The aim of attending an interview is to land the job, but this is not the case many times. Sometimes, we fluff this interview due to anxiety, lack of preparation, or something else. Many people do not know when an interview goes poorly, but there are subtle clues you can pick from the recruiters to see if it went poorly.
These clues are not definite and do not guarantee you’ll not be getting the job. However, a combination of more than a couple of these signs is a strong indication you didn’t do too well in the interview.
The good news is that you can even pick up some of these signs during the interview and remedy the situation by approaching the questions differently, explaining more details, or using a different approach.
Knowing if the interview went poorly after the interview can still be highly beneficial as you can learn from your mistakes, move on quickly and continue applying for other jobs.
Recruiters will typically try to mask how they feel about a candidate, but you can pick up some clues by reading in between the lines, picking up body language and expressions, among other things. Now to the signs that show you may not end up with the job.
Some Signs That Can Tell You Your Interview Did Not Go Well
There are ways in which you can detect that your interview did not go as well as you may have expected. Detecting these signs can help you fix the issues later. Here are some of them.
1. Interview Duration
When the interview duration is short, it is a strong indication you may not be getting the job. Usually, recruiters will have many questions to ask and even more questions to people they’d like to employ. If they find you interesting, they would want to know more about you. A good interview should last for at least half an hour, but even this is not set in stone, some good interviews may be shorter. This is especially true where there are more interviews scheduled.
2. Recruiter Does Not Maintain Eye Contact With You
Eye contact shows a person is interested in whatever you’re saying. During the interview, you may notice the recruiter is not making eye contact with you; instead has their eyes all over the place, on the clock, painting on the wall, desk, or the flower pot beside the door. In this situation, you can try to revive the interview by connecting with the recruiter personally. Say, mention a publication or work they’re involved in and how you found it helpful. You can also take up your energy levels to make the interview more exciting for the recruiter.
3. The Recruiter Did Not Try To Sell The Company
Usually, recruiters try to sell the company and its benefits to candidates during an interview. But they mostly reserve this for candidates they are interested in hiring. If you notice the interviewer did very little to sell the company to you, it may be a sign you’ll not be getting the role.
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4. The Recruiter is Giving A Negative Body Language
Naturally, people take up some positions and do some things when they are no more interested in what another person is saying. So when a recruiter does not consider you suitable for the position, they may exhibit these signs. They include turning away from you or leaning backwards, showing no positive signal like nodding or leaning forward, among other things. You should remember that some people know how to keep an emotionless body language even when you impress them.
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5. They Don’t Smile
This may be their personality as not everybody likes to smile frequently. You should bear this in mind before you lose your cool. However, if you saw the interviewer laughing hysterically before you came in and all of a sudden their mood is as gloomy as it can be, this may be a sign that they are not interested in you and what you have to offer. Experts say you can try some light-hearted comments to lighten the mood.
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6. You Fluffed A Crucial Question
You prepared hard for the interview, but this particular question caught you off guard, and you fluffed it. You know you didn’t do justice to the question. This is a strong indicator that you may not be landing the job, especially if it is a vital question. The interviewer will feel you didn’t prepare well enough for the interview, and you may not be the right candidate.
7. You Didn’t Ask Any Questions
Didn’t you know an interview is not only for a candidate to answer questions? It would be best if you also asked questions. In fact, asking questions is essential as it shows you’ve done your research on the role and company and are highly interested in the role. If you missed the chance to ask the recruiters a couple of questions, you might have just reduced your chances of getting the job. You should prepare a couple of not-too-detailed questions to ask during an interview when the opportunity presents itself.
8. The Recruiter Is Always Contradicting Your Answers
You answer a question, and the interview counters your reply; this doesn’t happen just once but frequently throughout the interview. It is a strong indication you may not be getting the job. The contradiction shows they disagree with what you’re saying. If recruiters are happy with your answers, they’ll appreciate them and not contradict them. So when you have this recruiter who keeps picking on your responses, it may mean they don’t find you suitable.
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9. Interviewer Keeps Asking Silly Questions
An interview should be a time for the recruiter to get to know you and how you can help their company. And the best way to achieve this is by asking you relevant questions about your skills, experience, education, and more. When the recruiter instead chooses to keep asking silly, unrelated questions, they may just be trying to waste your time. They are not trying to see how you can help, only trying to waste some time before ending the interview.
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10. You Didn’t Speak With The Expected Number Of People
When recruiters find a suitable candidate, they try to know more about you quickly. So when you were scheduled to meet a couple of people for the interview, and you only met a few, it is a strong indicator that they didn’t find you a strong candidate and didn’t want to waste their time. This can be for interviews where a couple of top employers were scheduled to attend or a series of interviews with each of them. If a few of them miss the interview and you’re given a clear explanation, then it is good enough. But when more than a few miss out, and there is little or no explanation about their absence, you should take this as a sign.
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11. There Was A Lack Of Connection
The connection between the candidate and the recruiter is essential, and when you notice a lack of any connection in your interview, it may mean the interview is not going well. You should bear in mind, however, that some recruiters like to keep it strictly professional and straight. So a lack of connection is not final. Nevertheless, if the interviewer didn’t get to know you, no humor and small talk, it may mean they don’t see you as the right candidate for the job.
