Interviews can be difficult to read. Sometimes, you leave feeling like a superstar who just finished the performance of their lifetime or like you just blew the opportunity.
Other times, you’re not even sure how to feel and all you can do is fold your hands, painfully waiting for the inevitable good news or rejection. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
There are methods you can use to tell if your interview went well and predict your chances of getting the job.
In this article, we’ll be sharing some telltale signs to watch for that suggest your interview was successful and that you’re likely to receive an offer.
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At the start of the interview, the hiring manager or interviewers may try to appear unbiased by using neutral and non-specific language. They might say things like “the successful candidate will…” or “if you join us…”.
But sometimes when they consider you an ideal candidate and can imagine you in the role, their language unwittingly changes from generalities to more specific speech. They might start speaking directly to you and saying “you will” instead of referring to “the candidate”.
They might also start using “when” rather than “if” like “when you get an offer” or “once you settle into the role”. This kind of favorable language is usually an indicator that the interview is going well and the hikers are interested in having you come work for them.
It shows that the interviewer thinks you will make a valuable addition to the company, which means the chances of you getting the job just went up exponentially.
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Interviews are almost clinical in the way they run. The interviewer always prepares a bunch of questions ahead of time that they will use to determine whether you’re the right person for the role.
It typically takes about 30 minutes for them to ask their questions and evaluate your responses to get a sense of your experience and personality. Interviewers do not enjoy wasting time because they have other things to do so if they don’t think you’re right for the position, they will probably cut the interview short.
However, if they are enjoying the conversation and asking follow-up questions based on your responses, they may keep the interview going for longer so they can get to know more about you.
So, if your interview goes on for longer than anticipated, especially when you were only speaking to a single interviewer, that’s a good sign that you made a strong impression and an offer might be on the horizon.
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Although interviews are about determining your abilities as well as confirming that you are a fit for the company’s culture, interviewers won’t bother introducing you to other employees unless they consider you a top prospect.
If they believe that you have the potential to do well in the position, the interviewer might feel compelled to test how you interact with your prospective team members.
They might even give you a full tour of the office to give you a glimpse into what the environment is like and help you envision being a part of the team.
This is a perfect opportunity to reiterate your interest in the company, ask relevant questions, and show that you fit right in with your would-be coworkers. Being actively engaged in the process will only improve your odds of getting an offer.
Also Read: How To Respond To An Interview Request?
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When the recruiter or hiring manager realizes that you’re a strong candidate for the role, they will go from just evaluating your abilities to promoting the merits of the company.
They will try to sell you on the job so that when they make you an offer, you’ll be tempted to accept it.
The interviewer may start talking about how much they love working at the company, how great the organizational culture is, the benefits & perks that employees enjoy, or how beneficial the role/company could be to your career.
If the recruiter is doing these things with you, it means that they are considering you for the role and want you to come work for them.
Also Read: Zoom Interview Etiquettes & Tips
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It’s always a good idea to send a thank-you email after a job interview to say how grateful you were for the opportunity and reemphasize your interest in the role and the company.
The length of time it takes for the interviewer or HR personnel to write you back can be a good way of gauging where you stand.
A fast response could mean that things are looking good, and taking forever to respond or not responding at all could mean that it’s time to move on and start chasing after other interviews.
Keep in mind that the tone or content of their message is just as important as how quickly they reply.
If their message is enthusiastic or expresses excitement and appreciation for getting to interview you rather than being curt and perfunctory, then you’ll probably be getting good news soon.
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An interviewer giving you their phone number, business card, or even sending you a request on LinkedIn is a good sign that they were impressed by you and want to stay in touch.
Usually, it’s candidates who go about sending LinkedIn invites and handing out their contact details, recruiters don’t do that for just anybody.
So if they’re making this gesture, it means you’re in the door and an offer might not be far off. Clearly, the interviewer wants to keep you engaged because they are considering you for the position, a future role, or something else.
By giving you a way of reaching out to them directly without having to go through formal channels, they are making it easier for you to follow up with any questions or concerns you might have in the course of the hiring process.
