Surviving a job interview seems like an accomplishment. But once the adrenaline rush dies down, you'll likely analyze how it went. Certain signs during the interview may indicate that the hiring manager has you at the top of her list. But until you have a job offer in hand, there are no guarantees.
A hiring manager who is interested in hiring you is more likely to let the interview run long. She may ask you more questions or talk to you about the position longer. Coversely, if the interview ends early or the interviewer tries to finish up the interview quickly, it may be a sign that she doesn't feel you are the best match for the company. A hiring manager doesn't want to waste your time or hers on an interview that won't result in a job being filled. A short interview doesn't necessarily mean you are crossed off the candidate list, but a long interview can be a positive sign.
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Once the interviewer finishes asking you questions, he typically opens it up for any questions you have about the job or the company. If he is particularly interested in you as a candidate, he may spend more time emphasizing the highlights of the company and the position to get you more excited about the job. A similar positive sign is if the interviewer introduces you to people in the office while showing you around.
A manager who calls your references is probably interested in you as a potential candidate. She probably wouldn't spend the time talking to your references if she knows she won't offer you a job. Some companies may contact the references of all interviewed candidates as standard procedure, so this sign isn't a guarantee.
Near the end of the interview, the hiring manager typically discusses the post-interview timeline. A very specific follow-up plan is a solid indicator that the interview went well. If you are a top candidate, the hiring manager is more likely to give you a concrete date for the hiring decision. He may also ask you about your timeline, including when you are available or whether there would be any potential conflicts if the decision isn't made immediately. In some cases, you may face multiple interviews. If you are asked to schedule a follow-up or second interview, chances are the manager likes what he saw the first time around.
Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.