10 Signs Your Interview Was a Success
Often, the instant relief of getting out of that stuffy interview room is all too quickly replaced by yet more anxiety over how we feel we did. Was the interview too short, too long, cut off or extended? Did I fluff that answer, ramble on unnecessarily, pause too long before answering or give a bad impression somehow? These thoughts can be a total downer and undermine any good feelings we might’ve had… if we let them.
To help save wasted energy and avoid a confidence dive, don’t over-analyze your performance and/or the interviewer’s responses to you. Doing so in minutiae, isn’t going to do you any favours – when did paranoia ever? Obsessive post-interview analysis is stressful, energy-sapping and self-defeating. It will turn an otherwise good interview experience into a nightmare you’d be better off not experiencing again. However, constructive reflection is beneficial to you. What’s the difference? Here’s a couple of crucial pointers:
Post-interview personal reflection tips:
1) Analyze how you think you performed in terms of the best and worst moments. What would you do differently next time.
2) Think about how you feel about the company and the job e.g., do you feel enthused and excited? Is there anything you didn’t like?
Now, let’s reflect on the interview itself.
What should I look for to see how I’m doing during the interview?
The following clues are just that and shouldn’t be taken as definitive of a job offer. Neither should you set about trying to take a tally of these signs. If you only notice three or four of the positive signs during the interview, don’t sweat it, it’s still all good. You’re very unlikely to ever see all the signs listed. However, such hints could allow you to home in on what’s working for you, or conversely, their absence could help you change it up, such as, in your approach to their questions or alter your body language.
1) Length of interview e.g., too short (less than 30 minutes) or truncated could suggest the interviewer’s mind is not on you or s/he simply isn’t interested in you; too long might mean you’re rambling on unnecessarily and boring the interviewer or it could mean they’re liking what they’re hearing and want to know more about you. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to let the interviewer determine the length of the interview, not you. Don’t try to cut it or extend it yourself!
2) The best interviews tend to feel more casual and open like talking to an old friend. But be warned, always keep a professional demeanour, no matter what. If an HR likes your personality, you’re more likely to get the job as a good ‘fit’ for their workplace.
3) Listen out for phrases like, “Are you interviewing with anyone else?’. Positive language suggests they’re keen on you for the job or the next hiring phase and want to determine how quickly they should move.
4) If they set up a second interview before you’ve left the first, you can take this as a positive sign of their interest.
5) If they refer to what you would do in the position consistently, rather than the neutral ‘candidate’, they could be considering you for the position. However, if it happens just a couple of times, then it could’ve been a slip of the tongue.
6) If you’ve been in the interview a while already and they want to take you to meet people on their team or senior members of their company, this is a promising sign but still part of the process. They will want to see how you interact with your potential colleagues, so always present yourself professionally.
7) If they talk about your salary upon commencement, they may be keen to hire you asap.
8) If they answer your questions thoroughly, this could indicate they don’t want you to have any doubts or confusion in your mind about the job or company.
9) If the HR gives you a solid timeframe for the hiring process, this is going well for you.
10) If the HR invites you to ask questions, s/he’s wanting to see your level of interest in them. Remember, this is a two-way process: they want to sell themselves to you and expect you to sell yourself to them.
Aside from these aforementioned detailed signs that you’re on their hiring radar, there’s a gamut of other, often more subtle clues, to be gleaned: e.g., positive postures (smiling, nodding, eye contact, open arms, hands etc), the HR engages in chit chat with you, deviating from the set questions (that is, not the ones written down on the page), the HR talks about your perks, benefits and other allowances, your ‘praises are sung’ regarding experience, skills, accomplishments etc., transition steps are discussed, the HR hands over his/her business card, the HR seems to be enjoying your interview, the HR shakes your hand slightly longer than usual, a lingering goodbye, indicating s/he will get back to you shortly etc.
Don’t sit back and feel smug though...It’s not merely a matter of passively observing these signs. You need to act too, including after the interview.
Post-interview actions to take.
1) Get the contact information for everyone you talked to e.g., before you leave the interview, ask the hiring manager for his/her contact information or ask the receptionist for the email addresses of those who interviewed you.
2) Don’t give up on your job search. Even if you feel you’ve nailed the interview and a job offer seems imminent, don’t cancel any scheduled interviews with other companies. Give them, and yourself, a chance.
3) Send thank you emails (if it’s a tech savvy or huge global company) but personalize and be specific in each one to the person you interacted with. Don’t send out a generic email. Recap interview moments e.g., your job strengths or the company’s, and answer questions you feel weren’t adequately dealt with during the interview. Also thank them for the interview opportunity and their time spent interviewing you. Send the emails a few days after the interview. If it’s a small or traditional business, they’ll appreciate being sent a personal thank you card via the post. This will show you’re willing to go the extra mile and in today’s business world, it’s a unique gesture that’ll be remembered.
4) Send a LinkedIn request to the hiring manager with a brief personal message. If the HR responds quickly and thanks you for coming in, it’s likely s/he’s excited to move to the next step in the hiring process with you.
5) Keep your prospects open and don’t get discouraged. It’s important to adhere to the proper, expected etiquette before, during and after the interview. Being kind and courteous can only enhance your chances of being hired. Companies have their own hiring process timeframes, so don’t fret or be too rigid about when you think you should’ve heard back from them. A brave person may even ask directly, at the interview’s close, whether you’ve done well or still in the running. E.g., you might ask, ‘Do you feel I meet the job requirements?’, ‘What specific areas would you like to hear more about?’ etc. What’s to lose? A proactive approach could very well help convince them that you’re the one for them.
Check out some more key interview tips here, and land that dream job in no time!