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You're in the hot seat, answering every question thrown your way —but you haven't a clue whether the hiring manager likes you.
"It's not uncommon to believe you bombed the interview from hell, only to be baffled days later when you get a job offer,"saysLynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of "Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job."
"Most interviewers are skilled at holding out judgment until they're relatively sure you're a good hire. It's not personal, just part of the territory. It's a combination of chess and poker; you don't know their next maneuver, and it's hard to read them."
To get a better sense of how you're doing in a job interview, you'll want to look for some subtle signs the hiring manager likes you, even if it doesn't feel like it. Here are a few to keep an eye out for:
A distant demeanor, but a long interview
Hiring managers may intentionally avoid letting on that they're impressed as a negotiating tool.
"It's not unlike your visiting a car showroom," says Taylor. "You wouldn't immediately tell the sales person, 'Wow,I want this car!' Both you and the interviewer want some negotiating power. In the case of a hiring manager, being overzealous about you creates the risk that you'll want a higher salary."
However, if this is happening, but your interview is an hour or more long, that's your clue that they're playing it cool. "Most hiring managers won't waste precious time if they're not seriously interested."
They ask along series of tough questions
"Your hiring manager is not trying to create a torture chamber, although it might feel like one," she says. "If the questions seem endless, as rigorous as they might be, your prospective boss is trying to gather as much information on you in the time allotted."
Beware, though, if they seem mean-spirited; this is your vetting opportunity, too.
They pay little attention to your answers
This can be perceived as a lack of interest — except for the fact they may be so excited about your prospects that they aren't paying close attention to what you say, Taylor explains. "They may be pondering the bigger picture of how you'd fit in and next steps. Or, they may want to cover as much ground as they can. Either way, this could bode well for you."
They display inconsistent behavior
A hiring manager who's really interested in you might act differently towards you over the course of the interview.
"One moment they may be smiling and encouraging, but in another, they may throw you off with a zinger question when you least expect it," says Taylor. "It's all part of the cat and mouse game, so you might as well try to enjoy the ride."
They ask a lot ofhypothetical questions
These can be excruciating to answer, but if you see a shift from more general questions to hypothetical ones, they may have actually decided it's time to delve beyond skills sets and more deeply into your work style.
"You may have passed the test on core questions," Taylor says. "Also, the hypothetical questions may move into the framework of the job at hand, which is a good sign."
They place emphasis on speaking with your references
This can be confusing if used as a constant caveat, e.g., "Well, I'd have to see what your references would say about that!" But in reality, if references are being addressed, you've passed a major hurdle, she says.
They ask oddball questions with a detectable smile
If you get one or more of these, but your interviewer is balancing your panic with a sly smile, they're probably rooting for you, Taylor explains. "You may notice other body language that contradicts the intensity of the question, such as leaning forward or watching your reaction intently."
They keep you waiting
If the hiring manager has to deal with something urgent or take an important call in the middle of your interview and they ask you to wait, this is a good sign. If they weren't interested in you, they might cut the interview off right then and there. But if they like you, they'll want to continue the conversation after they finish dealing with the crisis at hand.
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How do you know if hiring manager likes you? ›
Positive responses like, “That's exactly right,” “Great answer,” or “Yes, that's just what we're looking for” are key indications that an interviewer likes you and will give your application further consideration. The more positive feedback you get, the more likely you are to move forward in the hiring process.How do you know if the hiring manager is impressed? ›
Your questions are answered in full
If they provided enthusiastic and detailed answers to the questions you asked and checked with you that these answers were clear, then this is a good sign that the hiring manager wanted to impress you just as much as you wanted to impress them.
- Your conversation used the allotted amount of time. ...
- You met other team members. ...
- They tried to sell you on the role. ...
- They asked for your preferred start date. ...
- Your interviewers responded positively. ...
- They gave you a follow-up date. ...
- They asked about other positions. ...
- You have a good feeling.
- Research the company and your interviewers. ...
- Dress for the company. ...
- Show up early to your interview. ...
- Clarify your personal mission statement. ...
- Be fully present. ...
- Bring a copy of your resumé or portfolio. ...
- Don't lie or overshare. ...
- Be yourself.
- Specific compliments of your skills or experiences.
- Engaging you for longer than scheduled.
- Discussing benefits and rewards with you.
- Showing positive body language.
- Giving you specific dates on when you will hear back from the company.
- Discussing salary expectations.
