16 Signs That Your Job Interview Went Well (And 8 That It Went Badly)

By Sky Ariella and Experts
Jul. 6, 2022

If you went into an interview being told that it would only last about half an hour, and you’ve been speaking to the hiring manager for over an hour, that’s a good sign the interview is going well.

Conversely, if the interview stops right after it started, probably not the best sign.

Zippia helps over 5 million job candidates find jobs and get interviews every month. We’ve talked to numerous hiring managers and candidates throughout the years to see if there are patterns in interviews that you can use to identify when they are going well. And a handful of patterns that may indicate you should keep on applying elsewhere.

Here are 16 of the most common signs we see that the interview went well — and eight signs things aren’t going as smoothly as you’d like.

Key Takeaways:

  • Signs that the the interview went well:

    • The hiring manager is engaged in the conversation and it feels natural.

    • You receive positive feedback for your skills and accomplishments.

    • The hiring manager spends more than the allotted time on your interview, especially if you’re taken to meet other members of the team.

  • Signs the interview went badly:

    • The manager seems distracted or disinterested in the interview.

    • The conversation felt stiff, stilted, or unnatural.

    • The interview ended early.

Signs Your Interview Went Well

16 Signs Your Interview Went Well

  1. Positive Affirmations

    Pay close attention to how the hiring manager responds during the interview. After you’ve answered a question, do they give you a positive, neutral, or negative response?

    An enthusiastic interviewer can mean they’re excited about the possibility of hiring a strong candidate, like you. These cues can be both verbal and based on body language.

    Examples of positive affirmations from an interviewer include:

    • Nodding in agreement or understanding

    • Focus and interest in the conversation

    • Eye contact

    • Smiles, laughter, and other signs of genuine warmth

    • Using the word “impressive” to describe your background or skill set

    • Asking follow-up questions about your stories

  2. The Interview Ran Longer Than Expected

    If you went into an interview being told that it would only last about half an hour, and you were speaking to supervisors for over an hour, it’s probably a good sign that they’re invested in you as a candidate. Employers are busy, and won’t waste time on speaking further with a candidate who they aren’t interested in.

    An interviewer who speaks with you for even longer than the allotted time is engaged and intrigued by your potential. Taking extra valuable time out of their day to discuss your skills and experience speaks volumes about their commitment to hiring you.

  3. Tries to Sell You on the Job

    When an employer decides you’re an ideal employee, the tone of an interview can often shift from assessing your abilities to selling you on the job. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ve offered you the job yet. Selling you the job means that when they offer the job, you’ll be enticed to take it, and it can often be subtle.

    Selling you on the job could mean:

    • Describing your day-to-day activities with an especially positive spin

    • Telling you about the benefits package

    • Going into detail about company perks

    • Highlighting company culture in a way that mirrors you

  4. You’re Introduced to Different People

    A supervisor taking the time to introduce you to members of the team is a great sign that they were impressed with you during the interview. There’s no need to make introductions for people that aren’t in very close contention for the job.

    Meeting a few people from the company, either during the meeting or after, usually means that the interviewer wants a second (or third) person to discuss your candidacy with after the interview. It doesn’t mean you’re a shoo-in, but it’s definitely a good sign.

  5. The Interviewer Made an Effort to be Sure You Understand the Next Steps

    If the interviewer is mentioning what the next steps in the hiring process are, that’s a good sign. Informing you of what to expect is common courtesy, but if the hiring manager makes a point of being sure you understand what comes next and what to expect, it means they’re thinking of hiring you. Most especially if they focus on your your earliest start date and laying out or telling you about your exact responsibilities.

    Clarity is important in the workplace and an employer who wants to hire you will be sure you’re clear on the next steps of the hiring process. While the interview can seem like the major hurdle to get through, different jobs use various on-boarding techniques they want you to be prepared for. If a hiring manager is making you aware of these, it’s a good indication that the interview went well.

    Onboarding processes could include:

    • Recommendation and Reference checking

    • Background checks

    • Documents you may need to provide

    • Reviewing company policies

  6. The Interview Felt Like a Conversation

    It’s normal to feel anxious before an interview, but if the discussion flowed smoothly throughout once you got there, you probably made a good impression.

    Employers value interpersonal skills. Being able to maintain an engaging and natural conversation, even in the face of a stressful situation like a job interview. An interviewer you develop rapport with by the end is going to remember you for the right reasons.

  7. They Ask if You’re Thinking About Other Jobs

    At some point in the interview, a hiring manager may ask you one of the following questions:

    • “Are you considering any other positions?”

    • “How has your job search been going?”

    • “Have you interviewed anywhere else recently?”

