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How to Tell if They Might Hire You
After an interview, the first question you are going to ask yourself is, “Did I get the job?” Of course, the only person who can answer that is the person in charge of recruiting. All you can do is think back over the interview and look for tell-tale signs you got the job.
What are those signs?
15 Good Signs During and After the Job Interview
Here are 15 things that might happen during or after a job interview that suggest you may very well have landed the job.
- You were interviewed by a senior member.
- You observed positive body language.
- They introduced you to the team.
- They asked you for references.
- You actually had a good time.
- They defended parts of your resume from criticism.
- They gave you a natural goodbye and a "see you soon."
- They explained company protocols.
- They introduced you to a problem they are having.
- They explained to you what’s next in the hiring process.
- The interview atmosphere seemed increasingly casual.
- They gave you compliments about your work.
- The interview lasted longer than you had expected.
- They asked you what kind of salary you might expect.
- You got a follow-up or phone call.
1. Were You Interviewed by a Senior Member?
If you find yourself being interviewed by the founder or a senior member, the chances of you getting hired have dramatically increased. The individual or group you need to directly impress is sitting right in front of you. This gives you a better chance of getting the job, as you don’t have to rely on someone lower down "liking you" who then has to convince the person making the decisions. Plus, it's good to know they are clearly taking you seriously for the job in question.
2. Did Their Body Language Seem Welcoming?
This is difficult to judge, especially while you are concentrating on what you are going to do and say next, but you might recognize encouraging signs you have seen in books and videos about body language. Look for positive cues in their overall body posture. It's good if their facial expressions are engaging, their arms are relaxed and open, and their posture and voice seem welcoming. You might not want to give too much weight to these signs by themselves, though.
3. Did They Show You Around to Meet the Team?
This is a key aspect. If they are willing to show you around the office (especially the desk where you would be working!) and introduce you to a few members of staff, this is a fantastic sign that they want you for the job. Actually going around and meeting the team is an emotional investment for both sets of parties; they won't want to spend time on this if they aren't fairly sure you’re a great fit for the job going forwards. So take it as a good sign: the more people you meet, the more of the office you walk through, the more they tell you about how they do things, the better the outlook is.
4. Did They Try to Contact Your References?
If they have asked you for references so they can contact them, they likely think that you are a serious candidate for the role. Apparently they are willing to invest some extra time in you to ensure that you are the right candidate. If they haven’t asked for your references, don't give up hope; each company operates differently and some don’t ask for references at all. But it's always promising when they plan to expend a little work or energy to find out whether you are the right candidate for the job.
5. You Had a Good Time
Did you come out of the interview actually enjoying it? Did it seem like you and the interviewer were getting on well? And that you would have had no problem talking for another 30 minutes given the chance? This is another fantastic sign that you may have landed the job.
6. They Were Defending You
Any resume or application might have some weak or thin parts. If they start defending those parts for you, then you’ve got a great sign that you’re a front runner for the job here. An example might be where you’ve only had “one year of experience in XYZ” and they might come back with “well, that’s only because you had to X and Y at the same time." If they defend your shortcomings rather than putting the burden on you to explain them, this is a fantastic sign that they like you as a candidate. Naturally, you stick up and defend people you like.
7. They Lingered Over a Natural Goodbye
As you left the interview, was there a pleasant atmosphere and a natural lingering goodbye? Did they take time to ask or answer questions that you or the interviewer forgot to ask? If they didn’t like you as a candidate, they probably wouldn't take time for more questions. But if they quickly try to get your opinion about something even as you are heading out the door, it looks like they want information for a decision.
8. Did They Explain Company Protocols?
Did they take the time out to explain some of the rules that they have at the company? If they think you are a good candidate, they might spend time now telling you something upfront to save time explaining things later. Usually, if they don't expect to see you again, they won't spend extra time explaining how the company works.
