Your last job interview seemed promising. You answered all the questions and thought you did a masterful job explaining how your skills and experience match the company’s needs. You even shared a laugh about the strange things dogs do after realizing you and the hiring manager both have furry friends at home. Everything indicates that you rocked the interview, but what, exactly, are the signs an interview went well?
Let’s face it, leaving a job interview can be as unnerving as preparing for one. When you walk out the door, it’s easy to begin second-guessing yourself. You did pause for a couple extra moments before answering the third question. And was that joke about the dog park actually funny? Can you know for sure if you made as strong an impression as you think?
Instead of spending any more time worrying, take a look at the following seven signs an interview went well — and then determine whether you aced it.
1. The interview ran longer than planned
The interview schedule is normally a tight fit, with job candidates slotted in between existing meetings and other commitments. If the interview ran over by more than a few minutes, it’s typically a good sign. It indicates the interviewer liked what you said and had more questions.
2. You felt a rapport with the interviewer
This is another one of the key signs an interview went well. Typically, you can sense when you click with someone. The conversation flows a little more smoothly. Your witty comments are greeted with a smile or laugh. If it felt like the interviewer could be an old friend, that’s a clear sign the job interview went well. It’s also an excellent indication that you’d mesh with the company’s work environment if offered the job.
3. The interviewer had positive body language
Not sure if you developed rapport or not? How would you evaluate your interviewer’s body language? Smiling, leaning forward and making eye contact are all signs the interviewer was engaged and interested in you and what you were saying.
4. You were asked about other job prospects
When interviewers ask whether you’re interviewing for jobs elsewhere, they’re trying to get an idea of how quickly they need to move you to the next stage of the hiring process. They may be feeling pressure to prevent you from slipping away to another company. If they scheduled the second interview before ending the first, you’re in consideration for the position.
5. You were invited to meet others in the company
You know an interview went well when you were introduced to people who weren't on the schedule. That would mean you were being evaluated as a potential colleague. If that happens again in a future interview, be friendly to everyone you meet so you make a good impression on them as well. Also use the opportunity to ask questions to get a better sense of the corporate culture and whether these are people you think you could work with each day.
6. You were encouraged to stay in touch
Handing out a business card can be a good sign, but it is standard at some companies. Did you pay attention to what the interviewer said? “Here’s my direct line and email address; don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions,” likely meant you’re on track for a second interview. “Let me know if you’re called to interview anywhere else” or “Be sure to contact me if you receive an offer from another employer” would indicate serious interest on the hiring manager's part.
7. You were asked for references
If this happened on your first interview, it meant the company was seriously impressed and looking to fast-track the process. That’s why it’s good advice to line up a strong roster of professional references before the interview who are ready to take calls from potential employers.
If a second interview doesn’t materialize for you this time around, you’ll know what to look for the next time you meet with a hiring manager. Sometimes simply knowing where you stand with a potential employer is enough to keep that second guessing at bay.