As a job seeker, you’ll spend a lot of time preparing for interviews (hopefully using some of our helpful resources!). There’s a lot to cover when preparing for interviews, as you want to do the necessary research, practice accordingly, and stand out (in a good way). We’ve often covered the pitfalls you can fall into during interviews, so let’s try the opposite approach. How can you know that your interview is going well?
If you’ve done the proper work beforehand and know the signs to look for, there are clear signals things are going your way. Watch for these green flags at your next interview, and that coveted job may soon be yours!
The interview ran long
Interviewers set a certain amount of time aside for each interview for a reason. If things aren’t going well, you likely won’t use the allotted time. But if the interviewer keeps chatting and asking you questions and there’s a delightful back and forth, it shows a clear interest in you as a candidate.
Time is money, friend, and recruiters don’t want to squander it. Career coach Emily Liou says that recruiters don’t want to waste either party’s time if it’s not a good match. “But when we found a stellar candidate, we would try to spend additional time to flush out what we needed to know to make an informed decision,” Liou said.
Just like when on a date, if you find yourself talking long after expecting to go home, things are going well. You may even get offered a second interview right away to continue the conversation!
You meet other team members
Depending on the position, relevant staff members you’d potentially work with may sit in on the interview. But if your interviewers take you on a tour of the office and introduce you to potential coworkers, that’s a very good sign.
According to Indeed, this is because they think you’re a good fit for the company’s environment and are excited to introduce you to the team. Remember, companies aren’t just looking for skills but for someone that aligns with their corporate culture and chemistry.
“If you got to meet some management or upper-management staff, take it as a good sign that you’re being seriously considered for the role.” –Alison Doyle
The interviewer sells you on the company
In any interview, you’re interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you. You’re choosing to work there just as much as they’re choosing to hire you.
Zippia’s Sky Ariella says there will be a subtle shift from the interviewer learning about your skills and experiences to giving you the hard sell on the company. This includes discussing the culture, the company perks, exciting landmarks, and your day-to-day duties. If they want you to like the company, it’s a good sign they want you at the company. And seeing their excitement is a valuable window into the corporate culture. If they seem to genuinely be excited about what they are offering and it doesn’t feel like a canned pitch, that’s a green flag.
It’s even better if it seems to take a tangible turn. If they say “This is where you’ll be working,” or “You’ll work with these team members,” they may already be thinking of you as a team member.
The conversation turns casual
Again, organizations want to hire people they think will be a good fit for their team. No one is going to hire someone they don’t want to work with no matter how qualified you are. It’s always good to find a way to connect with your interviewer on a more personal level to build rapport and stand out.
Forbes’ Jack Kelly points to the subtle moment when the conversation turns from prepared questions to genuine personal conversation. If they start pointing out things in common and looking for shared personal experiences, they’re likely viewing you as a person they could work with.
“The interviewer stops with the standard corporate, cold and clinical facade that human resource professionals and hiring managers put on to show that they are serious and mean business, and starts smiling and laughing.” -Jack Kelly
The body language is positive
Perhaps the easiest way to tell if you’re nailing the interview is by judging the body language of your interviewer. We can learn to control our physical and verbal ticks, but some behaviors still shine through.
James Hawley writes that an engaged interviewer will nod, smile, and argue with things you say while opening the floor for you to elaborate. The more engaged they seem and the more they invite you to say, the better you’re doing.
“Does the recruiter seem engaged with what you’re saying? Are they leaning forward when you say something particularly incisive? Smiling? Do their eyes have some spark in them?” –Elliot Kaplan
You won’t get every interview you feel good about, but these examples are clear indicators you’re doing well. An interview has just as much to do with your personality and culture fit as it does your skills, and if you find the conversation flowing and the vibe to your liking, that’s an excellent sign the job may be yours.