the employer to determine whether you will interact well with the team before making a final decision. You should not take it as a negative sign if you only meet with your scheduled interviewer. This is not necessarily a typical scenario, especially if your job interviews are conducted virtually. In any case, if the hiring manager mentions that they want to introduce you to their boss, another decision-maker, or a colleague after your interview (even if this does not happen immediately), you can be assured that you are among the final candidates for the position.
5. The interviewer sold you on the position and the company
All interviewers will mention the job's responsibilities, but not all will make a real effort to get you interested in the job. It can be challenging to remember that interviews should be conducted both ways. During the interview, the hiring manager determines if you are the right fit for the role and company, and you are gathering information about the company to determine if this is a place you would like to work.
Typically, when an interviewer tries to sell themselves as a prospective employer, it means they intend to hire you. The interviewer wouldn't devote time to explaining all the reasons the company is a great place to work, as well as discussing their culture and benefits if you were a mediocre candidate. Therefore, you have probably made an excellent first impression.
6. The interviewer explained the steps involved in the hiring process
Being interviewed for a position is a big deal, but it is also just one step in the hiring process. Informing you of the next step, such as the following interview or when you will hear back, demonstrates their interest and desire to keep you informed throughout the process. This is not only good for your candidacy, but it also speaks highly of your prospective employer. It demonstrates the professionalism of their interview process and the importance that they place on transparency when hiring potential employees.
Your interview went well, but what now?
While it is advisable not to abandon your job search until you have received a formal offer of employment, the above signs that an interview is going well should give you some comfort, allowing you to feel confident that you performed well during the interview and are a strong contender. Don't forget to celebrate, you've earned it!
Remember to write a follow-up email as this is always a smart move, regardless of how you think the interview went. Reflect on your interview and write down what you can do to improve your preparation and handle future interviews differently. Whether an interview goes smoothly or if there are minor hiccups, every interview is an opportunity for you to learn. Take what you can from this opportunity, and you will be prepared to make the most of the next one.