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Written by Charlotte GraingerCharlotte Grainger

13 Signs an interview went well & the red flags that it went badly

13 min read
13 Signs an interview went well & the red flags that it went badly
During the hiring process, there are many nerve-wracking stages. Perhaps the most stressful of all is the interview. Once it’s over, you may be wondering how you did. In this guide, we take a look at the telltale signs an interview went well.

Worried you’re about to get “ghosted”? You’re not alone. Prospective employers leaving candidates hanging after an interview is becoming more and more common. According to a report by Glassdoor, this concerning trend has more than doubled since the pandemic. 

When you’ve gone through a likely rigorous interview process only to hear nothing, it can be disheartening. Worse still, is the scenario when you’re certain that you have the job in the bag, and the recruiter calls you with some bad news. So, how do you know when you’ve done well?

You can’t read the interviewer’s mind and you don’t have a crystal ball to see into the future. However, you can look out for the signs that an interview went well. In the following guide, we will be covering these core subjects: 

  • The top 13 signs that an interview went well
  • Red flags that may mean your interview went badly
  • How you can improve your interview skills
Expert tip

Want to ace your next interview? You’ve come to the right place. Check out our complete interview guide now for all of the expert-backed advice that you need.

13 Signs your interview went well 

First up, let’s take a look at the signs that an interview went well. If you’ve given this step of the process your all, you may be eager to find out if you were successful. Here are some of the telltale things that you should be on the lookout for.

1. The interviewer’s body language was good

More than half of all communication is nonverbal. People give cues—including facial expressions and body language—that tell you how they really feel. During an interview, pay close attention to the interviewer’s body language. Is it positive? Is it warm? Are they welcoming your presence with their body language? If the answer is yes, you may be onto a winner here.

2. The interview lasted a while 

Perhaps one of the most obvious signs of a good interview is that it lasted a long time. We’ve all heard the old saying “time is money”. If the prospective employer wanted to talk to you for a while, they have already invested in you. That means that they believed it was worth getting to know you on a deeper level, find out more about your skills, and share details of the role. 

3. The conversation was flowing well 

Time flies when the conversation is flowing. When you’re in an interview that is going well, you will hardly notice the minutes ticking by. Both you and the interviewer have a lot to say and every part of the discussion feels like a natural progression from the last. When you feel entirely comfortable during an interview, that is one of the signs the interview went well.

4. You were introduced to the team 

After the interview took place, were you introduced to members of the team? Perhaps the hiring manager called in your would-be manager or you were given a tour of the office. When this happens during your interview, it is often a sign that you have nailed the process. The interviewer is already eager to have you meet the people you may be working with soon. 

5. The interviewer gave you details of the role

During any interview, you should take the opportunity to ask about the specific duties of the role. The more information you can gain about what you may be doing in this position, the better. Listen closely to what the interviewer has to say. If they give you a somewhat vague answer, that is a bad sign. However, should they go into detail about the everyday tasks of the role, that may be because they think that you are a good fit for the job.

6. They mentioned advancement opportunities 

We all want to climb the career ladder. When you’re thinking about how to know if an interview went well, here’s a sign that you shouldn’t miss out. If the interviewer mentions the chance of career advancement, that means that they are interested in you. This approach shows that the hiring manager wants you to take any potential offer that you get seriously.

7. You’re questions were answered fully 

As part of any traditional interview, you will get the opportunity to ask some questions of your own. When you do this, see whether the interviewer takes the time to answer each of your enquiries fully. If you are a top candidate, they will want to give you as much information as they can. On the other hand, if they brush you off with limited information, that’s a bad sign.

8. The interview process felt relaxed

Quick question: How did you feel during the interview process? If you found that it was relaxing and you were at ease, that is one of the best signs an interview went well. In this case, it shows that the hiring manager did everything in their power to make it a comfortable scenario. Not only does that mean that you’re in with a real shot, it also indicates a positive workplace culture. 

9. The interviewer seemed genuinely interested

While it may be that many people have a say on whether you get hired, pay attention to how the interviewer responds to you. If they seem to be genuinely interested in you and your experience, that is one of the signs that the interview went well. For example, you might feel that you have a natural rapport with the interviewer during the conversation. In that case, it could be that the hiring manager has taken a shine to you.

