How can you tell if an interview went well?
It’s common for candidates to feel uncertain regarding how their interview went, with even the most confident of individuals tending to second guess themselves when awaiting feedback. Of course, this is only natural, but we wouldn’t recommend focussing solely on specific answers you gave, but looking at the experience as a whole.
You can however, consider these tell-tale signs of success below. While you shouldn’t take these signs as definite answers, they are definitely positives acting in your favour.
1. Engagement levels
Consider the interviewers' responses and body language. Did they appear interested in your answers and what you had to say? Typical signs of interest and positive feedback include:
Leaning forward (towards you)
Strong eye contact
Positive phrases “Great”, “Exactly right”, etc.
Encouraging you to continue talking about a subject
2. Length of interview
Our consultants often give candidates an ‘expected length’ based on their knowledge of the interview process and previous experiences. If you’re interview has overrun this amount of time, this is often a positive sign. The interviewer’s (usually the Hiring Manager) time is precious, therefore if they’ve decided to use the additional time to learn more about you, it suggests that the interviewer was genuinely interested in your responses and wanted to explore your qualifications and experiences further.
3. They put ‘you’ in the scenario
When detailing specifics regarding the role, including day to day tasks, if the interviewer is saying “you would be….” rather than “the successful candidate would be….” it would suggest they are imagining you in the role. Additionally, adding detail about the day to day elements of the role suggests they want to give you the full picture of what the position entails, reinforcing the likelihood of interest.
4. Level of depth in answers
The depth of information given in responses suggests how much the interviewer wanted you to be sold on the opportunity. If they give full, detailed answers it suggests they are eager for you to learn more about the position and secure your interest.
If the interview felt more like a conversation rather than a one-sided interrogation, it indicates that the interviewer was comfortable engaging with you. This suggests they viewed you as a potential fit for the role and the company culture.
Many companies offer a tour of their premises as part of the recruitment process. However, it‘s less common for them to interrupt other staff members to introduce a candidate – unless they have a good feeling about them. If you are introduced to your potential new colleagues and senior decision makers, this is an encouraging sign, as you’re clearly being perceived as somebody who is worth the time. This is especially true regarding senior staff, who often have to sign off on hiring decisions.
Introductions also offer an opportunity for you to make a positive, lasting impression on other people within the company; some of whom may have some influence on the hiring process.
6. Closing questions
Questions regarding your notice, availability, start date, upcoming holidays and any other interviews you are attending suggests the Hiring Manager is interested in you and is looking to understanding your plans.
If the interviewer asked about your availability for a second interview or discussed next steps in the hiring process, it suggests that they are considering you as a potential candidate and want to move forward.
If the interviewer asked for your references or inquired about your permission to contact them, it's also a positive sign. It indicates that they are considering the possibility of progressing to the reference-checking stage, which typically happens towards the final stages of the hiring process.
7. Clarity regarding the next stages
If the hiring manager discuss the next stages in the recruitment process at the end of your interview, it’s possible they are inferring you have a chance in progressing to such stages. If they urge you to complete an action, such as contact them or speak with your Hewett consultant, do so.
If the interview concluded with a positive note, such as expressing enthusiasm about your candidacy, mentioning specific next steps, or providing a timeline for their decision, it is a strong indication that the interview went well.
8. Interviewer Feedback to your Hewett Consultant
Your Hewett Consultant will ask for you to give them a quick call after your interview to discuss how you feel it went. At this, point, it’s unlikely they will have received feedback yet, but discussing the interview with a specialist will help ease your nerves. When the consultant does receive feedback, they will give you a call. If the company has given positive feedback to the recruiter, this is obviously a huge positive, as although they may have other candidates to interview in the pipeline, you made a strong impression.
If you encounter these signs, it’s probable that you are a strong contender for the placement. However, if this is not the case, do not feel disheartened. Keep in mind that these signs are not definitive guarantees of success, as interview outcomes can vary. Your Consultant will request feedback from the company, to help you further understand the decision and offer some pointers for improvement at your next interview.
For more information and advice, please contact one of our specialist consultants.