When you’re a job seeker, there’s perhaps no greater mystery in life than how well you did during your interview. Chances are you were at least a little bit nervous. Your mind was preoccupied with all the research you did beforehand. You got up extra early to be certain you arrived on time. And you may have stayed up a little too late the night beforehand, polishing and printing your resume. It’s no wonder job candidates aren’t in the best position to evaluate their interview performance!
But let’s say you gave it your best shot, avoiding interview pitfalls and presenting the best version of yourself to your interviewers. Is there an objective way to tell whether you’re going to get the offer?
Yes and no.
Remember, you can never really know the inner workings of a company and exactly what they are looking for in a candidate until you actually get the offer and become an employee. Even the best candidates with charming personalities and perfect qualifications don’t make the cut sometimes.
Still, there are a few telltale signs that are strong indicators you’ve proven that you’re the best person for the job:
They obviously know your name—and use it.
Unengaged interviewers, bored out of their minds from the tedium of interviewing, might have to take a peek at your resume to remember what your name is. If your interviewer knows your name from the start and continues to use it throughout the interview, it’s a strong sign that they were impressed by your resume and excited about the potential of working with you.
They tell you how your experience applies.
Most interviewers want you to sell yourself to them through detailed explanation of how your job history has prepared you for the role in question. But when interviewers are particularly invested in you—and are familiar with your resume—they already know how your experience applies and will tell you why you’re a great fit.
You meet the company’s movers and shakers.
If your interviewer takes you around to meet with people who weren’t on your interview list, it’s a very good sign. You’ll have to meet the rest of the team in a second or third interview anyway, so making their acquaintance on your first interview shows that you’re likely to come back.
The interview enters overtime.
When a half-day interview turns into lunch or even dinner, you’ve obviously proven yourself to the company. Interviewers don’t waste valuable time on candidates they don’t consider realistic for the role. Even as little as 20 or 30 extra minutes in an interview can be a great sign.
They ask when you can start.
They’re not the same words as “you’re hired,” but they might as well be. Interviewers who ask about your availability are already picturing you as part of their team. If the topic of start dates comes up in your interview, congratulations—you’ve made a big impression on the company, and you’re practically guaranteed a spot on the short list for their new hire!
Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (NoddlePlace) (5-15 years) tech and technical operations leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy (out June 11, 2015). Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreede. To see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, take their free (and anonymous) 1-minute compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You? Also, feel free to take his complimentary resume self-assessment quiz, How Certain Can You Be About Your Technical Resume? You might be surprised by what you find out!