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Interviews

15 Signs You Will Get the Job After an Interview

Posted by Emily Moore

Last Updated November 7, 2021

If there’s one thing that drives people crazy when applying to jobs, it’s the uncertainty. Of course, you always want to get a job offer, but if recruiters give you prompt feedback on your application status — even if it’s negative — you can generally deal with it pretty well. Those days after an interview where you aren’t quite sure where you stand, though, can be simply maddening — especially if you feel like you did a pretty good job.

While you’ll probably never be able to tell with 100 percent certainty which way a recruiter is leaning, there are a few signs you can look out for that indicate good news. So the next time you get the urge to pester your recruiter or agonise over a mental play-by-play of the interview, take a breath and simply reflect on whether these nine good omens were present.

Here are 15 telltale signs you've got the job after an interview:

  1. They say when, not if
  2. Their body language gives it away
  3. The conversation turns casual
  4. Their answers are in-depth and detailed
  5. They say they like what they hear
  6. You get more details about the role
  7. You keep meeting more team members
  8. You meet more senior management
  9. They start talking perks and benefits
  10. The interview runs over
  11. They ask when you can start
  12. They ask if you have any other interviews
  13. You get details on next steps
  14. They use specific dates
  15. Your follow-up gets an immediate, positive response

1. You Hear “When,” Not “If”

Interviewers try not to get candidates' hopes up, so they’ll often speak in generalities like “the person in this position would do XYZ,” or “if hired, you would start at this time.” But if they strongly believe that you’re the right person for the job, it may unintentionally come across in their word choice.

“Language like, ‘this is where you'll be working,’ or ‘our receptionist will help you get settled after HR training,’ are strong indicators that they are thinking about you as the person who fills the position,” says April Klimkiewicz, career coach and owner of bliss evolution. “Listen for verbal cues like this that strongly indicate they are envisioning you working there.”

2. Their Body Language Gives It Away

On a similar note, even if an interviewer is trying to play it cool, their body language may hint at their enthusiasm for you as a candidate.

“Head nodding, foot movements, agreeable ‘mhmms’ and other noises are sure signs that they want you,” says Valerie Streif, Senior Adviser at Mentat. “People don't realise how much of their inner thoughts and opinions they give away from these little movements!”

3. The Conversation Turns Casual

The meat of an interview is going to be all business — after all, that’s how an interviewer determines whether or not you’re well-suited for the job. But if, after that, things veer towards the conversational, that’s a great sign.

“If at some point the hiring manager stops talking business, and the interview turns more into a casual, friendly conversation, it's a sure sign the hiring manager is impressed,” says Matthew Kerr, career adviser at Resume Genius. “It shows they are already satisfied you are qualified to perform the job, and now have a genuine interest in getting to know you better, in hopes you will join the team.”

4. Their Answers are In-Depth and Detailed

If an interviewer thinks you have little chance of getting the job, you might notice their answers to your questions become brief and sparse on detail. Likewise if they think you are a strong candidate, they may feel compelled to give you more in-depth information.

This is something to look out for, especially if it doesn't tally with the amount of time you have left in your interview slot, as it could be an indication that the recruiter wants to hurry things along, or else that they are willing to give you extra time even if it delays subsequent interviews.

5. They Say They Like What They Hear

Sometimes, your interviewers might be so clear-cut as to straight-up tell you that you've got the skills and experience they're seeking.

"[If] you ask, 'What does your ideal candidate for this position look like?' at the end of the interview, and they answer with 'Well, when you talked about [a specific project or attribute], you summed it up. That's exactly what we're looking for...' this is a strong indicator that they think you're an excellent fit for the role," Klimkiewicz says.

6. They Start Talking Perks

This ties back into the amount of in-depth detail the interviewer is willing to share with you. If they have already decided you will not be joining their company, it's unlikely they will discuss anything approaching a trade secret.

On the other hand, if the recruiter is happy to talk about the exact day-to-day duties and responsibilities associated with your prospective role - or even about how they might be willing to tweak the job to better suit you - this is a very strong indication that you are one of the top candidates so far.

7. You Keep Meeting More Team Members

It might be exhausting to be introduced to team member after team member during a marathon in-person interview, but rest assured, this bodes well for your candidacy.

"For me, one of the top signs that you [smashed] the interview is the interviewer grabbing other people to talk to you while you're there or booking you to talk to other people before you leave," says Jill Santopietro Panall, HR consultant and owner of 21Oak HR Consulting, LLC. "If it does happen, I would think it's because the interviewer really likes you and wants to get other decision makers to weigh in."

