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Signs that your interview went well

Posted on 13 October 2021

Signs that your interview went well

​7-minute read

 

We often ask applicants who interview with us ‘how do you feel the interview went?’, with the idea of understanding your personal perspective and if positive follow up with, ‘what gave you that impression?’. This helps us build out a picture (along with other questions of course) as to how the interview went in general without actually being sat in it with you and the hiring team.

 

However, after many years of asking these questions, it has dawned on us. How likely on mass is it that many of us truly know how to tell if an interview went well or not. You might have a gut feeling, but outside that, it is usually guesswork, and sometimes very off the mark.

 

This is where this article stemmed from, realising that there are clear indicators as to how an interview went that are easy for recruiters to spot but less so for applicants. Using our knowledge and speaking with various hiring managers to help build this article out, we hope that we can shed some light for you on the mystery of understanding if an interview went well or not.

 

Disclaimer, what we write in this article will give you a guideline but not validation for feedback. Some hiring managers or interviewers might give off positive signals to be polite but provide negative feedback, please bear this in mind and always seek detailed feedback from your respective recruiter or contact for each process.

 

That said, let’s dive right into the various signs that might let you know that the interview went well:

 

They ask for your availability for the next step

We felt like starting with the most obvious sign, they ask for your availability for the next step. This could be another interview, an offer conversation or a reference check, but the interviewer is proactive in asking you whilst you are together.

This is as clear of a sign that the interview went well as you are going to get, and of course, if that happens and you are comfortable with what you know, progress forward. However, if you still need time to think about if the opportunity is right for you, then simply let them know you will get back to them in the coming days with your feedback, you don’t need to be pressured into the next steps if you don’t want them.

 

The interview lasted longer than allocated

Time is an excellent indicator of how an interview went. Too short, as in they allocated an hour with you but the interview was over in 30 minutes, then there is a high chance it didn’t go to plan, on the flip side if it extended beyond the allocated time then we would take that as a good sign. Remember, however, if your interview stops at the allocated time, don’t take this as a negative, you did only have the allocated time with them and they are likely busy with other appointments throughout the day.

 

They discuss process time frames with you

If the interviewer is proactively asking you about your other processes and trying to understand a hypothetical timeframe with you for a decision, consider this a good sign. Here they are trying to understand if they are in a competing spot for your attention based on your timeframe. Often if the timeframe is short, companies will speed up their process and condense interview processes to match your time (a good little tip if you want a quicker process).

 

They showcase positive body language

Body language is always a great indicator of success, but there is a whole world of material around this that would take this article to a book if we included everything. Therefore, for simplicity here, a few things to consider, if the interviewer is showing signs such as a nod of the head in agreement, a wide-eyed smile (not Cheshire cat smile but a genuinely pleased smile), open hands, a straight posture or good eye-contact then the interview might be going well.

If the interviewer is disconnected, not paying attention, sitting crossed arms or have their hands closed then the interview might not be going as well as expected.

Body language is such a big form of communication and one that we will cover in much greater detail in the future, but this short overview should give you enough now to understand how things are going during your interview.

 

The conversation flowed

If the interview felt less like an interview and more of a discussion between professionals then you are heading in the right direction. When the conversation was simply question/answer with little depth and a lack of emotion, there is a good chance that you might have failed to hit the mark on this occasion.

You cannot force good conversation; it comes from a connection you share with that person. Some interviewers are great at opening the conversation up and some not, you as an applicant might be the same but you know when a good conversation takes place as you hit the right notes and everything flows.

 

As mentioned, these signs are not the be-all and end-all, simply observations we have made over the years that generally inform us as recruiters if the interview did indeed go as well as expected. Knowing these now might also help you pivot your style during an interview if you feel things going a little south, be adaptable but remain yourself. Feel free to share this article with friends, colleagues or your network if you believe they could benefit from the learnings.

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