Nobody wants to wait days, or sometimes even weeks, to find out if the hiring manager was impressed by them in the interview.
So, here's some good news: You don't have to.
You just need to be observant while you're in the hot seat.
"Some of the best indicators of your job interview performance include the hiring manager's body language, the length of the interview, the types of questions the interviewer asks, whether the hiring manager is talkative or makes a pitch about how great the company is to work for, whether you're introduced to others on the team, and how they answer your questions, to name a few," says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of "Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job."
Here are 11 signs your interview may end with a job offer:
1. The interviewer uses positive body language.
"Look for strong, consistent eye contact, and whether they lean forward while speaking to you, versus having their arms folded or are leaning back," says Taylor. "A good sign is if they're smiling, laughing, and generally upbeat."
2. The discussion extends beyond what you had anticipated.
"Often hiring managers budget in extra time in case the candidate excels, and they need to extend questioning or introduce you to other managers," Taylor explains. "So if you're there longer than you thought or were told the interview would last, that's a good sign."
3. Your interviewer is chatty.
"If they seem to want to spend extra time to get to know you, or start opening up about themselves, you're getting a subtle thumbs up," Taylor continues.
4. They're not at all distracted.
It's always a good sign when the hiring manager is ignoring typical distractions, such as people stopping by, phone calls, and text or email notifications. "If you have their undivided attention, and they listen carefully with pertinent follow-up questions, it means they're genuinely interested," she says.
5. The interviewer introduces you to others on the management team, and your would-be coworkers.
"When hiring managers are keenly interested in you, they oftentimes want to get the opinions of others. That may include their peers, their bosses, and your peers," says Taylor.
It's an especially good sign if you're introduced to your prospective colleagues. This shows a deeper level of interest. While your prospective coworkers are evaluating you, too, managers are also allowing you to hear testimonials on how great it is to work there from a more "candid" perspective.
6. Your interviewer asks you questions about your long-term objectives.
Does the manager speak about future growth opportunities? Do they show you the path to advancing and assuming greater responsibility over time? If so, this shows deeper interest in you and the potential for your future job satisfaction, which are all positive cues.
7. You're asked about your other job search opportunities or your availability.
These are subtle signs that the hiring manager may not want to lose you. "If you're asked how early would be able to start the job, you might give yourself a pat on the back (once you're out of plain sight, of course)," says Taylor.
8. The interviewer speaks specifically about salary and other compensation.
This tells you that your prospective boss is serious, and isn't wasting time. It also indicates that there may be fewer hurdles to getting the final offer (your boss may be in a position of power to decide on final salary without getting approvals of others).
9. They answer your questions thoughtfully and directly.
This is always a good sign, she says.
"This is also your opportunity to ask questions that lead you to determine where you stand," says Taylor. "If, for example, the hiring manager answers your questions about growth opportunity with enthusiasm and specifics, then you are in effect being proactive about gathering data."
If you feel comfortable enough, you can be direct with your interview at the end of the discussion by asking, "Do you feel that based on our discussion I'm a good fit for this position? I am very interested in working here," Taylor says. "An important part of your arsenal during this process is in gauging responses all along the way."
10. At the end of the interview, the hiring manager offers positive information about the next step.
Not all interviewers show their cards, but you know you're in good stead if they proactively tell you that they will be getting back to you soon, or wish to set up a second interview.
11. You get a firm handshake and smile on your way out.
Maybe they're just friendly, or maybe they were really impressed by you. Many interested interviewers will be warm as you leave, will stay verbally engaged, and will walk you to the lobby.
"Just remember to stay upbeat and professional during the entire interview process — even if you're certain it's in the bag," Taylor says. "Many hiring managers will continue judging you even after the interview ends, so always follow up with a thank-you note."
We want to know your most pressing questions related to your career or job search! Tweet Careers editor Jacquelyn Smith @JacquelynVSmith or email her at jsmith[at]businessinsider[dot]com, and we'll do our best to answer them.
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