Look At Talent And Cultural Fit
Work experience is nice, but talent and cultural fit are critical. How will this candidate relate with their supervisor and their team? How will they manage the expected work schedule and responsibilities? How well do they understand your customer base?
Many interviewers said they made rapid decisions about a candidate's suitability: 4.9% decided within the first minute, and 25.5% decided within the first five minutes. Overall, 59.9% of decisions were made within the first 15 minutes, less than halfway through the scheduled interview time.How do hiring managers pick candidates? ›
Personality, technical proficiency, education, and cultural fit are just a few of the traits hiring managers consider when deciding which job candidate to hire. During an interview, job candidates are also measured on their accomplishments and potential value to the company.What do interviewers say at the end of an interview? ›
At the end of most job interviews, the interviewer will say, “Feel free to email me if you have any more questions.” It's easy to brush off this statement as a mere formality, but in reality, it provides an opportunity to make a lasting impression on your potential employer.How do you know if you didn't get the job? ›
- The interview was cut short.
- You don't hear back after a job interview.
- The interviewer repeatedly cut your responses short.
- The interviewer did not share details about the job's duties or its salary.
How long does a good interview last? ›
How Long Do Job Interviews Last? Well, it depends on the interview! Cidnye Work, former Meta university recruiter and former career coach, says, “Most interviews are typically between 30 and 45 minutes in length.” That said, the type of interview can influence how long the interview lasts.What are the top 3 interview mistakes? ›
- Being unprepared.
- Dressing inappropriately.
- Talking too much or not enough.
- Criticising previous employers or colleagues.
- Failing to ask questions.
In general, if you don't hear back from the hiring manager two weeks after they told you they'd be in contact, you can probably assume the company has decided to go with another candidate.What do hiring managers care about the most? ›
- Communication. Effective communication requires excellent writing and speaking skills. ...
- Teamwork. ...
- Time management. ...
- Problem-solving. ...
- Adaptability. ...
- Anything negative about a previous employer or job. ...
- "I don't know." ...
- Discussions about benefits, vacation and pay. ...
- "It's on my resume." ...
- Unprofessional language. ...
- "I don't have any questions." ...
- Asking what the company does. ...
- Overly prepared answers or cliches.
Briefly introduce yourself and tell the hiring manager why you're writing. Share your enthusiasm for the company—why do you want to work there? Talk about what you bring to the table. Let the hiring manager know why hiring you would add value to her team.How do you know if your job is fulfilling? ›
A fulfilling job is a role that enables someone to apply their talents, interests and values to their work while also meeting their financial and personal needs. Fulfilling jobs offer opportunities for professionals to expand their skill sets as they work on progressively more challenging and rewarding projects.How do you know if you're happy with your job? ›
Ask yourself how you feel about the people you see every day: Are you learning from them? Do you feel you can trust them? Do you find ways to laugh together? Career professionals say your answers will help you gauge your own happiness.Do hiring managers interview best candidate first? ›
HR professionals should keep these biases in mind; they should schedule a strong candidate first, perhaps the strongest candidate last and the weaker candidates in the middle of the process. Doing so will help hiring managers focus and find the best person for the job.What do hiring managers look at first? ›
Right level and years of experience for the job, relevant experience, titles, skills, education, etc are the first few things Recruiters and Hiring Managers look for in your resume. Ensure your skills and certifications compliment the job you apply for. Avoid including unrelated or irrelevant hobbies and interests.
Does the hiring manager decide who gets hired? ›
And while the recruiter manages the process, it's the hiring manager who actually closes the deal. So, hiring managers are the decision-makers; they have the final say as to who gets hired and who gets rejected. They own the outcome of the recruiting process.How many candidates make it to the hiring manager interview? ›
You may wonder how many candidates make it to the final interview, but the number usually varies depending on the company. On average, about two to four candidates make it to the final interview. For the final interview, employers usually invite individuals who performed well in previous interviews.Who has final say in hiring? ›
Hiring managers and recruiters work closely together to hire for open positions. The hiring manager will be your direct supervisor if you are hired. They are the final decision maker on job offers. Your earliest interviews (after the recruiter screening) will likely be with the hiring manager.What are the 4 steps of selecting the right candidates? ›
- RESUME SCREENING. The purpose of screening a resume is to determine if the applicant has the basic knowledge and skills needed to do the job you're trying to fill. ...
- INTERVIEWING. ...
- TESTING. ...
- REFERENCE CHECKS.
Show that you have skills and experience to do the job and deliver great results. You never know what other candidates offer to the company. But you know you: emphasize your key skills, strengths, talents, work experience, and professional achievements that are fundamental to getting great things done on this position.What are three tips for ending the interview? ›
- Example 1: Ask Questions. ...
