Learn the Signs Whether You Passed or Failed the Job Interview

Knowing the signs of whether you passed or failed the job interview can be very challenging. There is no way to assess if you answered all the questions correctly and accordingly when you’re on the spot of the job interview. Post-job interview clarity may lead you into overthinking that you weren’t able to pull-off the job interview as you planned in your head. You may even perhaps said the wrong thing or you weren’t able to properly get your point across to the interviewer. On the other hand, you may even come across the idea that you were able to ace your job interview, and might even end up disappointing yourself. 

In this article, you will be able to assess whether you passed or failed the job interview and valuable job searching tips for your future job hunt. But first, let’s discuss the importance of communication in a job interview.

Table of Contents

What is a Job Interview?
Communication During the Job Interview
11 Obvious and Subtle Signs that you Might’ve Failed the Job Interview
8 Positive Signs that you Might’ve Passed the Job Interview
Tips on How to Improve Your Job Interview Results
As a Hiring Manager

What is a Job Interview?

A job interview as we all know is the process of screening a job candidate that aspires to take an open position in an organization. Conducting a job interview is a practical way of determining whether you are hiring the right employee for the job. It is a conversation between the interviewer – which is typically the hiring manager and the job candidate – which is you. Although most job interviews are mostly composed of questions and answers, it is important to keep in mind that a job interview is an opportunity for you to connect and network with people within the organization.

Communication During the Job Interview

A job interview is more than just a back-and-forth of questions. A job interview is communication and connection between you – the job candidate and the hiring manager. But communication is more than just the words and ideas that come out of our mouths, understanding the information, that eventually turns into a sensible response. There are also other forms of communication outside the boundaries of talking and listening. These are known as physical body language, atmosphere, and energy. Without considering these signs and factors of the job interviewer, it would be hard to measure and estimate whether your job interview went well or poorly. 

11 Obvious and Subtle Signs that you Might’ve Failed the Job Interview

If you’re still overthinking about failing the job interview you came to the right place. Here are 11 signs that you might not land the job.

Unexplainable barrier between you and the interviewer 

Have you experienced the right atmosphere in a room when you’re with someone you don’t like hanging out with? Like you feel a dense ambiance and you feel uneasy and heavy with no reason at all? It’s kind of awkward, isn’t it? If you had the sensation during the job interview, it can be an indicator that the recruiter doesn’t see you as a potential hire for the job position. 

Unfavorable body language 

As people say, action speaks louder than words. Body language is a universal language that almost everyone worldwide uses. Some people may even use body language unconsciously since it involves a lot of psychology in it. For some people, they even use it purposely to send off a signal to someone they’re talking to. When talking to someone, it could be a stranger, your friend, or your peers in a social group, body language in communication is a big giveaway whether the person you’re talking to is interested or even dislikes you.

Same goes for your recruiter or the hiring manager. If you start to notice negative body language from the hiring manager such as crossed arms when listening, avoiding eye contact, and obvious physical changes such as a facial expression, most likely, the recruiter or hiring manager doesn’t favor you as a candidate for the job position.

The interviewer doesn’t look interested at all 

An obvious giveaway that you might’ve failed the job interview is when the recruiter or hiring manager loses interest half-way through the job interview or doesn’t seem interested at all to begin with. Of course, you won’t want to give precious time and energy to things you’re not interested in. A little harsh, but a common instinct for most people.

It is quite easy to spot when the recruiter loses interest during the job interview. If you start to notice changes in tone of voice, mood, and the flow of the interview seems a little bit rushed, then these signs might indicate that your job interview was unsatisfactory. Or your interview doesn’t engage with you in conversational ways or doesn’t seem interested in knowing more about you. When a hiring manager is interested in hiring a job candidate, they become more active in asking questions about your previous work experience, achievements, roles, and impact. 

