5 Signs That Your Interview is Going Well
Looking for a new job, applying for it, and securing an interview is a strenuous process, so if you have yourself an upcoming interview – Congratulations!
The not-so-exciting news is that you’re not even half way there until your first day at your brand-new job. This interview is important and you need to impress the socks off the interviewer! By now you’ve probably done enough interview prep to know all the “right” things to say and do during the interview. Now, what would come in handy is to know how to gauge the interviewer’s attitude, to see if you have indeed impress their socks off.
Disclaimer: Don’t go quitting your current job before you hear back from the interviewer based on this article. This is a general guideline to help provide yourself some feedback after and during an interview. Even after a mind-blowingly successful interview, you may still not get the job depending on other factors such as salary rates, starting date availability, and any other change of circumstances.
Now with that said, let’s get started on the positive signs during an interview that indicate that it’s going well.
1. The interviewer is asking a lot of follow-up questions.
Going through your CV, the interviewer asks you about your role in the previous/current company. Once you answer, if instead of nodding and moving onto the next question, the interviewer asks you several follow-up questions, it’s a pretty good sign that you’re doing a good job at answering the questions.
Something that you need to distinguish here however, is whether or not the interviewer is asking you a lot of questions because you’re not giving them enough content in your answers.
Interviewer: “How long did you work at XYZ for?”
You: “I worked at XYZ for around 3 years.”
Interviewer: “What was the reason you left?”
You: “I thought it was time for a change since I’d been in the same industry for a long time.”
Interviewer: “What about the industry or the job made you want a change?”
While this could be an OK interview conversation, the follow-up questions by the interviewer are not exactly intrigued, “I want to know more about you” type of questions. All these follow-up questions could have been answered when you were asked the first question.
Instead, what you want is follow-up questions that stem from wanting to dig deeper into what you just mentioned a second ago about something that you achieved at XYZ. “Oh, wow, sounds like it must have been really challenging – How did you manage to turn it around in the end?”
2. The interviewer is nodding and smiling.
It’s all the positive body language signs you’ve read in countless other articles. Smiling, nodding, leaning towards you, making eye contact, and so on. If your interviewer is showing these signs during the interview, you’ve got their attention and curiosity. They’re listening intently to what you’re saying, they’re wanting to hear more or tell you more, and they’re enjoying this interview.
Taking this opportunity, ensure that you’re displaying the same positive body language, too. Smile and speak confidently, and nod along to what they’re saying or asking. Another great way to engage them is to validate their question or opinion by repeating it, and ask to explain further. Also, don’t miss the opportunity to ask the interviewer about their own experiences. Remember, positive engagement is all about immediate feedback, so if your interviewer mentions something about their role in passing, express your genuine curiosity.
As usual however, there are always ways that you could mistake their body language for something that it’s not. These positive gestures are pretty hard to miss or mistake, but keep in mind that interviewers are people, too, and that means they might just be a super friendly person and think you seem like a great person, too.
3. The interviewer is asking you about your personal interests.
A lot of people put their hobbies and personal interests on their CV. Generally, the reason hobbies are added is to share a personal side of you to the hiring manager, and let them see that you’re an interesting person living a fulfilling life. More often than not, though, these things never get talked about during interviews. While it could be that it’s not relevant to the current interview stage or discussion, or that the interviewer personally doesn’t believe it’s an important thing to discuss, it’s always a good sign if the interviewer shows interest in what you like to spend your spare time doing.
With this question, it’s most likely that they’re trying to gauge what you’re like as a person other than your fantastic interview attitude, and how you would fit into the work culture. Perhaps there is a fortnightly office fitness club that you could be a good fit for? Or maybe it’s common to all go and enjoy a drink on Friday afternoons.
Something to keep in mind here is that you should answer confidently and genuinely. Don’t let your judgement of the interviewer or the vibe of the office get in the way of you showcasing yourself in the most genuine way. At the end of the day, confidence is what matters, and if you say you’re an exercise junkie and you get this job, be prepared to get invited to play sports once in a while!
4. The interviewer is telling you how your experience relates to the vacant position.
You’ve now talked a bit about yourself and answered and asked a few questions. The interviewer starts talking about the specifics of the vacant position and what kind of responsibilities it entails. Have you noticed that the interviewer keeps relating the role to your professional experience? If the interviewer is specifically talking about how your knowledge, strength and experience can be utilised in the role, it’s a pretty good sign that they are imagining you in the role and how you will own it.
For example, instead of saying “this position will manage and supervise a large team,” they say “your experience in managing a team of 35 will be useful in this position as you’ll have a large team of around 30.” Or instead of “this position requires collaborating very closely with the accounts team,” it’s “your education in finances is perfect for this role and you’ll be able to work really closely and effectively with our accounts team.”
If your interviewer has started to talk about the role as if you’ve already taken it, then don’t let this opportunity slip away and ask specific questions as if this is your first day on the job. Ask about the team you’ll be managing and what their skill levels are or how much training they’re having on a regular basis, and ask about the other departments you’ll be working with and a little bit about the kind of projects that will require collaboration. For a bonus, throw in some of your ideas or suggestions too, or just some general comments: “Oh, it sounds like the team members work really well together. I’d love to get their ideas on what kind of training they want to do.”
5. The interviewer is eager to book in the second interview.
Towards the end of the interview, if you notice that the interviewer is eager to schedule the next interview or a follow-up discussion with you, you should feel a lot more relaxed and proud of yourself as there probably isn’t a better sign that your interview is going or went really well. This is especially the case if the next interview is with a higher-up and they’re eager to introduce you to them.
While it might be policy to have follow-up interviews, it’s obvious that if you didn’t make a good impression then you wouldn’t be shortlisted to go through to the next round. A bonus sign is if the interviewer can actually book it in right then and there, saving you the 1-2 weeks of waiting and sending follow-up emails asking to schedule the second interview. Once you get the commitment to the second interview on the spot, you can now focus on the next stage, knowing that you’re now one step closer to the new job.
A suggestion here is to ask the interviewer who the next interview is with, and ask a bit about the person that will be interviewing you if it seems appropriate to. Ask if the interviewer will be joining the next one as if you really want to see them again. And at the end of the interview, don’t let the excitement after a great interview make you forget to thank the interviewer for their part. Give them proper and genuine thanks instead of a mere “thank you for seeing me today.”
The above 5 points are a good way of telling whether or not you did a good job at the interview. If you receive these responses from your interviewer then you probably did indeed impress their socks off, and well done!
However, don’t worry if your interviewer isn’t displaying any of these signs. People have different interview styles and personalities, and if your interview went well, you’ll probably know at the end of it even without these signs.