- Example 2: Reiterate Your Interest in the Job. ...
- Example 3: Remind Your Interviewers That You're Qualified. ...
- Example 4: Ease Interviewer's Possible Doubts. ...
- Example 5: Ask for the Job. ...
- Example 6: Figure Out the Next Steps. ...
- Example 7: Be Polite.
Hiring managers often conclude job interviews by swapping places with you, so to speak, giving you a chance to ask them questions. This is a prime opportunity to shine.Is it good if the interviewer talks a lot? ›
The more the interviewer talks about what is going on in their company and how you will fit in, the better. It means they are selling it to you and potentially see you as the answer to what they want.Is a 30 minute interview Normal? ›
If your interview was 30 minutes long, then it was just long enough. Hiring managers will generally schedule about 30 minutes to interview a candidate for most position levels. If you lasted the full 30 minutes, you know that you answered the questions well.What time of day do job offers usually come? ›
Times to expect a job offer call
For a 9 to 5 office, you may expect a call at around 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. By this time, hiring managers will expect you to be awake and prepared to discuss the position.
Is a 30 minute interview too short? ›
A typical interview should last around 30 minutes and a really good interview could even last longer. The length of the interview shows that the interviewer is seriously interested in getting to know you and is genuinely considering your job application. If the interview lasts less than 15 minutes, then you have a ...What is the most common reason why interview Fail? ›
Poor preparation before an interview is an obvious killer and 75% of the interviews fail because the candidate didn't expect some of the questions asked or didn't know enough about the company…What are the 3 C's of interview? ›
These three C's that we will examine are: Credibility; Competence; and Confidence. They are inextricably connected. I'm an introvert by personality type, but can interview with the best of them because of the successful implementation of these three C's.What is the single biggest mistake you can make in a job interview? ›
Criticizing a Previous Employer
Putting down the company you're trying to leave or one you've worked for in the past gives off the impression you're a negative person who can't let go of the past. It also may make people wonder what you'd say about their company if they hire you.
Neutral colors - navy, gray, black, and brown - are the best colors for a job interview. White is also an excellent color for a blouse or button-down shirt. You can certainly add a pop of color to a neutral interview outfit.Can you mess up an interview and still get the job? ›
If you're lucky, they may just look past whatever snafu happened during the interview—big or small—and give you the job anyway. Of course, this is mainly likely to happen despite a less-than-ideal interview, you have relevant experience and the desired qualifications for the job.How do you know if you're a top candidate? ›
- They are super responsive when following up with you. ...
- They introduce you to other team members and give you unplanned tours. ...
- They ask if you're interviewing with anyone else.
- You didn't do your homework at all.
- You didn't research the company at all.
- You lied on your resume.
- You didn't answer basic technical questions correctly.
- You dressed inappropriately.
- You behaved rudely.
- You want room to grow. ...
- You're experiencing problems with a supervisor or boss. ...
- You feel undervalued. ...
- You feel unmotivated. ...
- You notice a high turnover rate. ...
- Talk with your supervisor. ...
- Identify your ideal job.
How long does it take a recruiter to decide if you're right for a job? It's actually around seven seconds, according to eye-tracking research.
What do hiring managers want to hear? ›
An employer wants to hear how qualified and passionate you are, and a can-do attitude will take you far. “They want reassurance that you're genuinely interested in the job and not just looking for a paycheck,” Templin says. “This is your opportunity to show why you're perfect for the job.”Do best candidates get interviewed first? ›
The recency effect results in better recall of the most recent event or information presented. These two effects combined are said to lead the earliest and latest event or information being recalled best, for instance the first and last people interviewed will be better remembered than the middle candidate.How do hiring managers stand out in an interview? ›
- 1) Avoid talking about what you're not.
- 2) Tell a story about yourself.
- 3) Allow yourself to be vulnerable.
- 4) Don't hide who you are.
- 5) Pose thoughtful questions to your hiring manager.
Rambling is another a major problem in an interview because it suggests unorganized thinking, which can be a red flag to a hiring manager. It also just makes it harder for the interviewer to understand what you're trying to say, and you can waste too much time on simple questions.What are the most common interview mistakes? ›
- Being unprepared.
- Dressing inappropriately.
- Talking too much or not enough.
- Criticising previous employers or colleagues.
- Failing to ask questions.
Be sure to bring, not just your experience, but also your personality, growth mindset and social skills.