9. Did They Get You Involved With Their Vision and the Problems They Are Facing?
Another fantastic sign that you got the job is that during the interview they actively got you involved with their vision for the company. Have they talked about the origin of the business, where it has come from, and what the plan is going forward? If they are getting you involved at this stage, it is likely that they want you involved in the future as well. Make sure to ask questions at this stage (especially if you are speaking to the owner of the business); this is their ‘baby’ and they would love to see a candidate passionate about it.
10. Did They Explain How Follow-Up Would Work?
During the interview did they explain the "follow up" process clearly: "You can expect a call or email from us within x number of days," or even hours? If so, this is another fantastic hint that they have some kind of plan or schedule that involves you. If the discussion of follow-up is somewhat vague, don't be discouraged; that they mention it at all is a great sign.
11. You Get a Phone Call or Email
If you sent a follow-up email (which we always recommend that you do) and they respond quickly, this is another great sign. They value your time and want to appear in the best possible light for you.
12. Did Things Get Increasingly Casual?
The start of the interview is often quite formal. If they see you are a promising candidate, the atmosphere may become more casual, as they discover things in common with you and begin to see you as a promising candidate. Did things become so casual that you almost felt you were at the local pub or outside of the work zone? Again, if you got to this stage that’s a good indicator to take away.
13. Compliments: “Sounds Great”
If they compliment you on something they saw on your resume or heard about your experience, that's fantastic. In fact, it really doesn’t get more obvious than that. The more compliments the better, as long as they are appearing genuine.
14. The Interview Was Longer Than Expected
Was the interview scheduled for 10-20 minutes but then did it run over by 5, 10, or even more minutes? Again, another fantastic sign; pat yourself on the back for your interview performance. They invested their valuable time in you.
15. Did They Talk Numbers?
One of the best signs that you got the job is that they actually start talking numbers with you with regards to your compensation package. They ask you what you would expect for the job, or talk about what it would pay. If they address these difficult subjects, this is a positive sign that you are very much in the running to get the job after an interview. They are trying to judge your reaction and how much you would expect in order to land the job.
Bad Signs After the Interview
Of course just like there were positive signs to look for, there are potentially negative ones too, many of which are basically the opposite of the positive ones we have listed above.
- They questioned your lack of ability in a certain area.
- They didn't give you much opportunity to ask questions.
- They didn’t explain the follow-up process.
- They didn't call you by your name.
- They showed unwelcoming or negative body language.
- They didn’t try to sell you on the position of the company.
- They spent a lot of time in a particular area in your resume.
- They talked about "if" and "you might" rather than "when" and "you will."
- Their questions didn't seem to focus on the future.
- They avoided talking about compensation.
- They cut the interview short.
- It didn’t seem like they read your resume.
After the Interview
Before you try tell if your interview went well or badly, stay calm and remember there’s no real way to know for sure, until they actually say the words or thereabouts, that "you have the job!"
And keep in mind that even if all the signs are good and you are pretty sure you put in a great interview performance, you still might not necessarily get through to the next stage, or even land the job. You don't really have control, of course. Other candidates may have given an even better performance, turned out to be a better fit to the company, they might have even asked for less money if that is something that was brought up. There are literally hundreds of reasons why you might not have gotten the job, but that doesn’t mean that you gave a bad interview.
The opposite is, of course, true as well. Sometimes Instead of thinking you gave a great interview, you think it went awfully and you bombed completely. Once again this is subjective and only your opinion, plus everyone is always their own worst critic. Some interviewers have a reserved and formal interviewing style, so much so that you wouldn't know if you came across really well and were on the verge of going to the next round of interviews. They might give you the absolute best sign ever, by offering you the job in a follow-up phone call the same day.
Don’t stress too much; thinking about it constantly won't affect whether you do or don’t get the job after an interview. If enough time has passed and they haven’t got back to you, enquire to see what the scenario is. If they tell you you didn't get the job, or that you won't advance to the next round of the interviewing process, make sure you ask for feedback on your job interview performance. You could get some great constructive advice.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Bradley Morrison