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6 Signs Your Job Interview Didn’t Go So Well

Topics: Career Advice
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Interviewing for a new job can be a nerve-wracking experience — and there are no guarantees that it will all pay off in the end. Sometimes, despite our best preparations, a job interview can go south.

There are some things you can do to try to fix the situation when that happens, but after the interview is over, you’ll likely find yourself wondering how it really went. Others might tell you it’s just your nerves talking, but how can you be sure?

There are a few signs that might indicate you won’t be getting an offer:

1. It seemed like they stopped paying attention.

Everyone’s different, so it can be hard to tell whether this one is your fault or just your interviewer’s style. But, generally speaking, it’s a bad sign when the person you’re meeting with starts to seem like they’ve become distracted. Maybe you could tell by their response that they hadn’t been listening to one of your answers. Or, you started to notice they were looking away a lot while you were talking. Maybe someone even got on their phone for a few minutes. Again, some folks are more distractible than others, so it’s possible that it wasn’t personal. But, it’s not the best sign.

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2. Their body language was negative.

You might see an interviewer lean forward with enthusiasm, or smile at you, when things are going well. The absence of these signs might be a sign in and of itself. But, if there is a lot of negative body language during your interview, like crossed arms or lack of eye contact, you really might have a problem.

3. It was really short.

If you were in and out of your interview quickly, it’s possible you won’t be offered the job. A good job interview is a conversation, and that takes a while. If the interview wrapped up abruptly or after a few minutes, it could be a sign that you won’t be offered the position.

4. You’re given some friendly career advice.

If you’re offered some advice during or after your interview, it might seem like a nice gesture at first. But, it’s actually not a great sign. The interviewer may have found a glaring reason not to hire you, and they’re trying to help you out by giving you the scoop. Be sure to take note of the advice itself though, whether you’re directed to fix a spelling error on your resume, brush up your skills or target a different type of employer. In the end, it’s all your decision. But, you might as well learn something from this experience if you can.

5. They mentioned that there’s an abundance of qualified candidates.

If an interviewer lets you know that they’ve met with many qualified candidates, it might mean that you won’t be offered the job. Perhaps they’re trying to prepare you for that fact by letting you down easy and attempting to prepare you in advance.

6. It felt like an interview the entire time.

Good interviews have moments where the interviewers break the rules. Perhaps the group gets laughing about something together for a minute and you find yourself thinking, “Wow, this is kind of fun! This hardly even feels like an interview right now.” That’s a good sign. Similarly, if you end up getting into a back-and-forth for a while, or otherwise break through the regular interview formalities, it could mean you’re on the right track. If the interview felt just like an interview the entire time, it might actually be an indication that things didn’t go so well.

Tell Us What You Think

How can you tell when an interview didn’t go well? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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