There are a number of signs that you’ll get the job after an interview, but you need to pay attention if you want to notice them! Even the most obvious hints can slip past you in the heat of the moment.
This guide will teach you how to know if you got the job, so you can stop worrying and start patting yourself on the back!
Keep in mind, any of these promising signs could indicate a pending offer (or an invitation to another interview). However, the hiring process is unpredictable and things can change suddenly. For example, a better candidate may enter into the process, the hiring manager may change her mind about what she really needs, the company may have a budget freeze or one of a thousand other things could bump you out of the running.
Never put your job search on hold or back out of other interviews until you start your new job!
1. They Dig Into the Details
For the most part, interviewers do their best to stay as neutral as possible. There’s a good chance you’re talking to a hiring manager or human resources professional with countless interviews under their belt. For this open position alone, they’ve likely asked the same questions over and over to other applicants.
Because of this, interviewers often have stone-cold poker faces and usually stick to a script. The goal is to gather the necessary information to ensure that you’re a good fit for the company.
So when they start to dig a little deeper into the finer details, take it as a good sign. We’re not talking about grilling you for more information. We’re referring to when an interviewer shows a genuine interest in what you have to say.
For example, they might ask for more details about one of your answers or a piece of job history and experience. Whatever the case may be, going “off-script” and asking you for more information shows that they like what they hear.
2. “When” vs. “If”
Sometimes, your interviewer can clue you in without even realizing it. Their thoughts can manifest in their word choice.
Pay attention to how they’re wording questions and statements. When that “if” turns into a “when,” it’s a great sign that you’ll get the job after the interview.
Generally, interviewers like to use conditional language. For example, you’ll hear a lot of, “If you get the job, this will happen,” or “The person in this position would do this.”
It’s a way to keep things neutral and avoid showing too much of their cards.
In some cases, interviewers will unintentionally shift their language. Suddenly, it’s “When you get hired, you’ll work here,” or “This is what we expect from you when you start.”
It’s a subtle change, but those words are a fantastic sign.
3. They Take You on a Tour
Hiring managers don’t give tours to every applicant. Workplace tours can be quite time-consuming. While they are a good idea, touring every candidate isn’t always practical.
If an interviewer offers to show you around, it’s a promising sign that you got the job.
Office tours can sometimes be awkward. It certainly puts you on the spot and makes everyone stop what they’re doing to see who you are. But remember, this is a good thing!
4. Casual Conversation
Here’s another subtle shift in the conversation that can give a lot away about the interviewer’s line of thinking.
Most often, job interviews are about business and nothing more. Sure, they may want to understand if you are a fit for the culture and team, but the first priority is to determine if you’re suited for a job. Making friends during the interview isn’t a top priority (no matter what the company culture is).
So, what does it mean when the interviewer veers off-topic, and you start having a more casual conversation?
Generally, that means that the interviewer already has the information they need to know. This is a good sign that you’ll get the job because they’re likely satisfied with what you can bring to the table. Now, they’re interested in getting to know you a little more as a person.
5. Perks & Benefits Are Discussed
It’s important to remember that hiring managers perform job interviews to gauge whether or not you can sufficiently fill the open role. Certain companies and certain recruiters do try to provide you with information you’ll likely be interested in knowing, like perks and benefits. But this is still pretty rare.
In addition to turning the conversation casual, your interviewer might start to bring up perks and benefits. It’s a critical conversational shift to listen for in the interview room.
This indicates that the interview has gone from determining your potential to highlighting all the good the company has to offer. Essentially, they’ve moved on to selling you on the organization and how great the position is.
Typically, discussions about benefits happen later. If they occur during the interview, it’s a great sign that you will receive a job offer.
6. You’re Asked About Your Availability & Timeline
Your general availability and potential work schedule are details that should come later on in the hiring process. In most instances, you don’t cover those details until you’re on the cusp of getting an offer. Some companies don’t even talk about it until you start filling out paperwork and onboarding.
But even though interviewers typically don’t deal with those aspects, they may bring those details up if they see you as a top candidate that they want on the team.
More important than your general availability is your transition timeline. When a hiring manager asks when you can start and how long it’ll take for you to transition into the company, consider it a very good sign that you will get the job. If they present a timeline and ask you if you can meet it, that’s even better!
7. Good Body Language
Paying attention to someone’s body language can provide valuable insight into what’s going on in their head. Use that to your advantage during an interview situation.
Even hiring managers trying to play things cool may give away their thoughts in their physical movements.
Some interviewers are required to go through a script of questions for multiple candidates. Don’t be surprised if they seem a little bored or rigid. This ensures that every candidate has the same experience.
But if you see your interviewer giving off subtle hints of enthusiasm, that’s a sign you might get the job. They might lean in when they speak to you, make eye contact, and even nod along to the things you say. A general attentive posture and responsive body language show that they like what they hear.
8. The Interview Runs Long
If an interview feels like it’s running a bit long, it might signify that things are going well.
Hiring managers have to get through several interviews for a single open position. Interviewers usually like to set aside a specific amount of time for each applicant to stay organized and on schedule.
It’s typically a good thing when your interviewer takes up most of the allotted time or goes over. It means that they are interested in what you have to offer and want to spend as much time getting to know you as possible.
No one wants to waste anyone’s time, so hiring managers often cut interviews short if they can tell you’re not a good fit. The longer an interview is, the better!
Now, it’s important to remember that every interviewer is different. It all comes down to context. Some might spend more time with you repeating and rephrasing questions because you’re not clear enough.
Learn to read their body language and use some of the other signs to determine if your longer interview was a good or bad thing.
