Phew. The hard part is over. As you walk away from your interview, you feel an overwhelming sense of calm. You feel confident in how it went, and you are excited for the next steps.
But after you get home and ponder more and more on the experience, your confidence may start to wane. “Did it REALLY go as well as I thought?” “Was there anything I could have done differently?” “What now?” As your head races with thoughts, don’t panic! There are certain signs to look for that indicate your interview went well. Below are ten ways outlined in a CareerBuilder article by Rachel Zupek that can help you clear your mind and assess if your interview was a slam dunk!
1. Round two
The easiest way to gauge short-term success is if the interviewer asks you to return for another round of interviews. If he wasn’t interested, he would be evasive as whether or not you could expect to hear back from someone. “The hiring manager does not want to waste any more time interviewing you if you are not a fit,” Honaman assures. “Invitation to the next round is a win!”
2. References please
Why would you be asked for references unless someone cared to learn more about you? “A firm will not spend the time to do background checks and talk with references if you are out of the candidate pool,” Honaman says. “Provide specific, knowledgeable references and bring those to the interview.”
3. Meet the team
It’s a good sign when the hiring manager chooses to introduce you to the team on the spot, or mentions that there are some people she would like you to meet. If she wasn’t interested, again, she wouldn’t take the time in making acquaintances.
“Leaders are protective of their team and will not risk introducing a candidate if they are not a potential fit to join the organization,” Honaman says. Remember that the hiring manager may request feedback from the team on their first impressions of you, so be nice to anyone you meet.
4. What are the transition steps?
When a company is interested in you, you’ll be asked things like the amount of time needed for a transition or what non-competes might be in place, Honaman says. “If the hiring manager is interested in moving forward with an offer, they will typically ask what steps need to be taken for your departure from your current organization so that you can assume the new role,” he says.
5. Dollars and sense
Depending on what stage of the interview process you’re in, it could be a good thing if you’re asked about salary expectations. It demonstrates that the company might be willing to invest in you. Honaman suggests answering this question with caution:
“You can have the absolute best interview ever and be dead in the water if you answer this question incorrectly,” he says. “The question comes in two forms: ‘What are your salary expectations?’ or ‘What is your current compensation?’ Arrive at any interview with current compensation details written down for your own reference — if asked — and have an idea of how you will answer this question.”
6. HR smiles
The human resources representative or recruiter is generally a good indication of how things went in the interview process. Take note of his or comments after the interview; they are your No.1 contact during the process and are often a guide to the projected outcome, Honaman says.
7. Your turn
When the interviewer spends a lot of time answering your questions, it’s a signal that the he wants to sell you on the business, the team and position rather than you continuing to pursue the role, Honaman says. “In most interviews, the hiring manager will ask if you have any questions as standard procedure, but spend less time with questions and answers if the interview has not gone well in their mind.”
8. Let’s keep rolling
If hiring managers are uninterested, they typically look for ways to wrap up the interview. “At times, interviews will go well beyond the allotted time as the hiring manager or interview team wants to know more about you, or share with you more about the organization and role,” Honaman says. If they are not interested in your candidacy, they won’t drag out the interview.
9. Non-verbals speak
Non-verbal signals are often a good predictor of interview performance. Pay close attention to the interviewer(s) and observe such non-verbal cues as taking notes, smiles, head-nods or asking probing questions, Honaman says. “At the same time, if an interviewer is taking few notes, looking at their watch repeatedly [or] not asking detailed questions, the interview may not be going well.”
10. Cultural fit
The more a hiring manager talks about how you’ll fit into the mold at a company, the better. “Most leaders are looking for candidates that can easily fit into a team environment or operate well as an individual contributor,” Honaman says. “If the hiring manager is interested in your taking the position, they will share additional details about the culture and shift into ‘sales’ mode on the organization.”
Again, none of these are surefire signals that you’ve gotten the job. Plus, even though you did everything right, there is always the chance that someone else did, too. But if you continually see a couple of the above signals you’ll know you’ve at least got a shot.