The moment you walk out of a job interview, there’s usually only one thing on your mind: How did it go? Sometimes you may feel like you nailed it, other times you may feel like you crashed and burned, and other times you may not have a clue how it really went.
There is no exact science to determining what an interviewer thought of you and if you’ll be offered the job, but there are some indicators that signal you made the cut. Watch for three signs to decipher if the interview really did go well.
1. The interview lasts longer than expected.
Interviewing you is most likely not the only responsibility on the interviewer’s plate. In fact, it was probably added on top of a very long to-do list, so you should feel proud, and hopeful, if the hiring manager spends extra time with you. Taking the time to go beyond the superficial, checklist questions to ask more insightful follow-up questions means the potential employer is truly interested in what you have to offer. Carolina Ceniza-Levine, an author and career-coach, told CBS News that it’s also a good sign when interviewers “ask for their calls to be held or for a later appointment to be pushed back in order to focus solely on you.”
2. They schedule a second interview.
The same principle from the first sign applies to the second – time is valuable. As Justin Honaman, director at Coca-Cola Customer Business Solutions, told CareerBuilder, “The hiring manager does not want to waste any more time interviewing you if you are not a fit. (An) invitation to the next round is a win!” An employer isn’t going to waste anyone’s time by going through another interview for no reason. And, if they schedule your second interview before your first interview is even over, you know they’re interested and eager to learn more.
3. Your references get called.
Once you find out that a potential employer has contacted your references, you can pat yourself on the back for being at the top of their list. Hiring managers won’t make the effort or take the time to contact references unless they’ve narrowed down the field to a few candidates and are nearing a decision. “A firm will not spend the time to do background checks and talk with references if you are out of the candidate pool,” agrees Honaman. Often, doing those final checks is simply the last step for wrapping up loose ends prior to making a job offer.
So much energy goes into preparing for an interview, and then afterwards you’re left to wonder how it went and mull over what you wish you’d done differently. A word of warning, though – don’t spend too much time worrying about how it went. Instead, use that time wisely by making a list of things you did right and things you could do differently next time. Or, stop and go over the questions that may have stumped you. Now that you have time to think about them, prepare some answers for next time. And, don’t forget to send thank you notes to continue making a good impression.
Have you found these three signs to be true in your interviewing and job hunt experiences? What other signs have you discovered that are good indicators of how an interview went? Please share your experiences with us in the comments section below.
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