Posted By: Deanna DeBenedictis

Even if you haven't interviewed a lot, it's usually pretty clear when things aren't going well. Gaps of silence; a distracted, disengaged interviewer; the session is cut short.

But whether you're new to the process or a seasoned applicant, it can be less obvious when an interview is going well. Signs of a good interview are much more subtle, and easy to miss when you're under pressure and focused on making a strong, positive impression.

The easiest way to know an interview went well is if it lasted longer than scheduled/expected. Interviews are generally structured to a certain time frame and good hiring managers will have set of questions for each candidate. Extended interviews generally reflect a more in-depth conversation and rapport.

Another way to tell things are going well is if the hiring manager deviates from prepared questions. Talk might turn to challenges the new hire will face in the position, and possibly skills that have been lacking in previous employees. Discussion about future growth for the company/position and how it fits with your skills and long-term goals is also a good sign – it indicates the interviewer is considering you in a future role with the company.

Other indicators may be found in the specifics: if the interviewer asks about start dates or gives a specific answer when you ask about next steps (i.e. we'll let you know by Thursday" rather than "We'll be in touch …")

Of course, a good interview doesn't always lead to an offer. If it went well, but you don't land the position, take a chance and ask the hiring manager what you can improve upon in your next interviews and build on it.

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