Also Read: Things Not To Say In An Exit Interview
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The interviewer’s body language can give you clues about how they feel about you and how well the interview is going.
If they are smiling, making eye contact, tilting their head, leaning in, nodding their heads, or chiming in with positive affirmations when you speak, it could mean that they find you engaging.
Open body language can be an indicator that they’re interested in what you have to say, so you can relax a little and take comfort in the knowledge that things are going well.
It could also mean that the interviewer feels relaxed and comfortable in your presence, which will play in your favor because it shows that they’ll work well with you.
Keep in mind that body language alone is not enough to determine whether you are getting the job or not, but it’s a good sign to watch out for.
Also Read: Why Should We Hire You With No Experience?
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The atmosphere of a job interview is usually very formal because it’s an opportunity to gauge how professional both parties are. The conversation always starts out seriously with the interviewer asking you prearranged questions to assess your skills and suitability for the role.
So if your interview deviates from asking you professional questions to more casual topics, it might mean that they’re satisfied with the way you’ve answered the professional questions so far.
Now, they want to get to know the person behind the professional so they’re shifting towards personal questions that are not related to the job.
They might ask you about your hobbies, passion projects, and even follow up with more questions to understand you better based on your responses. Getting to this point in an interview bodes well for you and your chances of joining the company.
Check Out: What To Wear For Zoom Interview?
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It can be so annoying and nerve-wracking when you are left to wonder what comes next after an interview and you have to wait around for the recruiter to follow up with more information.
So if the interviewer takes the time to walk you through the rest of the hiring process during the interview, it means they believe you’re a contender for the role. You won’t have to ask them what to expect or reach out to find out about the status of the interview if they are keen to hire you.
They will willingly volunteer this information because they want to provide as much clarity as they can about the process to keep you motivated and interested.
They want you to be prepared for the next steps so they will make a point of ensuring you understand the hurdles you will have to get through before the company can make you an offer.
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Another good sign that you will get the job after an interview is when the recruiter spends time answering your questions and discussing any concerns you have about the role and company during the interview.
It shows that they care about what you think and they want to leave you with a good impression of the job by providing sufficient information to put your mind at ease.
They don’t want you to experience confusion about any part of the process, what the role entails, or what your time with the company would look like because it might cause you to lose interest in joining them. So they’ll take extra care to walk you through things.
Also Read: Why Should We Hire You? Best Answers
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Interviewers are not in the habit of giving compliments just for the sake of it or lying about how they feel about your qualifications so as not to hurt your feelings.
So if an interviewer is visibly impressed with you or they come right out to say how much they admire your experience, skills, or work history, it’s a good sign that they’re thinking about hiring you.
It means that they see the value you bring to the table and they’re more likely to come back with an offer. Feel free to congratulate yourself for nailing the interview and wait for the good news to come.
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When a hiring manager starts talking about the growth paths within the company for the position you’re applying for, they’re trying to do things: sell you on the organization and demonstrate that they want you to stick around for a long time.
They know that candidates love working in companies with serious potential for growth and they want to show you that they’re such a company. They wouldn’t be doing this if they weren’t interested in bringing you on board or if they don’t see you having a future with the company.
So keep an eye out for interviewers who take the time to map out growth paths in the company for you and take it as a sign that you’re on the cusp of getting the job.
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko
Some companies have an extended hiring process that involves multiple rounds of interviews with different members of the organization before an offer is generated.
In such cases, the best sign that you did well in the current interview and are still in the running for the job is when you get asked to join the next phase of interviews.
The recruiter wouldn’t waste their time inviting you to another stage of interviews if they don’t think you have the potential to make it to the end and eventually fill the position.
But remember that simply making it to the next round isn’t a guarantee that you’ve gotten the job, so don’t rest on your oars just yet. You need to prepare for the next interview and make sure you make an even stronger impression than you did the first time around.
Also Read: What To Include In A Cover Letter For A Job?
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Interviewers have a set list of questions that they intend to ask everyone who applies for the role and gets invited to an interview.
