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 How Do I Know It Went Well?

By Joe Stein

The time between the interview and when you hear from a prospective employer can be an excruciating experience for a Job Seeker. In this edition, I will attempt to help alleviate some of that anxiety, by sharing some of the secrets of the recruiting world. These Human Resource secrets will help you determine if your interview went well or was a “bomb”, therefore allowing you to plan next steps without the wondering.
 
So without further adieu, below is some insight on what a Recruiter does when he or she is interested in a candidate. 
 
·         Encourages – If, during the interview, the Hiring Manager is intently listening and engaged, then you should feel good. This is especially true if you receive positive body language, such as head nodding, smiling, and leaning in to listen. If the Interviewer says anything such as “good point” or “I agree”, then you are off to a good start.
 
·         Provides a Timeline – If a Recruiter shows his or her hand and provides you details regarding their timeline, that is generally a sign that there is some level of interest. If you “bombed”, then there is no need to share, since you will be shortly receive a “regret” notification. The thought is that the Recruiter desires to make sure that you know exactly what the next steps are and when, in order to keep you engaged. If you receive some specific detail regarding how you fit into the timeline with next steps, then you are on your way.
 
·         Probes You – If there is little interest in you, an Interviewer will stay pretty superficial, especially when it comes to the non-standard interview questions. When the Interviewer begins to ask you about your timeline or how your job search is going, then you can assume there is some interest. Generally, this is done when the Interviewer desires to find out if your timeline is aligned with theirs.
 
·         Asks for References – If, at the end of the interview or shortly after, you are asked for your list of references, then you know there is some real interest. Recruiters are much too busy to reference check people, unless you’re a possible hire. 
 
·         Runs Long – If you run beyond your allotted time, that is generally a good sign (unless you dominated the conversation and the Interviewer did not know how to cut you off). On the flip side, if you end early, then start preparing yourself for the worst. Hiring Managers are very busy and have limited time to interview, so to carve out additional time for you is a very good sign. This is especially true if the Interviewer very patiently and in detail answered your questions. 
 
·         Sells You – If you find yourself on the receiving end of a sales pitch, then it is safe to assume there is interest in you. Typically, if there is interest by the Hiring Manager and he or she feels there is competition for you, a sales pitch will occur. It is up to you to decide if someone sells too hard, as that may be a sign they are overcompensating for something. If, on the flip side, you hear lines such as “we are holding out for the right person” or “we are just beginning our search”, then you perhaps should prepare yourself for bad news as they are making little attempt to woo you.
 
·         Speaks in Future Tense – If, during the interview, the Hiring Manager starts talking about the future and your role in it, then make a mental note. This is a sign that the Hiring Manager is projecting you in the open position.
 
·         Follows-Up Quickly – Obviously, if your prospective employer responds quickly with a job offer, that is the ultimate tipoff that the interview went well. Any response, other than a Regret Letter, done quickly is a positive sign. The longer you have to wait for the other party to make a move, the less likely your interview went well with them.
 
·         Responds Quickly to You – Recruiters and Hiring Managers are very busy people and responding to everyone is a virtual impossibility. If you leave a message and receive a call or e-mail back, then that is a good sign. This is especially true if, as mentioned above, this response is done quickly.
 
·         Schedules a 2nd Interview – Many positions beyond entry-level require a 2nd interview. Typically, a Hiring Manager will significantly cut the number of people who receive a 2nd interview compared to the 1st interview pool. When you are called to come in for an additional interview, this is a sign of additional interest and that you have begun to separate yourself from the pack.
 
·         Schedules Time With the “Boss” – Unless the Hiring Manager is very interested in you, a meeting with his or her boss is probably not considered. If you are called to meet with “the Boss”, then consider yourself on a short list. If, on the way out from the interview, you are introduced to the “boss” or others of influence, than you are thought highly of. 
 
The waiting period does not have to be a time rife with anxiety. Awareness of a few simple signs can help you better understand the process and determine whether or not your interview was successful. Understanding these success signs will allow you to quickly move forward if next steps are not in the cards for you. 
 
As always, best of luck in your job search.