9. You’re Asked to Meet the Team
This indicator is similar to getting an office tour. No matter how awkward it can be to get shuffled around meeting various team members and decision-makers, it’s a very good sign that you’ll get the job after your interview.
It’s not practical to meet everyone if you’re not getting the job and won’t work with them.
Meet and greets can serve a couple of different purposes. It might mean that the hiring manager is excited to welcome you to the company, so they show you who you’ll be working with to ease the transition. Alternatively, they can use the opportunity to get second opinions or reinforcements about the decision they’ve already made.
The latter purpose is more common if you meet higher-ups. Take advantage of the opportunity! It’s never a bad thing meeting people who can have an impact on the trajectory of your career.
10. Salary Expectation are Covered
If you reach the point of discussing compensation, it might mean that the interviewer is eager to move to the next phase of bringing you into the team.
Now it’s worth pointing out that this isn’t always the case. It’s not uncommon to hear some questions about salary expectations. After all, those points could be on the list of things they ask all applicants.
But when there’s a little back-and-forth about salary expectations, it’s usually a positive sign that you will receive a job offer. Salary negotiations don’t happen as part of the initial interview. That’s an entirely different part of the process in most cases.
Discussing pay and benefits in detail might mean that the interviewer is trying to better understand the type of package you’ll accept when they officially extend an offer.
11. If It Sounds Like They’re Trying to Sell You on the Company
Earlier, we mentioned that bringing up perks and benefits is a way to make the company look good. That conversation might go beyond simple statements about compensation.
Your interviewer might dive deep into matters like work culture. If they’ve been there for a long time, the hiring manager might even start to tell you about their story and how they’ve progressed to be in the position they are now. They could even talk about other employees and how they’ve succeeded.
Either way, hearing your interviewer highlight the positive aspects of the company is always a good thing.
When it sounds like they’re selling you on the company, they’re trying to convince you to accept a job offer before they even make it!
12. You’re Asked About Your Impressions of the Company
Sometimes, interviewers will outright ask you about your thoughts on the open position or the company itself (this might come up before or after the classic: “Do you have any questions for me?”).
For the most part, the goal of job interviews is to highlight your skills and prove why you are the perfect person to fill an open role. That said, it goes both ways. You have the chance to learn more about the company and determine if it’s a job you want to have.
Towards the end of the interview, the hiring manager might ask what you think. Once again, this is a potential sign that you’ll get the job after your interview.
The question isn’t a ploy or a trick. The hiring manager genuinely wants to know what you think because it allows them to address concerns and answer questions. Essentially, it’s another way to sell the company.
By answering your questions and overcoming your objectives, they can help you feel comfortable accepting an offer when it comes.
13. The Interviewer Says How Impressed They Are
Not every interviewer will beat around the bush or be intentionally vague. It all depends on the situation. Some hiring managers are very forthright and transparent.
If you’re lucky enough to hear an interviewer say that they’re impressed with what you have to offer, it’s a pretty clear sign that you got the job! You should feel good about what you’ve done!
Obviously, there are no guarantees, but interviewers don’t just say that to everyone. They’re not there to waste time or toy with someone’s emotions. It serves no one to lie to you, so you can take those types of statements at face value and pat yourself on the back when you leave the interview room.
14. Your References are Contacted
Contacting references is an integral part of the hiring process, but it’s not something that hiring managers do unless they’re seriously considering bringing you on. Again, it’s about being efficient and not wasting anyone’s time.
Why would they contact a reference of someone they’re not interested in hiring?
Make sure you provide good contact and give them a heads up that a hiring manager might get in touch with them. Some companies don’t even ask for references unless they intend on contacting them. That may come towards the end of the interview, so have some printed numbers ready just in case.
15. You’re Given Direct Contact Information
Getting direct contact information is always a good sign you’ll get the job after the interview. Hiring managers meet potential applicants all the time and usually avoid handing out business cards like candy.
If this happens, there’s a good chance that the hiring manager sees something special in you. It shows that they want to keep you engaged. That could mean that they’re interested in hiring you for this position, or they might have something else in mind for you within the company.
Either way, direct contact information is a huge deal. They’re giving you a line to reach them without having to go through a gatekeeper. It could even mean that they want you to reach out and ensure that the rest of the hiring process goes smoothly.
16. They Go Out of Their Way to Mention the Follow-Up Process
Many companies these days have a multi-step hiring process. It’s not enough to pass an interview with flying colors. While that’s undoubtedly one of the biggest hurdles to get past, you might have to complete other steps before getting an official offer.
They might tell you when to expect a call, or they could give you some insight into what happens next.
For example, you could have additional interviews with other higher-ups in the company. Some organizations also have skills tests to gauge your abilities.
If the hiring manager talks about any of that, they’re likely preparing you for what’s to come.
17. You Get a Prompt Response to Your Thank You Email
Hopefully, you don’t forget to send a thank you email after the interview. It’s job interview 101!
Now, most hiring managers can’t respond to every single email they get from applicants. It’s nothing personal! In most cases, a failure to respond has more to do with a lack of time than anything else.
That said, people responsible for hiring new employees understand the importance of staying in contact with compelling applicants. They don’t want to lose you to another company, so they’ll go out of their way to keep the lines of communication open.
If you receive a quick and positive response from the thank you email, pat yourself on the back! While there are no guarantees, a quick response is a good sign that you got the job.
There are plenty of signs that you got the job after an interview, and catching them is up to you! Some are more subtle than others, but being able to recognize them can save you a lot of unnecessary stress while you wait!
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.