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12. The Recruiter Keeps Going Back To Review Your Resume
Ordinarily, you will feel this is a good sign since they are spending more time on your resume, but it isn’t. Of course, recruiters often look through your resume as you speak, but when even an answer makes them crosscheck your resume, it isn’t a good sign. This may mean they are noticing contradicting or confusing statements. You should ask if they have any questions about your resume when you notice this.
13. They Didn’t Ask About Your Availability
Asking when you’ll be available to start working shows interest. When recruiters fail to ask this question at the end of an interview, especially late-stage interviews, it may mean they don’t think you’re suitable for the position. Sometimes, this may just be an oversight, and the interviewer simply forgot to ask; you can mention your availability at the end of the interview or in your follow-up emails.
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14. The Recruiter Mentions Other Candidates
During an interview, it should be all about you and no one else. So when a recruiter mentions other candidates during your interview, this is more like a warning to let you know you may be disappointed. Nevertheless, you should strive to give it your all and put up a good showing. You’re not out yet since you’re taking that interview.
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15. The Recruiter Kept Asking For Explanations
While it is normal that the recruiter will ask you questions that will require detailed yet specific answers, doing so all the time shows that the recruiter is satisfied with what you said. If they keep telling you to explain yourself repeatedly, then it means that they are not convinced or impressed by what you are saying, and it is not a good sign. It indicates that they are looking for some other response, and you have to understand their point of view to be able to give them the expected answer. If the recruiter does not find that, it will go against you.
16. The Recruiter Didn’t Ask You To Call Back
At the end of the interview, a recruiter will tell you to call back in a few days to know about the next phase of the interview or mention that you will get a call from the office doing the same. It is not a good sign if your interviewer does not tell you any of those things. It means they are not interested in pursuing your further, which is definitely not a good sign. Since this happens only towards the end of the interview, you may consider that the interview did not go well or that they have already decided on a candidate.
17. The Recruiter Seemed Dismissive
If the recruiter seemed dismissive or in a hurry while you are answering the questions, then your interview is not going well. No matter how late in the day it is or whatever factor plays a role, hiring managers will always become alert if they find an exceptional candidate. If you feel that your recruiters are not interested in what you have to say and they seem in a hurry to finish the interview, then it has not gone very well for you.
18. The Recruiter Seemed Distracted
Another sign that your interview went wrong is if you feel your interviewer is distracted. Were they fidgeting with the pen all along? Or did they check their phone too often? Did they seem reluctant to ask you about follow-up questions? Did they keep talking to someone else on the panel instead of letting you finish what you had to say? All these signs show that they are clearly distracted and were disinterested in what you had to say, and it is not a good sign.
19. The Recruiter Didn’t Speak Much About Your Experience
Although you may have mentioned many of the details in your resume, a hiring manager will always try to find out about the kind of work you have done to understand whether you can fit into the job role they have in mind. If they do not do that and do not show much interest in your expertise, they may not be impressed or feel the need to go into the details. This could indicate that the interview is going badly because most recruiters will not miss out on this crucial aspect. And it could be because they do not want to hire you.
20. The Recruiter Didn’t Ask About Your Future
If a recruiter does not show interest in your goals, it could be because they feel you do not have a future with the company. Most recruiters are interested in hiring candidates who will stay at least three to five years with the company and contribute towards the company’s growth. However, if they do not ask you where you see yourself in the subsequent years or how you can add to the company’s growth, it is probably because they do not want to go ahead with you.
How To Fix An Interview Gone Wrong?
Not all interviews go well, and while in some cases you have no control over the outcome, in the case of others, you still have a chance to turn things around in your favor.
If you feel that an interview is going wrong or you did not get the outcome you expected after it is over, you can do a few things to fix it. Here are some ways:
- Be perceptive. If you notice your recruiter is too rigid or seems dissatisfied with your answers, try to take another approach. For example, if you were being too technical with your answers, make your subsequent answers more human by taking a storytelling approach and vice versa.
- Focus on your USP. If you feel that your interviewer seems bored or disinterested, try to find a unique perspective and focus on what makes you different. Just because the interview questions are conventional doesn’t mean you always have to give conventional answers. If you can stand out from the others, you can still fix an interview going badly.
- Do not show you are discouraged. This is one of the biggest mistakes candidates make when they see an interview going badly. Do not become agitated or nervous, and keep calm, even when things are not going in your favor. This will show that you cannot handle stressful situations and will be one more thing working against you.
- Offer to call back even if the recruiter did not mention it. This will show that you are interested in the position, no matter the outcome of the interview. And when you make that call, try to make a point or two about the job role, even if you have not mentioned it during the interview. Work it into the conversation. The recruiters just might see you in a different light because of it and ask you to come in for the next round.
- Take accountability for your responses. If you give a wrong answer by mistake and feel that the remaining interview is going badly because of it, make amends for it. Many candidates try to downplay this situation and cover up for the wrong answer. This only results in unnecessary rambling; the recruiters will see through you. Instead, own your mistakes and rectify them. You will have a huge chance of salvaging the rest of the interview.
Bad interviews may be demoralizing, but you should instead see it as a lesson to get better and learn from your mistakes. Sometimes, you can correct these mistakes right there during the interview and still get the job. Other times, you have to try other positions. If you’ve taken the cue, you will be going for other interviews with better experience and readiness.