10. You get positive responses

While we’re on the topic of how the interviewer acts around you, here’s another of the signs that an interview went well. After you answer each of the grueling interview questions, how does the interviewer respond? If they are enthusiastic about your answers—for instance, if they are nodding and smiling as you speak—that is a positive sign. Bonus points if the hiring manager ends up asking you to expand on an answer that you have already given, too. 

11. The interviewer “sells” the company to you

Interviews are a two-way street. Yes, the interviewer is figuring out whether you are right for the job, but you have a decision to make too. When you are going through the process, you should be considering whether this is the right workplace for you. With that in mind, take the time to notice whether the interviewer tries to sell the company to you. If they are hyping up the position and the business in general, there’s a good chance that they want you onboard pronto. 

12. They are clear about the next steps 

Okay, the interview has almost come to an end, what happens next? If the interviewer maps out the next stages in the process, you can almost guarantee that you have passed the test. The interviewer is giving you a heads-up about what you can expect to happen. When we talk about how to know if an interview went well, this is one of the biggest tells to look for. It’s especially good news if you find that the hiring manager offers this information unprompted.

13. They say you will hear from them specifically

Toward the end of the interview process, the hiring manager may say who will be in touch next. If they say the recruiter will give you feedback, that may mean that you’re not the best fit for the job. However, should they say that they will be in touch with you, that could be one of the major signs that an interview went well. It’s even more encouraging if they give you details of when you can expect to hear from them, for example “in a few days” or “by the end of the week”. 

Red flags during an interview 

We’ve covered the main signs that an interview went well, but how do you know if it didn’t? If the interview is going nowhere fast, there are some red flags that you will see almost immediately. Let’s take a look at some of the signs that the hiring manager is simply not interested in you. 

The interview felt rushed and short 

Did the interviewer rush you through the questions? If you felt as though they were just trying to get to the end of the process, that is a bad sign. It shows that the interviewer didn’t have any intention of getting to know you and understand whether you are the right fit for the role. While it is hard, try not to take this snub too personally. There could be a whole host of reasons for it.

You didn’t get much information 

If the hiring manager is being somewhat cagey about the information that they give, that is a red flag. When an interviewer is interested in you as a candidate, they will want to share as much detail about the role as they can at this stage. So, should you find that you are getting short answers, it may well mean that they don’t believe you are right for this particular position. 

The interviewer was cold

Shall we circle back to the body language conversation? When an interviewer appears to be cold—for instance, perhaps they keep their arms crossed throughout the conversation—that is a bad sign. You want the hiring manager to warm to you and speak to you in an approachable way. If that is simply not happening, it may be a sign that this isn’t the right job for you. 

The interviewer shared concerns

Of course, the most obvious red flag is if the interviewer themselves shares concerns with you. During the interview, they may be so candid as to say that they are unsure you are right for the job. This can be difficult to hear, especially if you have pinned your hopes and dreams on the role. When faced with this reality, ask for more information. You may be able to learn, develop, and improve so that you can successfully apply for similar roles in the future. 

How to improve your interview skills

Want to boost your chances of success? Of course, you do. If you’re looking for a way to get ahead of the competition, it’s smart to improve your job interview skills. Let’s take a look at some of the simple approaches you can use to help you do just that.

  • Prepare in advance. When you get invited for an invitation, the work begins. Make sure you prepare in advance, do some practice questions, and research the business, too.
  • Be confident (or fake it!). Confidence matters when you are in an interview scenario. No one wants to hire a nervous candidate. Look into ways to become more confident or, at the very least, fake it until you make it.
  • Be grateful and interested. During the interview, make sure you show that you are genuinely interested in the role. Also mention that you are grateful for the opportunity.

Once the interview is over, make sure that you send a quick follow-up letter or email. You can do this a few days after the interview to make sure you are at the forefront of the hiring manager’s mind when they are making this decision.

Key takeaways 

  • The truth is that it’s hard to know whether an interview went well. However, there are some telltale signs that you can lookout for.
  • If the interview lasts a long time and you’re getting loads of information about the role, that means that your chances of receiving an offer are high.
  • Keep in mind that there are many factors that determine whether you land a position. If you don’t make it this time, try, try, and try again.
  • Be sure to boost your interview skills before you attend your next job interview!
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