    The questions can come off as casual, and simply being interested in your life. This isn’t the case. Employers don’t have time to worry about the lives of people they won’t be hiring.

    An interviewer asking about your job search or interest in other positions is curious about their competition hiring you. This is a sign that the interview went well and that they want to make you an offer before anyone else does.

    Bonus tip: we don’t recommend giving any specific companies when asked one of these questions. It might be annoyingly vague for interviewers to hear, but something along the lines of “exploring my options” is your best bet when asked.

  8. Speak as if You’re Already a Part of The Team

    An interviewer’s language can be very telling about their intentions of hiring you. A supervisor’s brain makes the switch from considering you as an applicant to wanting you as an employee during a successful interview.

    When this happens, you’ll find them speaking in terms of you already being a member of their organization. Once again, it’s subtle. They probably won’t come directly out and offer you the job, but they might say things like, “when you start…” instead of “if you get the position.”

    A hiring manager might also start naming team members that they’re excited for you to meet, even though you don’t have any interviews scheduled with them.

  9. You Answered Questions Fully

    The reason for interviewing candidates face-to-face (or via Zoom) is to assess their abilities and answers to tough questions in real-time. They’re measuring your comprehension, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills. If you provide a detailed answer to their question that stays on topic, it likely reflected well on you as a candidate.

    Don’t worry if you stumbled over one or two questions. If you really knocked some of the important ones out of the park and feel you described your qualifications completely, you should walk away feeling good about yourself.

  10. Your Questions Were Fully Answered

    On a similar note, it bodes well if the interviewer took the time to answer your questions about the job fully. If they seem preoccupied with easing any possible concerns you have about the job, it means that they’re trying to impress you rather than the other way around.

    Taking time to address your questions shows that they’re interested enough in you to explain things properly. When a hiring manager’s responses leave you feeling more confused than ever, and they don’t seem to care one way or another, that’s a bad sign — either the interview isn’t going well, or your interviewer isn’t representing the company very well.

  11. The Conversation is Balanced Between Talking about Your Experience And Specific Responsibilities Post-Hire

    An interview with intentions to hire is usually a healthy mix of talking about your previous experience and explaining the responsibilities of the new position. Once you’ve made it to this point in the hiring process, the interview will make or break your applicant profile.

    If an interview is going well, the hiring manager will want to make you aware of what your future job will be like. Noticing that your interview was distinctly split up into talking about yourself and the supervisor talking about your role in the company is a good hint that they’re strongly considering hiring you.

  12. The Interview Gives You a Tour of the Office

    A supervisor giving you a tour of the office is another example of them taking time to prepare you. A tour shows you in which you meet coworkers, and see the space you could be working in is a lot of effort to extend for a candidate they’re not planning on hiring.

    This could be a strong signal that they’re happy with the interview and want you to get familiar with the environment.

  13. You’re Told When You’ll Be Notified About The Position

    If you find yourself leaving an interview without being given any idea of when you’ll hear back about the job, they’re likely more interested in other applicants. Employers will usually provide their strongest candidates with a time-frame for notification so that they can prepare for onboarding accordingly.

    Of course, all professional companies should follow up when they say they will, regardless of if you’re offered a job. It’s the enthusiasm, specificity, and unsolicited assurance that stand out as excellent signs.

  14. The Interviewer Mentions Potential for Advancement

  15. This is both a matter of selling you on the position and making it clear that they’re looking to have you work for them long term. Employers like candidates that commit to the company and the team. It usually also shows that they’re impressed with your and your credentials, as they can see you in a higher level role.

  16. Talks about Your Specific Responsibilities

    When you’re applying for a job, you probably have a broad idea about what the position will entail. A hiring manager will get more into details about your specific responsibilities if they’re impressed with you during the interview.

    If you find an interviewer getting more specific about large and small tasks involved in the job, there’s a good chance they’re strongly considering hiring you.

  17. Exchanging Contact Information

    At the end of the interview, the hiring manager could supply you with their business card or general contact information. This is a great sign that they think the interview went well. There’s no need to give you resources for getting in touch if they don’t think you’re a good fit for the position.

    Make good use of the interviewer’s contact information. Reach out with a follow-up email that thanks them for taking the time to meet with you. A strong and professional follow-up phone call or email has the potential to secure you the job.

Here’s the expert opinion on how to know whether your job interview went well:

Tips For Understanding If Your Job Interview Went Well

Candace Barr
Owner Executive Resume Writer, Strategic Resume Specialists

I believe in a simple solution: ask. At the end of the interview, ask about the company’s hiring process, next steps, and what to expect. Typically, lack of interest becomes pretty obvious at this point, but even if it doesn’t, you’ll have a timeline for follow-up. This helps reduce uncertainty and associated anxiety. It also gives you an excellent reason to check-in and follow-up appropriately.

