There are few moments in life that can be more stressful than just after an interview. You’ve optimized your resume which caught the eye of a recruiter or a hiring manager. You’ve been screened on the phone and invited for an in-person interview. You feel okay about it but might be overthinking your performance and how you answered certain questions and what could have gone wrong. It’s easy to wonder and consider all the possible ways in which you could have done better or even to overemphasize times that you did well. To help you navigate these waters, here are a few signs that an interview went well.
Lasted longer than planned
The supply chain discipline includes almost every known industry and dozens of functions and focus areas. This makes it difficult to create an all-encompassing set of rules and expectations for supply chain interviews. If you’re exploring technology and automation positions, you could be asked to do a code test or screen different pieces of technology or other automation platforms. If you’re a transportation and logistics candidate, you may be asked to walk around the site to give feedback on operations.
Regardless of the type of job you’re interviewing for, if the interview goes longer than planned, that’s typically a good sign (NOTE: there are exceptions to every rule. If you happened to drone on with a personal anecdote and caught your interview panel fidgeting or looking at their watches, chances are you’re the cause of an unpleasantly long interview.)
It might be easiest to explain this point from the opposite perspective. If your interview flew by, it’s likely that it was more of a courtesy and formality. What you want is for there to be a natural rapport. You’re going to be working with some of these folks, hopefully. You want them to be interested in you and your skill set and what you can bring to the team. If they are interested, they will likely pose additional follow-up questions about your personal and professional background. They’ll also provide you strategic opportunities to express a strong desire to work for that company.
Questions you asked were thoroughly responded to
Again, sometimes it’s helpful to think of what didn’t happen. A curt answer to a question could indicate that the interview panel is not sold on you. However, if your questions elicit responses that are thorough and well thought out, that’s a good sign that your interview is going well.
It’s a good sign when a candidate takes the time to prepare questions for the interview. It shows an investment into the company and oftentimes can be an opportunity to point out areas of improvement. For instance, there could be a new inventory planning software or even an updated version that this employer isn’t using. This piece of tech could be industry standard or well on its way to being so. Your question could probe into the reasoning behind NOT using this tech, which is also an indirect way to offer a suggestion for improvement.
Very specific next steps mentioned
Why would the mechanics of a transition be brought up if the firm wasn’t interested in you? Could be that these items are stock mentions in every interview. Maybe the interviewer wanted to make you feel at ease to see if you would get too comfortable. After all, integrity is what you do when no one is looking. How one responds when they think they’ve been given the golden ticket is a great way to measure character traits.
But, more likely, it’s because they need to get a feel for when you can start and what hurdles need to be cleared in order to onboard you. By being detailed about their next steps, you now know what you have to do to start getting your own affairs in order. You may consider starting to prioritize all the companies you’re interviewing with so you can be better equipped to make a fast decision, should an offer come. This is important for you and for the company interviewing you. If you make a pros and cons list of all the people you’re interviewing with and this company didn’t make the cut, you should inform them of this as soon as you can.
Some things can’t be faked. The way in which you or your interviewer responds to questions or positions themselves, physically, can often be a sign that your interview went well…or it didn’t.
If your interviewer tilts their head while you’re answering their question, this is a good sign. It shows that they are interested in what you have to say and that this question they posed could be very important to the success or failure of your interview.
Other positive body language cues could be head nodding, direct eye contact, and a firm handshake. Obviously, smiles can make all the difference in the world. We can all tell the difference between a naturally approving smile and a forced one. So be on the lookout for these cues. Perhaps even take note of who is behaving in a positive manner, physically. Hopefully, it’s a decision maker!
They want you to meet other team members
First round interview questions can vary from super broad to very specific follow-ups. But, if the interview gets relocated for a tour or to include other staffers, an offer could be headed your way.
Again, it’s helpful to consider the opposite. We tend to overthink these moments. Play some role reversal and put yourself in the interviewer’s chair. What would you do if you really liked a candidate and thought they aced the interview? You may want to seek a little bit of validation by swinging the candidate around for some first impressions. This also allows you to strut your stuff a little while providing the interviewers with an opportunity to see how you perform on the fly and handle pressure. Obviously, if you didn’t wow the panel, they will likely just quickly walk you out and thank you for your time.
There are subtle and not-so-subtle signs that your interview went well. It’s important to not obsess over this, however. Just do your best to prepare for the interviews you’re going on. You can’t control what others will do or not do. Just know that these are just some of the ways in which an interview went in your favor. Good luck out there!!