Not providing specific details about the job position 

As a job seeker, it is important to get into the specific details about the job position to determine whether you are the right person for the job. Well, it is the job of the hiring manager to provide specifics about the job position to the candidate. But in most cases, if the recruiter or hiring manager doesn’t see you as a potential hire, they won’t try to sell the position as hard as they can to you. When a recruiter or hiring manager wants to hire you, they will be eager to catch your interest, to attract you into the company, just like how you would sell yourself to them.

In most cases, when the recruiter was not able to disclose any specific information on the job position you’re applying for doesn’t mean that they don’t find you fit for the job. Factors like the recruiter’s level of expertise or nervousness may even be the reason why the recruiter forgot to mention important job details and such. If this is the case, the following screening process will be handled by the hiring manager who can discuss things further with you.

Vague information about the company 

As we have stated earlier, it is important to get into the specific details to determine whether you are the right person for the position. It doesn’t mean that your skills or experience matches the job interview, you’re automatically a strong hire to the company. You still have to know about the industry and workplace environment of the company. If the recruiter or hiring manager was very vague about the company and didn’t discuss what it’s like working for them, expectations, work environment and the company goals, it is usually a bad sign that your job interview went badly. Well, unless you asked the hiring manager, they might even discuss it with you.

Your energy resembles your level of preparedness

You know that feeling when you’re on the edge? It’s like your fight or flight response is triggered every time the recruiter or hiring manager asks you questions. Don’t get me wrong, being anxious and nervous during the job interview is a normal psychological response that almost every professional experienced during their first job interview. But what I meant by your energy resembles your level of preparedness means that your aura conveys your lack of preparedness.

Great hiring managers can identify a job candidate’s preparedness on how candidates answer the job interview questions. Believe it or not, some hiring managers use psychology techniques in the hiring process in order to measure a candidate’s capability whether they are the right person for the job. So, if you feel like the hiring manager or recruiter knows that you weren’t able to prepare enough, it is a bad sign because your preparedness for the job interview will reflect to you as a professional.

Non-targeted and general questions

Each candidate possesses unique work and personal experience, background, achievements, culture, and such. It would be sensible for the hiring manager to ask interview questions based off the candidate’s overall experience. Of course, the hiring manager can’t ask you about real-life corporate work experience when you’re a first-time job seeker. There are really general questions that the hiring manager would ask such as “Tell me about yourself, “Why do you want this job?”, “How do you see yourself in the next five years?”, or “What are your strengths?” since these job interview questions are typically ice breakers for the job interview.

But if you are faced with only general questions, make sure that you answer these questions carefully since it is the make or break whether the hiring manager would be interested in going further to the job interview. If you’re going to think about pleading that you need to pay your rent or you need to make a living, think twice. It would come off as your only applying for the job position just for the money. Although we really do need a job to make income to sustain our living expenses, just don’t say that!

The hiring manager asks more concerns than interview questions

An obvious sign that you might’ve failed the job interview. When every time you answer the hiring manager’s questions and they seem to have concerns about every question you answer, this is generally not a good sign. When they ask for clarifications regarding your answers, it is generally fine. But if they frequently ask about information inconsistencies on your resume. or when your interview answers are quite questionable, it is a bad sign and considered a red flag for the hiring manager or the recruiter.

The interview went on a plain note

Most hiring managers or recruiters are energetic and never fail to bring up a smile when conversing with the job candidate. Especially when they are interested in hiring the job candidate for the position, they are ecstatic to tell qualified candidates that they are excited to see them further in the screening or interview process.

However, if it’s the opposite for you it might be possible that you weren’t the best candidate in the overall job pool of candidates that are applying for the same job opening. They might seem disinterested in how your job interview went and they might’ve already picked someone for the job position. However, you also have to consider that hiring managers and recruiters spend the whole day talking and keeping up a great mood to conduct job interviews with candidates.