The plan is to get through these questions and assess your abilities as quickly as possible so they can move on to the next candidate or task on their plate.
The only times they will deviate from the script they’ve prepared is when they come across a candidate that really strikes them as a good fit.
So instead of being satisfied with the regular questions and the answers you give, they will take a deeper interest in you and ask more clarifying questions to get to know you better.
They will ask for more details about your experience, skills, employment history, and even your interests. So if your interviewer is probing deeper, it means you’ve caught their interest and you’re a front-runner for the job.
Check Out: LinkedIn vs Indeed
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When an interviewer is interested in you and looking forward to you joining the company, it might manifest through subtle changes in their language and behavior towards you.
They might start mentioning the people you’d be working with when you get hired by name and describing the kind of challenges you’d be solving for the company.
Also, they may share some of the issues the company is currently struggling with, as well as future plans and aspirations because, in their mind, you’re already a member of the team.
So they will start speaking with more certainty and less probability, saying things like “when you get to know the engineering team” instead of “if you are hired.”
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Interviewers like or keep the interviews as short as possible. If they are taking the time to supply specific details about the position and the organization, it’s probably because you’re nailing the interview and they’re excited to demonstrate that the job would be the right fit for you.
When an interviewer can imagine you in the role, they are more likely to offer up additional information about the role like who you would be reporting to or working with and the tools you will use to carry out your responsibilities.
They might even explain what your typical say in the role would like, the specific problems you’d be solving, and how you will leverage your expertise to help the company attain its goals.
Also Read: Questions To Ask At The End Of An Interview
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Chances are you already have a job with contractual expectations mandating you to provide ample notice to the company before resigning.
Hiring managers know this but they’re not going to bother inquiring about your notice period unless they think you are suitable for the role.
Having a conversation about your availability—when you can resume or the length of your notice period—signifies that the interview went really well and they’re thinking about extending you an offer.
Be sincere and practical about when you can resume so they can tailor their expectations accordingly.
However, that doesn’t mean you should go rushing to put in your notice. Wait to receive and sign the job offer first before resigning from your current position and preparing to begin your new role.
Also Read: Part Time vs Full-time
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Salary negotiations are usually left to the final stage of the hiring process. Most interviewers won’t attempt to talk about pay or find out your salary expectations unless they’ve decided that you’re a good fit and they’re thinking about asking you to join the company.
So if at some point during your interview, the discussion shifts towards numbers, it’s a good sign that you’re in the running for the role. Another strong indicator of an impending job offer is if the interviewer talks about the employee perks and benefits that the company offers.
It means that they’re trying to entice you and convince you to come on board by mentioning the many wonderful things like remote work, paid time off, bonuses, grants, fully-catered meals, and more that you can enjoy if you work for them.
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Is your interviewer curious about other places you are interviewing at or job offers that you’re considering? That could be a way for them to assess how enthusiastic you are about joining the company, how quickly they have to make you an offer, and how likely you are to accept the offer if given one.
It’s a sign that the company is interested in you and is thinking about making a move, but they want to get a sense of the competition first.
If you get this question, the best way to answer is to explain that you’re keeping your options open but that you are most enthusiastic about the company and are hoping that you end up working there.
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Hiring consumes a lot of resources—time, effort, and money—that recruiters aren’t willing to waste following up or doing background checks on just any candidate.
If they’re asking for references at the interview or reaching out to references you provided earlier after the interview, they see you as a top prospect.
They are interested enough to want to find out more about you, understand what kind of colleague/employee you are in the workplace, and confirm that you are who you say you are or have done the things you say you have done.
Checking out references is typically done towards the end of the hiring process when the company is considering making an offer. So if you’re at this point, it’s a telltale sign that you are very close to getting the job.
Also Read: Indeed vs Monster
By paying attention to these signs, you can get an accurate read on how well your interview went and better understand your chances of landing the job.
No matter how good an impression you feel you made during the interview, bear in mind that nothing is guaranteed until you actually receive an offer.
So don’t shut other doors just yet; keep preparing for future interviews and putting your best step forward each time.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.