- Interviews can be nerve-racking.
- Luckily, there are signs that the hiring manager wants you on his or her team.
- Look out for questions about your personal life or long-term goals, and especially friendly body language.
Nobody wants to wait days, or sometimes even weeks, to find out if the hiring manager was impressed by them in the interview.
So, here’s some good news: You don’t have to.
You just need to be observant of the hiring manger’s body language and a few other dead giveaways, said Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behaviour and Thrive in Your Job.”
Here are 13 signs your interview may end with a job offer.
The interviewer uses positive body language
“Look for strong, consistent eye contact, and whether they lean forward while speaking to you,,” Taylor said. “A good sign is if they’re smiling, laughing, and generally upbeat.”
For indicators that someone dislikes you, look for basically the opposite – avoiding eye contact, tensing their mouth and jaw, or looking generally uncomfortable. If their feet are pointing away from you even though their body is positioned towards you, that’s a bad sign.
Crossing your arms actually isn’t a negative sign, despite popular belief. So don’t fret if you’re interviewer has their arms crossed.
The discussion extends beyond what you had anticipated
If you’re there longer than the usual 30 to 60 minutes, that’s a very good sign.
“Often hiring managers budget in extra time in case the candidate excels, and they need to extend questioning or introduce you to other managers,” Taylor said.
Your interviewer is chatty
“If they seem to want to spend extra time to get to know you, or start opening up about themselves, you’re getting a subtle thumbs up,” Taylor said.
They’re not at all distracted
It’s always a good sign when the hiring manager is ignoring typical distractions, such as people stopping by, phone calls, and text or email notifications.
“If you have their undivided attention, and they listen carefully with pertinent follow-up questions, it means they’re genuinely interested,” Taylor said.
The interviewer introduces you to others on the management team and your would-be coworkers
“When hiring managers are keenly interested in you, they oftentimes want to get the opinions of others. That may include their peers, their bosses, and your peers,” Taylor said.
It’s an especially good sign if you’re introduced to your prospective colleagues. This shows a deeper level of interest. While your prospective coworkers are evaluating you, too, managers are also allowing you to hear testimonials on how great it is to work there from a more “candid” perspective.
Your interviewer asks you questions about your long-term objectives
Does the manager speak about future growth opportunities? Do they show you the path to advancing and assuming greater responsibility over time? If so, this shows deeper interest in you and the potential for your future job satisfaction, which are all positive cues.
You’re asked about your other job search opportunities or your availability
An interviewer who is curious about your potential start date or who else you’re talking with isn’t just asking for fun – they’re interested in taking the next steps.
“If you’re asked how early would be able to start the job, you might give yourself a pat on the back (once you’re out of plain sight, of course),” Taylor said.
The interviewer speaks specifically about salary and other compensation
This is another giveaway that your potential boss is putting you in the finalist round, or preparing an offer for you.
They are selling you on the company, rather than the other way around
They accidentally switch from ‘would’ to ‘will’
Are your interviewers talking about the hypothetical or the future?
“Language like, ‘this is where you’ll be working,’ or ‘our receptionist will help you get settled after HR training,’ are strong indicators that they are thinking about you as the person who fills the position,” April Klimkiewicz, career coach and owner of bliss evolution, told Glassdoor. “Listen for verbal cues like this that strongly indicate they are envisioning you working there.”
They answer your questions thoughtfully and directly
“The interviewer is really listening to your answers,” Taylor said. “They’re not just asking a litany of questions, thinking of the next one or powering through the interview. You have their attention.”
At the end of the interview, the hiring manager offers positive information about the next step
Taylor said not all interviewers show their cards, but you know you’re in good stead if they proactively tell you that they will be getting back to you soon, or wish to set up a second interview.
You get a firm handshake and smile on your way out
Maybe they’re just friendly, or maybe they were really impressed by you. Many interested interviewers will be warm as you leave, will stay verbally engaged, and will walk you all the way to the lobby.
“Just remember to stay upbeat and professional during the entire interview process – even if you’re certain it’s in the bag,” Taylor said. “Many hiring managers will continue judging you even after the interview ends, so always follow up with a thank-you note.”
Jacquelyn Smith contributed to a previous version of this post.
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