No further instructions given after the interview 

Job interviews typically end with the hiring manager or recruiter giving out further instructions about the next screening processes. If you didn’t hear from them about what to do next after you did your first screening process, it could mean that you didn’t pass the job interview, or they haven’t set a schedule for your next screening process. Hiring managers takes time before they can fully evaluate a job candidate whether they make it to the cut. And it would definitely take some deliberation whether they will proceed with you on the next screening process. So, if you haven’t heard from them in the next couple of days, it probably meant that you didn’t pass the job interview.

You didn’t hear from them after the job interview

As we have mentioned above, it is typical that they provide further instructions for the second screening process of the job interview. They would probably send an email or drop a call at your telephone line when they have decided when to schedule you for the next screening process. If you didn’t receive any contact for them in a span of 7-14 days, then it is the final sign that you didn’t make it through the screening process and you have failed the job interview.

8 Positive Signs that you Might’ve Passed the Job Interview

You had a fun conversation with the hiring manager 

When you had a light and fun conversation with the hiring manager or recruiter, it could be a positive sign that you might’ve passed the job interview. Job interviews are typically known as a sequence of back-and-forth questions and answers between the hiring manager and the job candidate. But to have an effective job interview, it’s better to deliver the interview as conversational as possible. In that way, both the hiring manager and the job candidate can relax and it is easier to open up more, allowing important information to naturally come out. 

Consistent positive ambience

The ambiance before and during the job interview plays a big role between the interviewer and the job candidate. Ambiance can affect how the hiring manager delivers the question and how the job candidate answers the question. Let’s say that the ambiance is tense and tight, you might be unconsciously giving inaccurate answers and you might not be able to fully express yourself to the interviewer. When you don’t feel the heavy tension or your nervousness gradually fades away as the job interview goes on, then it is quite favorable for your job interview results. It doesn’t have to feel like rainbows and butterflies, but as long as the job interview was outgoing and light you can assure yourself that you’re in good hands.

The hiring manager doesn’t fail to smile

Communication is not just limited to verbal communication. There is also nonverbal communication that is unconsciously or consciously involved in part of every conversation. Nonverbal communication is gestures, facial expression or the physical communication involved in communication, and smiling is part of the nonverbal communication which we usually do when we’re talking or listening to something interesting. If the hiring manager or recruiter brings up a smile when you talk about yourself, they are most likely interested or impressed with what you have to say about yourself. 

You were acknowledged for your achievements

Work experience, background, and achievements are the main things you brag about during a job interview. These achievements are your foundation and selling point every time you take a job interview. If the recruiter or hiring manager acknowledged your work achievements and you were asked targeted questions about it like “how were you able to accomplish these achievements” or “what challenges did you encounter when trying to accomplish these achievements” and you answered perfectly, most likely you already sold yourself for the job position.

The hiring manager lays out the specifics of the job position

This is where things get serious, and you should feel good about it! Although the hiring manager’s job is to really give out the specifics of the job position, they would give out more information than just the general information in the job listing. They could give out your future roles, responsibilities and scope of work once you get hired in the organization. They start to discuss salary negotiation, employee benefits, and the overall goals of your position. If you were able to acquire these types of information from the hiring manager or the recruiter, then it is generally a great sign that you might’ve bagged the job interview.

Your interviewer discusses what it’s like working with them

Understanding the work culture and environment of the company that you’re applying for is an important factor to consider when applying for a job. Knowing whether you are fit for the organization matters since it greatly affects the productivity and efficiency of the workforce. If the hiring manager or recruiter starts to open up what it’s like to work with them, then congratulations! It can be a sign of subtle welcome to the organization.

Discuss their future plans with you

One of the most obvious signs that you might’ve passed the job interview is when the hiring manager or recruiter openly discusses their plans for you in the organization. These plans could be progression in the organization, training, future work responsibilities and such.  If you were asked about your personal future plans like “How do you see yourself in the next 5 years?” answer this question carefully since your answer can determine whether the hiring manager should hire you and if it’s beneficial for the long-term position for the company. 

