Walking out of an interview can be quite a relief after all the thorough preparation, nervous build-up and even practising in the mirror! However, the toughest part is often when you start to wonder how the meeting actually went. Reflecting on how you answered every single question could be just as stressful as preparing, so it’s worth having a checklist at hand for when you’re done.
1. How long were you talking to the company for?
Your recruiter may have already told you how long the interview should have lasted. Going over that time period is usually considered a good omen. Remember that your hiring manager’s time is valuable, especially when they are in the process of recruiting. So the fact that they’ve dedicating their time to learning more about you shows that they are clearly interested.
Consider if you felt like you were having a conversation rather than rehearsed when communicating your answers. Successfully building a good rapport with your potential employer demonstrates strong interpersonal skills and makes it easier for them to envision how you would fit in with the rest of the team.
2. How did the hiring manager refer to you?
You can take it as a good sign if the interviewer refers to you as “you” rather than “the successful candidate” when discussing the role. For example, saying “the successful candidate would be expected to…” implies some distance, whereas referring to when “you” are in the role is much warmer and engaged. See this as a sign that they are already imagining you at the company based on how you’ve come across.
3. Was there a sense of engagement from the interviewer?
Candidates always consider their own body language and how to present themselves, but have you ever noticed your interviewer’s body language? This can tend to give away an awful lot about the feel of the meeting. Movements including leaning forwards, smiling, nodding in agreement or uncrossed arms are all a sign that the hiring manager is comfortable with you.
4. Did they make you feel part of the team?
If your potential employer has a good feeling about you, you most likely will be introduced to other people in the business. It is a good sign if you were:
- introduced to other employees towards the end of the interview
- introduced to a director or c-suite executive
- able to meet with the decision-maker for any further rounds.
Take into account that your hiring manager will have done this consciously. They will know that giving you an introduction to additional members of their team demonstrates that they have confidence in you.
5. You know the next steps
Closing questions are just as beneficial to the employer as they are the candidate. Look out for these types of questions towards the end:
- Your notice period and possible start dates
- Your interest in the role
- Your commute time and distance
- Any other interviews you may have lined up
Also bear in mind that as the conversation comes to a close, you may be informed of what the next stage would be (i.e. the second interview or when you will hear back). This instantly shows that you are in with a chance and your hiring manager does not want you to lose interest.
6. Your recruiter is positive
When speaking to your recruiter afterwards, receiving good feedback from them implies that, while it may not be in the bag, your chances are still high.
So, while nothing is ever set in stone until you have a contract, you may find that the above signs show you did something right and were a strong contender. Find out from your recruiter what went well and what you can improve on for any future interviews, and these signs should soon point towards a solid offer.
For more information or to discuss your employment needs, please contact your local consultant.
About this author
Simon joined Hays in 2006, having commenced his recruitment career in 1993. Initially responsible for our businesses in Western Australia and Northern Territory, Simon relocated to the UK in 2014 where he was responsible for our operations in the West & Wales and Ireland, before being appointed Managing Director of the UK & Ireland business in 2018.