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Interview advice

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10 signs your interview went well

1:52pm Wednesday 2nd February 2011


You did it. You landed an interview, dressed to impress and had great conversation, and you think you might actually have a shot at getting a job offer.

But is there any way to actually know if the interview was in your favour? Many times, job seekers are so focused on what they did wrong in an interview that they don't think about the many things they did right. While no signs are 100 percent foolproof, there are definitely some indicators that you have won over your interviewer.

Justin Honaman, director of customer intelligence at Coca-Cola Customer Business Solutions, says that although you may think you've executed well in the interview, don't stop the process there. Even if all signs point to a job offer, you should follow up effectively to complete your career transition.

Here are 10 signs that indicate you rocked your interview:

1. Round two

The easiest way to gauge short-term success is if the interviewer asks you to return for another round of interviews. If he wasn't interested, he would be evasive as whether or not you could expect to hear back from someone. "The hiring manager does not want to waste any more time interviewing you if you are not a fit," Honaman says. "Invitation to the next round is a win!"

2. References please

Why would you be asked for references unless someone cared to learn more about you? "A firm will not spend the time to do background checks and talk with references if you are out of the candidate pool," Honaman says. "Provide specific, knowledgeable references and bring those to the interview."

3. Meet the team

It's a good sign when the hiring manager chooses to introduce you to the team on the spot, or mentions that there are some people you should meet. If he wasn't interested, he wouldn't take the time in making acquaintances.

"Leaders are protective of their team and will not risk introducing a candidate if they are not a potential fit to join the organisation," Honaman says. Remember that the hiring manager may request feedback from the team on their first impressions of you, so be nice to anyone you meet.

4. What are the transition steps?

When a company is interested in you, you'll be asked things like the amount of time needed for a transition or what noncompete agreements might be in place, Honaman says. "If the hiring manager is interested in moving forward with an offer, they will typically ask what steps need to be taken for your departure from your current organization so that you can assume the new role," he says.

5. Money and sense

Depending on what stage of the interview process you're in, it could be a good thing if you're asked about salary expectations. It demonstrates that the company might be willing to invest in you. Honaman suggests answering this question with caution: "You can have the absolute best interview ever and be dead in the water if you answer this question incorrectly," he says. "The question comes in two forms: 'What are your salary expectations?' or 'What is your current compensation?' Arrive at any interview with current compensation details written down for your own reference -- if asked -- and have an idea of how you will answer this question."

6. HR smiles

The human resources representative or recruiter is generally a good indication of how things went in the interview process. Take note of his comments after the interview; he is your first contact during the process and is often a guide to the projected outcome.

7. Your turn

When the interviewer spends a lot of time answering your questions, it's a signal that he wants to sell you on the business, the team and position rather than you continuing to pursue the role, Honaman says. "In most interviews, the hiring manager will ask if you have any questions as standard procedure, but spend less time with questions and answers if the interview has not gone well in their mind."

8. Let's keep rolling

If hiring managers are uninterested, they typically look for ways to wrap up the interview. "At times, interviews will go well beyond the allotted time as the hiring manager or interview team wants to know more about you, or share with you more about the organisation and role," Honaman says. If they are not interested in your candidacy, they won't drag out the interview.

9. Nonverbals speak

Nonverbal signals are often a good predictor of interview performance. Pay close attention to the interviewer(s) and observe such nonverbal cues as taking notes, smiling, nodding or asking probing questions, Honaman says. "At the same time, if an interviewer is taking few notes, looking at their watch repeatedly [or] not asking detailed questions, the interview may not be going well."

10. Cultural fit

The more a hiring manager talks about how you'll fit into the mold at a company, the better. "Most leaders are looking for candidates that can easily fit into a team environment or operate well as an individual contributor," Honaman says. "If the hiring manager is interested in your taking the position, they will share additional details about the culture and shift into 'sales' mode on the organisation."

Again, none of these are sure-fire signals that you've gotten the job. Plus, even though you did everything right, there is always the chance that someone else did, too. But if you continually see a couple of the above signals you'll know you've at least got a shot.