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Define Success and Failure in a Job Interview

by Rose Johnson

Waiting to hear whether you’ve landed a job after your interview can get quite stressful. You might replay the interview in your mind over and over again, trying to determine if it went well or poorly. In many cases, certain events in an interview can help you determine the possible outcome. Knowing how to define a job interview as a success or failure can help you in your career search.

All about Timing

A clear indication that an interview is a success is if the interviewer gives you an exact time of when to expect a decision. For example, if the interviewer tells you that you can expect to hear back from her within three days, it’s a good indication that she is seriously considering you as a job candidate. Another way to define success in an interview is if the interviewer takes your timeline into consideration. According to an article written by Alison Green of US News, a sign that the recruiter is strongly considering offering you the position is if she inquires about whether your timeline conflicts with the employer’s timeline.

It’s in the Details

Knowing whether you can define your interview as a success requires you to pay attention to some of the small things that occur during the process. One way to tell if your interview was successful is if the interviewer is speaking as if you already have the job. For example, if the interviewer mentions you as already being a part of the team or speaks on what will occur once you start the job, you can consider this a good sign. In addition to what the interviewer says, pay attention to the nonverbal cues. Amy Levin-Epstein of CBS Money Watch states that the recruiter nodding, leaning in or making good eye-contact with you are good signs the interview went well.

You’re In, You’re Out

If your interview lasted much shorter than expected, it may indicate that the interview was a failure. If an interview you expected to last 30 minutes only lasted 20, it may not mean anything. In contrast, if the employer told you to expect to spend an hour in the office, but the interview only lasted 25 minutes, it may have went poorly. In addition to the time spent in the interview, another way to tell that it did not go as expected is if the conversation between you and the recruiter seems disconnected. According to Grantham University, one way to improve in this area is to use short stories to describe your skill set and adequately prepare questions to ask the employer during the interview.

Next Candidate Please

Other ways to help define failure in a job interview is if the interviewer continually interrupts you. This can mean that the interviewer thinks you are long-winded or she simply is not interested in what you are saying. Another clue is if the interviewer makes it a point to focus on skills needed for the job you do not possess. Employers who are truly interested in a job candidate show concern when you mention that you are interviewing with other companies because they fear losing you to another employer. If an employer shows no concern or interest about you interviewing with other organizations, it may be a sign that she is not interested in you as a candidate.

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