Great Places To Work Hiring Now

These five companies are hiring now:

  1. Twitter Jobs

  2. Bright Horizons Jobs

  3. Facebook Jobs

  4. Lyft Jobs

  5. UPS Jobs

8 Signs a Job Interview Didn’t Go Well

Not every job interview is going to be a home run or land you the position. There are external factors that can contribute to not giving your best performance, and that’s okay. There will always be more interviews and great jobs. If you’re at a loss for the status of your interview after reading the positive signs above, consider the following indications that it didn’t go well.

  1. It Ends Sooner than Expected

    Employers conduct interviews on a set schedule for a reason. There’s a lot of questions and information that they have to cover before the end of the interview. Going in for an interview and leaving thirty minutes before your allotted end time isn’t the best sign. It could mean that with your answers to the initial questions, the interviewer has already ruled you out as a potential employee.

  2. The Interviewer Listed Concerns

  3. This isn’t inherently a deal breaker, as if you can address their misgivings you could still be offered the job. However, if the interviewer is going through your resume and picking out issues, then it’s likely they don’t see you as a good fit for the position. This is especially true if they mention potential problems with you fitting into the company culture.

  4. They Don’t Give Specifics

    When a supervisor interviews an applicant that they want to hire, they make sure to provide them with lots of enticing information about their potential position. If you’re leaving an interview without any new information about your responsibilities or start date, it’s not the greatest sign.

    An interviewer who isn’t giving any specifics about the company is usually disengaged from the discussion and ready to move on to the next candidate.

  5. The Interview Feels like Business

    A successful interview will often flow effortlessly. Almost as if the interviewer and applicant are engaging in a regular discussion. An interview that feels tense or uncomfortable for you is usually also being felt by the interviewer.

    The level of casualness can depend on the person interviewing you, however, there should be some rapport. An interview that feels stiff is often negative.

  6. The Interviewer Seems Uninterested or Distracted

    Hiring a brand new employee is exciting for companies. It brings new talents and skills into their organization. During an interview, this enthusiasm should be evident. In a successful interview, the hiring manager is highly interested in your answers and their focus is completely on you because they want to know that you can fulfill the position effectively.

    If you aren’t receiving this kind of undivided attention from an interviewer, it could be a bad sign that they’ve already moved on in their mind.

  7. The Interviewer Mentions Other Candidates

    When an interviewer is engaging with a candidate that they believe is their ideal employee, that’s the only thing on the forefront of their mind. There’s no need to discuss anyone else if you’re the best person for the job.

    If you find that your hiring manager is bringing up other skilled applicants during your interview, it probably means that’s the direction they’re leaning in. It’s also incredibly unprofessional, so you may have dodged a bullet by not getting this particular job offer.

  8. The Interviewer Kept Mentioning Negative Aspects of the Job

  9. This could be an issue in a couple of different ways. If the hiring manager is very negative about the position, it could mean that they don’t think it would suit your skill set or personality. As being able to fit into the team and environment of a position are very important aspects of an interview, that could easily be a deal breaker.

    It could also mean that it’s an unpleasant working environment and the interviewer is warning you about taking the job. If this is the case, then it’s definitely a good idea to look elsewhere.

    If you get a chance, it’s good to look in other parts of the office and at other employees to get an idea of what the place feels like. Of course, if the interview’s not going well, this is less likely to happen — but interviews do typically take place in the office.

  10. They Don’t Mention The Next Steps

    When a hiring manager is passionate about hiring a candidate, they want to give them all the information they could possibly need about the position. It saves time and makes the transition from applicant to employee much smoother.

    This information could include when you’ll hear back from them after the interview, providing contact information, and what you should expect to happen throughout the onboarding process. In an interview that isn’t going well, the supervisor won’t tell you the next steps because they already know that they’re more interested in other applicants.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five most in demand jobs right now:

  1. Registered Nurse Jobs

  2. Truck Driver Jobs

  3. Call Center Representative Jobs

  4. Customer Service Representative Jobs

  5. Delivery Driver Jobs

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Author

Sky Ariella

Sky Ariella is a professional freelance writer, originally from New York. She has been featured on websites and online magazines covering topics in career, travel, and lifestyle. She received her BA in psychology from Hunter College.

Expert

Denise Bitler, CPRW, CDBW, MRW

Denise Bitler has 30+ years of HR experience working in various industries and with all level of employees from hourly through C-suite, as well as company Board Members.She is the founder of Resume-Interview Success, LLC and is an expert in best practices related to resume, cover letter, and Executive bio writing, LinkedIn Profile optimization, job search strategies, and interview coaching.

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