How to Tell if an Interview Went Well
Going through job interviews can be a stressful and time-consuming process.
After each interview, you might be asking yourself how you can tell if it went well.
It's normal to be nervous and to play sections of the interview over in your mind, wondering if you should have answered things differently.
Try not to obsess over your own behavior and instead try to remember what the interviewer said or did. That will help you work out if they were happy with how it went and if they want to hire you.
The main thing to focus on is whether you received warm body language and felt like you created a good rapport with the interviewer.
Think about how they behaved. Maybe they were open and connecting to you, or perhaps they were closed off and uninterested.
Nods, laughter and other signs of genuine connection can be significant and build your confidence that this will be your workplace in the future.
The best clues to tell you whether your interview went well will have occurred at the end of your time together.
Positive signs that your interview worked in your favor include big smiles as you leave, checking your availability for the next steps and talking about the future in a concrete way.
Here are some concrete ways to tell your interview went well:
If you’re having an interview and it runs over time, that's generally a good sign.
Interviewers are usually busy, so if they are making more time for you, it's because they consider you to be a good investment and someone they would want to work with.
Similarly, if they are digging deeper and asking thoughtful follow-up questions to what you say, it means they take you seriously and are not just interviewing you as a courtesy.
When you give full answers, and they're still keen to know more, it shows there is real interest on both sides.
Another positive sign that your interview went well is you are warmly introduced to other team members or managers and are invited to ask them more questions.
They wouldn't be wasting other people's time if they didn't think you were a good fit or that there was a strong chance you'll actually be joining the company.
If you get a tour of the workplace, a warm handshake at the end and the interviewer gives you multiple reassurances, these are great signs.
Other positive body language to look out for includes great eye contact from the interviewers and leaning in, and looking with interest at items you might have brought with you, like a portfolio or a model project.
If the interviewers ignore the ringing or buzzing of a mobile phone and keep focused on you, then you have their attention, and you're likely to be impressing them.
Having their full engagement means that you can continue in confidence and show the depth of your interview preparation.
If you're having an online or phone interview, it can be harder to tell if it went well because you're limited by what body language you can observe.
In this case, you might focus more on the words being spoken. If they speak about next steps and leave the interview giving you a timeline and mention picking up references, that's positive.
When you write a follow-up email thanking the interviewers for their time (it's always a good idea to be courteous and do this), look to see how long they take to reply.
If they respond quickly and enthusiastically and make it personal, referencing things you spoke about in the interview, then they are looking to reassure you and let you know you did well.
Interviewers may even beat you to the punch and send you a follow-up email or call you before you get a chance to reach out to them. That's a great sign they're keen to keep you in the loop and build a strong relationship from the start.
It's normal to ask yourself whether your interview was successful and if you impressed your potential employers.
Everyone wants to feel that they were a great candidate and will add value to the company.
Here are some ways to tell that the interviewers thought you were great.
If you come across well, they'll expect you to be in demand or at least looking at other options.
If they are curious about the competition, the interviewers may well try and snap you up before others make serious offers.
Similarly, the interviewers may try to talk up their own company or some of the business perks as a way to sell you on the role if they see you as a good fit.
They might have made a lot of effort to research you too and ask you considered questions about your experience. This level of preparation shows they are treating you with respect and valuing you already.
Notice if the interviewers are talking as if you've already got the job, for example, saying "when" you join rather than "if" or taking you on a tour and saying, "This is where you would sit".
This way of speaking shows confidence that they already see you as a team member and are planning to be working with you in the future.
They may even speak about specific job tasks and responsibilities in detail as if to begin preparations for your arrival already.
Another great sign that the interviewers are serious about you is that they are talking about ways in which your career can be advanced at the company.
This long-term approach to growth is helpful for both you and the interviewers, and can help to check you are all on the same page.
The best interviews have a healthy balance of covering your previous experience and focusing on the future and your potential role in the company.
Watch out for the verbal and nonverbal cues from the interviewers when answering their questions.
If they're nodding along, clearly checking things off on their list of competencies and murmuring positive things, then you're on track and doing well.
They might even say that your qualifications are exactly what they're looking for or respond to your answers with "That's excellent", for example. These types of cues mean they're on board with you and are giving you the respect of their full attention.
If the interviewer ends your time together by giving you a card or full contact information, that's a strong clue that they want you to stay in touch. They certainly wouldn't do this if they didn't like you or don't want to have you messaging them.
Make sure you take advantage of the information they share and send a follow-up that shows your appreciation and interpersonal skills.
If you had a panel interview and each and every member of that panel gives you great eye contact and smiles throughout, that's a strong, positive sign. Having said that, don't take it personally if one person doesn't. They may have been assigned a certain role, like note-taker and might not have as much freedom to focus on you in a personable way.
If you leave the interview feeling energized and like you had a great back-and-forth conversation, that's a great sign.
The best interviews are ones in which you communicate and connect naturally with the people you are speaking to.
Maybe you even veered off work topics and found other points of commonality, like shared interests to chat about. That's a great sign that they are satisfied with the interview portion and genuinely want to get to know you as a person too.
People tend to hire those they like, so showing an interest in you is a good sign that they are seriously considering bringing you onto the team.
If you ended the interview and asked them strong questions afterward, it's worth noting how those were received. If they seemed pleased to answer these (and weren't rushing you out of the room), that's positive.
Giving you in-depth, relaxed answers to your questions means they are serious about having you join them, and they are keen to help you feel at ease.
For your part, having prepared and insightful questions shows you have a curious mind and that you're taking things seriously; therefore, it's an excellent way to leave the interview on a high note.
If you think the interview went badly though, try not to worry too much about it and think about the future instead. Maybe focus on what you would do better next time and incorporate that into your personal development plan.
You can even ask for any feedback they have for you; this shows that you are serious about your personal growth and that focus might be noticed and remembered if another job becomes available down the line.
Even if you did ace the interview, it's good practice to get into the habit of making notes on what worked and asking for feedback. That way, you are able to incorporate what you have learned into your everyday performance.
If you're looking for signs that you will get the job after an in-person or video interview, think about the topics that were covered and if any of them implied you had a future at the company.
Talking about start dates, opportunities for progression, and the logistics of the next steps are all positive signals.
Also, remember that sometimes things are out of your control. You may have felt a great connection, but you never know how your competition performed.
Therefore, if this interview doesn't go your way, dust yourself off and put all your effort into the next one.
Try doing some mock interviews and focus on learning tips you can practice to make sure you're honing your technique for future success.
When you build your confidence, you will be in a better position to impress interviewers to land your dream role.