The job interview went well – or at least you think it did. You were cool and confident, answering questions with ease and projecting a friendly, professional demeanor. At this point, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get hired, right?
Not so fast. You might think the job interview went well, or you might think it was a bust, but unless you’re paying attention to how your interviewer behaved, you could be making all the wrong assumptions about your chances. Employers will often give you subtle clues as to how they feel about you during an interview. Sometimes, those indicators, such as an ultra-short interview or lack of follow-up questions, are a sign you’re not making the grade. Others, like positive body language and relaxed chitchat, suggest you’re making a positive impression.
Being able to read an interviewer can give you a lot of insight into your ultimate chances of getting a job, but it’s not foolproof. As with most other things in life, there are no guarantees when it comes to job searching. You could have wowed the interviewer, but budget cuts or other issues might cause a company to put a hold on hiring, or a more impressive candidate could have walked in the door right after you.
For those reasons, job searchers should temper their expectations, even when they receive positive feedback from interviewers. according to Alison Green, an HR expert. “Even if the interviewer says, ‘You’re just what we’re looking for,’ or, ‘We’re so excited to have found you,’ or, ‘I can’t wait to have you start,’” you may not get the offer, she wrote on the Ask a Manager blog. “[T]hings change — better candidates appear, budgets get frozen, an internal candidate emerges, the position is restructured and you’re not longer the right fit for it, a different decision-maker likes someone else better, one of your references is wonky and makes them gun-shy, or all kinds of other possibilities.”
Nonetheless, some things employers say during job interviews can generally be taken as positive signs. If you hear these five things from your interviewer, there’s a reasonable chance you’re going to get hired, or at least move on to the next step in the screening process.