Tips on How to Improve Your Job Interview Results

Assuming the worst for your job interview is natural, especially for first time job seekers. It is a common response when we first explore the corporate world and professional scene. With a wide competitive job market, it would be impossible to think of yourself as the most “incompetent” or “unqualified” person for the job. Unless you are an esteemed professional with several years of experience in your field. But we’re talking about young aspiring professionals that had no real corporate experience. In this selection, you will learn how to improve your job interview results and be the favorable candidate for the position.

Don’t overthink it

You know that famous quote by Lao Tzu “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” This quote is pretty applicable in terms of your progression on your job interviews.

“Don’t live in the past”

If you failed a recent job interview, reflect on the reasons why you didn’t pass the job interview. You weren’t the most qualified candidate? Maybe the job isn’t for you. You weren’t fully prepared for the job interview? Take the extra step of making sure you don’t come empty handed.

Don’t live in the future” 

Being anxious is a normal response for humans especially when we sense danger or when we’re nervous. But thinking of the end result of the job interview even before it started doesn’t make it any better. Instead, think of the reason why you are doing the job interview in the first place. Is it to get a head start in your career? Is it to provide an extra source of income to help your family? Or is it for the sake of buying the things you want? Then, focus your energy on the current job interview instead of assuming the worst-case scenario.

Live in the present”

Ideally, you want your mind to be here. Live in the moment as people say. Living in the moment manifests a razor-sharp focus on the agenda at hand. Instead of thinking ahead, think of the now and it will allow you to have clear and accurate answers to the job interview. Instead of being careful about the words you say, it would be difficult to express your thoughts to the job hiring manager.

Preparation is key

There’s no such thing as being overprepared, especially when we’re talking about your career. Taking a step further in preparing for your job interview is always an edge for you compared to other job candidates that are applying for the same job opening. It is important to do your research about the industry and the company you are applying for. Keep in mind hiring managers whether you’re prepared or not! Here is a list of things to prepare for a job interview:

  1. Do you research about the company and industry
  2. Master your resume
  3. Questions to ask the recruiter
  4. Get 8 hours of sleep
  5. Dress appropriately

Assess yourself before the job interview

As we’ve mentioned doing your research about the company and the industry you’re going to work. Doing your research will definitely help you in achieving favorable results for the job interview. Assessing yourself means, are you the right person for the job? Do you find it interesting to work in this industry? Is it worth the time and effort for the period you’re going to stay with the company? If these questions resonate with a “yes” then go for it! But if you’re having doubts or second thoughts, then maybe it’s time to reconsider if you really want this job.

Take your job searching strategies to the next level

Now, if you’ve done your part in internal ways in making sure you produce favorable results for the job interview, there are external ways for you to land your dream job. One of the easiest ways of getting a job is to explore your career opportunity in a job marketplace. A job marketplace is an online platform where recruiters and employers are actively looking for qualified talents like you! With a wide network of cross categories of jobs, positions, and specialized talents, a job marketplace is the place where job seekers have the greatest opportunity to explore jobs locally and internationally. 

A job marketplace like TalentHero allows you to find jobs through a cross selection of multiple job listings that are actively looking for talents like you. If you want to take your career to the next level, TalentHero is the place for you to explore your opportunities in the corporate and professional world.

As a hiring manager

TalentHero is a recruitment, hiring, onboarding platform for employers and recruiters actively looking for qualified talents easily. Through the cross categories of job listings, you will get to scout and hire talents that have specialized skills to fill in the gaps in your organization. From freelancers, rank-and-file associates, to managers, supervisors, startup founders, and even C-suites, TalentHero provides the Top 2% of qualified talents for your organization. Inquire at [email protected].

Author Bio

Oliver Lewis

Founder & CEO

Oliver is an entrepreneur and global recruiter with over 15 years experience – owning, training, managing and growing a recruitment businesses in Europe and South East Asia. He successfully built RPO teams for the UK, Europe, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Canada, and the USA. He’s managed to grow a start up from 2 employees to 600+ employees.

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