8. You Meet More Senior Management

The corollary of the above is meeting more senior figures in the company and especially directly up your would-be line management hierarchy.

Again, this is a sign that the interviewer has been impressed by you and wants to give senior leaders a chance to meet you, even if only briefly on your way out of the building. If the candidate shortlist has several closely matched applicants, these are the make-or-break interactions, so remember to put your best side across even in a quick encounter outside of the interview room.

9. They Start Talking Perks and Benefits

If interviewers go from making you prove that you're a good fit for the job to highlighting all the great things their company has to offer, you know that you're in their good graces.

"Once they've made their decision that they want you to work there, they switch gears completely and try to sell the company to you, so that in case you've interviewed at multiple places, you'll choose to take their offer," Streif explains. "This is also a clear sign because if they didn't want you to work with them, why would they spend more time in the interview then they'd need to?"

10. The Interview Runs Over

Along the same lines, the interview taking longer than expected in general could be a sign that you smashed the interview.

"Not everyone has spare time after the interview, but if you know they're cutting into their lunch break just to talk to you a little while longer, that is a sign that they think you would be a good fit for the role and want to get to know you even better," Klimkiewicz shares.

Keep in mind, though, that this is largely context dependent - if you're running over because the interviewer keeps rephrasing the same questions over and over, for example, they may feel you're not giving clear enough answers. But on the other hand, if they seem genuinely enthusiastic and excitedly dive into a variety of topics, that's probably a good thing.

11. They Ask When You Can Start

This is one of the most obvious admin questions but if you have notice to serve at an existing job or the question just hasn't come up so far, "when can you start?" is a hugely positive thing to hear from any interviewer.

Unless it is made explicitly clear, do not assume this question means you have 100 percent definitely landed the job, as that can leave you in an awkward and embarrassing situation. If you do think that's what the interviewer means, then answer the question directly first of all, and then get some clarity on whether it is a formal job offer or not, and whether your proposed starting date is acceptable.

12. They Ask if You Have Any Other Interviews

If an interviewer wants to offer you the job, then the power shifts to you - especially if you have interviews lined up for other vacancies elsewhere.

The only way for a hiring manager to know for sure is to ask, so this is one of those red-letter questions that if you hear it, you should feel more confident that they are genuinely interested in how many other employers they are competing with for your skills.

13. You Get Details on Next Steps

If the interviewer says "we'll reach out next week with an offer", you've got it in the bag - but next steps don't have to be that specific to suggest interest from the employer.

For example, if "the hiring manager shakes your hand with a smile, and says something along the lines of, 'We'll be in contact with you soon,' it shows they are eager to hire you", Kerr says. The dividing line here can be quite subtle: "On the other hand, a phrase such as 'we'll get back to you' usually expresses disinterest."

14. They Use Specific Dates

The best clarity comes when the hiring manager gives specifics. For example, if they say "you will hear from us within 7 days" then you know you are high on the list of candidates.

If the interviewer is less committal about dates, that is not necessarily a terrible sign. It could mean that they have flagged you as the first reserve option, in case their preferred candidate is unable to accept the job offer they make.

If you can't be top of the list, first reserve is the next best thing, so try to be positive about this and hope that the phone rings - it's always acceptable to follow up with a polite enquiry if you don't hear anything after 1-2 weeks, especially if you have other interviews in the pipeline.

15. Your Follow-Up Gets an Immediate, Positive Response

Interviewers usually meet with a number of people, most of whom will send them a thank-you email right after the interview. Realistically, interviewers don't always have the time to reply to everybody individually, especially if the email is from a candidate who was less than compelling. So if they take the time to respond to yours quickly, graciously and personally, that may signal interest.

"Nowadays, it's common courtesy to send an email to thank the hiring manager for the interview. If they respond quickly to your email and thank you in turn for coming in, get your pen ready to sign a contract," Kerr suggests. "Not only does it show they were impressed with you, but [also that] they are interested to the point where they dropped what they were doing just to respond to you."

In Conclusion

This list could go on and on, but we have summarised some of the best ways to tell if a job interview has gone well. There are some common threads here: word choice, body language, power shift, levels of trust and engagement.

In the end if you attend more and more interviews, you will develop your own sixth sense for when things have gone well - and this will feed back into your interview technique in a positive way too, even allowing you to rescue an interview that has gone off track.

Until you gain that experience and instinct, the specific examples above are a great starting point for your mental 'bingo card' of positive signs and indicators, and the closer you get to a full house, the more optimistic you can be about landing the job.

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