Your last job interview seemed promising. You answered all the interviewer’s questions and thought you did a masterful job explaining how your administrative experience matches the company’s needs. You even shared a laugh about the strange things dogs do after realizing you and the hiring manager both have furry friends at home. Everything indicates that you rocked the interview! But did you really make as strong an impression as you think? Who knows how to tell if a job interview went well for sure?
Let’s face it, leaving a job interview can be as unnerving as preparing for one. When you walk out the door, it’s easy to begin second-guessing yourself. You did pause for a couple extra moments before answering the third question. And was that joke about the dog park actually funny?
Spend too much time trying to put yourself inside the hiring manager’s mind and you’ll drive yourself crazy. Still, it would be nice to know how to tell if a job interview went well. Compare your experience with the following seven signs to determine whether you aced your interview.
1. The interview runs longer than planned
The interview schedule is normally a tight fit, with candidates slotted in between existing meetings and other commitments. If an interview runs over by more than a few minutes, it’s typically a good sign. It indicates the interviewer likes what they hear and has more questions.
2. You feel a rapport with the interviewer
This is a key factor in knowing how to tell if it was a good interview. Typically, you can sense when you click with someone. The conversation flows a little more smoothly. Your witty comments are greeted with a smile or small laugh. If it feels like the interviewer could be an old friend, that’s a clear sign the job interview is going well. It’s also an excellent indication that you’ll mesh with the company’s work environment if offered the job.
3. The interviewer has positive body language
Not sure if you’ve developed rapport or not? Evaluate your interviewer’s body language. Smiling, leaning forward and making eye contact are all good signs that the interviewer is engaged and interested in you and what you are saying.
4. You’re asked about other job prospects
When interviewers ask whether you’re interviewing for administrative jobs elsewhere, they’re trying to get an idea of how in demand you are and how quickly they need to move you to the next stage of the hiring process. They may be feeling pressure to prevent you from slipping away. If they schedule that second interview before ending the first, you’re definitely in consideration for the position.
5. You’re invited to meet potential company colleagues or other decision-makers
You know an interview is going well when interviewers start introducing you to people who weren't on the schedule. At this point, you’re being evaluated as a potential colleague. Be friendly to everyone you meet so you make a good impression on them as well. Also use the opportunity to ask questions to get a better sense of what the corporate culture is like. Are these people you think you could work with each day?
6. The interviewer invites you to call or email with questions about the position
Handing out a business card can be a good sign, but is standard at some companies. Pay attention to what the interviewer says when handing you a card. “Here’s my direct line and email address; don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions,” likely means you’re on track for a second interview. “Let me know if you’re called to interview anywhere else” or “Be sure to contact me if you receive an offer from another employer” indicates there is serious interest on the hiring manager's part.
7. You’re asked for references
If this happens on your first interview, it means the company is seriously impressed and looking to fast-track the process. So before interviewing, be sure you’ve lined up a strong roster of professional references and they are ready to take calls from potential employers. Some interviewers may want to check your credit report as well, and that can also be a good sign that you’re being considered for the position.
Whether or not you see the signs above, you’ll know how to tell if a job interview went well the next time you meet with a hiring manager. And sometimes simply knowing where you stand with a potential employer is enough to keep that second guessing at bay.
A key part of the job search process is knowing how to negotiate the right starting salary when a job offer comes. Download your free copy of the OfficeTeam Salary Guide for compensation data on more than 60 administrative positions.