After an interview ends and a manager escorts you to the door, now comes the dissection of what just happened: did it go well? Do they introduce every candidate to executives? Was that handshake encouraging or dismissive? Did they look bored? When they said we’ll follow up this week, was that a clue?
Adrenaline and nerves can cloud your perspective, so here are five clear signals that can reassure you that the interview did in fact go well.
1) They talk to you for a long time comfortably
When a job interview goes well, you should feel a rapport with your interviewer. That means the interview should feel like a conversation, not a formal exchange of ideas between two people forced into a room together reaching for things to talk about.
If you are both enjoying your conversation so much that you run over your allotted time, that’s an even better sign.
2) Body language is open
You know you’re doing well when you’ve captured your audience’s attention, and you can tell how attentive your interviewer is based on nonverbal cues. If your interviewer is nodding and smiling at your answers, that’s a positive sign of engagement. If they’re sitting stiff in their seats and they appear closed off, that may mean they’re not buying what you’re selling.
Are they keeping eye contact with you or are they keeping their eyes on their screens? Healthy amounts of eye contact signal that you are being heard.
I once had an interview where one of my interviewers started scrolling through his phone, and I knew then and there that I had lost him.
3) You get shown around and introduced to people
When interviewers take extra time to show candidates around the building, it means that you’re a strong candidate and they want to sell you on the company and familiarize you on what employees’ day-to-days look like. It also means they believe people should get a chance to meet you and see how you could get along.
If you get introduced to people you would be working with, that means you’re being checked out for serious consideration. Make sure to make a good impression on these employees. They’ll be weighing in on you later.
4) They want to know your other options
If your interviewer wants to know what other companies want you and for how much, they’re fishing to find out how in demand you are. “Let me know if you receive an offer from another employer” signals that you’re under serious consideration and your potential employer doesn’t want to feel left out of this race.
5) They picture you in their future
If your interviewer starts framing their comments as “when you start” and talks extensively about your responsibilities on the team, that means they’re picturing a future in their company with you in it. Once managers start imagining what you can contribute to their teams, your status changes from one candidate in a pool of many to The One.
When your interviewer moves past what you have to offer and starts selling you on what the company has to offer, then you know you’re in a good spot.
Of course, there are many internal bureaucratic reasons about how a job process ends that are beyond your control to see in an interview. The best way to ultimately find out if the interview went well is if you get the job offer.