Seven ways to tell if your job interview went well…. and an employment offer on its way

You step out of the job interview, take a deep breath and relax on your journey home after what can be a hugely stressful experience – especially if you really, really want the role.

But then the worry quickly beds in. Did I say the right things? Was the potential employer impressed? Should I chase up the recruitment agent or HR after not hearing anything after a few hours?

It can be hard to gauge just how well an interview has gone – and not much you can do to influence the employer once you step out of the interview.

As part of our Interview Cheat Series, we explore the key signals that show the interview has gone well.

Bagging the job: There are a number of key signs to look out for when reflecting on your interview which will show it went well

We’ve revealed plenty of interview tips in the past, including how to answer those tough questions and how to make sure your CV stands out in the first place.

Meanwhile in our first Interview Cheat Sheet article, we offered tips what to answer when an interviewer says ‘do you have any questions?’

Experts at recruiter Reed says there are seven ways – some subtle, some less so – that could reveal whether you have the job in the bag. This is Money reveals them below.

1. Did it turn into a casual chat?

If you step out of your job interview and it felt more like a casual conversation than a formal interrogation, your skills and experience probably are not the only thing that clicked with the interviewer – and it could be a clear indicator they see you as a solid team fit.

It may show that you would slide in easily with the company culture and also proves you would have a good working dynamic if you got the job, according to Reed.

If you notice that your interview began to focus less on the formalities and more on what kind of films or music you like, the chances are you have done well.

2. Was body language positive?

Our new series takes an in-depth look at how to navigate your way into a dream job – if you have a job question for our experts email with Interview Cheat in the subject line.

If you focused on getting your answers nailed on, you might not have paid full attention to the interviewer’s reactions – and these are a key sign of how well the interview went.

You can often gauge how an interviewer feels about you just by looking at them.

If they were fully engaged and giving positive feedback you can be sure you are on the right track.

Reed adds that you should be wary of the tell-tale ‘I’m only here because I have to be’ signs, for example uninterested silences, slouching, lack of eye contact and continuous clock watching from the interviewer.

3. Did they make an effort to sell the job?

Although every interviewer will talk about what the role is about, not all will make a real effort to spark your interest.

If you noticed the interviewer was giving a detailed explanation of what the job entails – including exactly what ‘you’d’ be doing – while listing the perks and benefits of working for them, the likelihood is you’ve made a decent impression.

It is an even better sign if they actively linked back to how that matches your skills and interests.

It means they wanted to make the position work for you – not just any candidate.

Body language: According to Reed, many being interviewed do not notice positive body language

4. Were future projects mentioned?

How can you tell if your working relationship has a future? The interviewer would probably mention to you where it’s going.

If they talked about how they would use your expertise into their future projects, plans, and developments and brought in other members of the team to discuss, it is likely you are a top contender for the role.

Not only does it show that they can see you adding value by working there, it also means you made a good enough impression to actually last, according to Reed.

5. Did you meet the team?

An invitation to meet the team is essentially a colleague trial run to show if you would fit in well with the characters already bedded into the firm.

It also means you have probably impressed in the interview and the recruiter is keen to see how you interact with the team before they make a final decision.

The advice here is to to keep impressing by staying polite and friendly with everyone you meet.

It is also the perfect opportunity for you to get a feel of the working environment.

Something as simple as a tour of the office or a chat with your potential colleagues can often be enough to figure out if a workplace is really right for you – and again shows the interviewer is probably keen for you to start.

6. Did the interview overrun?

Interviewers are likely to be busy people – bosses and team leaders will have a number of day-to-day tasks sandwiched into their day.

Among interviews, appointments, meetings, and general tasks, free time is probably rare.

This means that they have to stick to their schedules and allocated timeframes… that is, unless it’s worth it, say experts at Reed.

If your interview ran over the scheduled running time, it is almost always a positive sign.

Not only do they want to learn more about you, they also don’t mind sacrificing their precious time for it.

7. Was a start date mentioned?

The key to figuring out whether the ‘start date’ question indicates your interview is going well is to focus on how it was delivered, according to Reed.

For example, if your interviewer quickly asked this in addition to a number of other generic questions – they are probably going through the motions.

However, if they asked it alone, and followed up with other questions and comments about your availability, it is likely to be a sign they are considering employing you and are willing to work around your schedule if necessary.

And if you get invited to a second interview…

The good news – they want to see you again. The bad news – you are going to have to do it all again.

If you are invited to a second interview straightaway, you can be sure you did a good job – especially if they ask you before the interview’s even over.

Although it might seem daunting to go through this process again, don’t let nerves make you forget the positives.

They already like you, so repeat the process again and you are bound to continue to impress those who matter in your potential new company.

A spokesman for Reed, concludes: ‘Even if you think a job interview went well, it’s a good idea to keep your options open and continue getting your CV out there.

‘Having some alternative applications to fall back on in case things don’t turn out as planned will keep your job search moving.

‘If you feel that the interview went badly, it’s important not to panic. Take the time to reflect on your performance and consider what you could do differently next time around.

‘It might not feel like it at the time, but every single interview you go to will teach you something different – so don’t miss out on an opportunity to learn.’

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