“Did I Get the Job?” 11 Signs You Didn’t Get it

This is a depressing post, but it’s necessary since many job-seekers tend to think they landed a job because an interview “went well” and they stop searching while waiting for a callback. After a few days, they start questioning themselves and wonder, “Did I Get the Job?” Unfortunately a lot of times that callback never comes, and it could be for a variety of reasons. Here are a few signs that you should keep looking and not sit by the phone waiting for a call.

I’ve observed these signs after going on many unsuccessful interviews in my career. It happens, don’t take it personally, be aware and make changes if needed. Also, at a previous company I worked for, I was in charge of interviewing and hiring all of our back office staff. So not only have I seen these signs when going on unsuccessful interviews, I’ve displayed some of them while interviewing hundreds of candidates in the course of my career.

1. It is not a priority

If you had a quick interview and the interviewer seemed impatient like he or she had better things to do, hiring may be low on their priority list. Another sign is if your planned interviewer was switched with someone else at the last minute. Hiring for the position may not be an urgent matter at the company and they may just be exploring the talent pool. Also, they may be interviewing so it looks like they are doing their job and being thorough to make their bosses happy, when in reality they have already chosen someone for the position.

2. It was too easy

– “Man that went great, the interview questions were so easy.” If you weren’t asked any difficult questions that were specific to the position, they may not have been seriously considering you as a candidate yet. Don’t worry too much, this doesn’t mean you won’t be called back for a second interview. If not, you may have been disqualified by your first impression or your resume and they are just going through the motions.

Did it feel like you pressed the easy button?

3. You didn’t interview with a decision maker

If your interviewer spent a lot of time writing things down and consistently mentioned someone else at the company. This may be a preliminary interview to drill down the amount of candidates to a few for a superior to interview. Some positions get an overwhelmingly large amount of applicants, so it may take 2-3 interviews to drill down the talent pool. Again, don’t worry too much, this doesn’t mean you won’t be called back for a second interview.

4. You weren’t vocal

If an interviewer feels like it is pulling teeth to get you to talk about yourself and your qualifications, you probably didn’t get the position. Even if you were qualified, if the interview went this way, you are likely to not get the position. You should be vocal, explaining things in extra detail, and selling yourself the whole time. That’s what you are there for! Feel free to talk a lot about yourself and your experiences, both professionally and personally to add a little human element to the mix.

There is a difference between in the moment and recalled memory. I don’t want to go to deeply into it in this short blog post. But if the interviewer has a lot of conversation that flowed well, he naturally remembers the interview more favorably. Every bit helps!

5. A candidate has already been selected

If your interviewer did not appear to be asking specific questions related to the position and just hit a few standard interview questions, then got you out of there in 15-20 min, another candidate may have already been selected. Even if you did well, the interview could have just been a formality since they have already picked a candidate, but they need to continue interviewing. Companies do this if the interview was already scheduled before they found the candidate, due to company policy, or to look good like a.

6. Money wasn’t mentioned

In sales, asking what the price of something is a, “buying sign.” If you are seriously considering buying something substantial, you would want to know the price, wouldn’t you? It’s the same when a company is considering hiring somebody. If they are at a point close to hiring, they will mention the pay and benefits for the position and see if you are ok with what is being offered. If you have no idea what the position pays, it’s doubtful they’re in the hiring stage yet.

Money on my mind

7. You were unprepared

If you didn’t bring in a copy of your resume and they asked for one, it’s a horrible sign. Having a paper resume to go over facilitates the discussion flow and helps the interviewer learn more about you. If you didn’t bring a copy, it makes it looks like you don’t have yourself organized, and probably would be the same way in the position. It’s tempting these days when everything is done online and over the internet, since “They already have it.” Make sure to come prepared with a few extra copies on your next interview. Don’t give up!

8. Tardiness

Also, if you showed up over 5 minutes late and they were waiting for you, it’s probably not going to work out. Punctuality is still important (I need to improve mine btw). Interviews often happen back to back and time delays can throw off the whole day. Don’t be the person that throws off the interviewer’s whole day.

9. You didn’t look the part

Did you feel out of place when you walked in because you looked different than all the other employees there? If you didn’t meet and even exceed their dress code requirements when looking your best, (and you should be on an interview) it’s not a great sign. Unfortunately, many people make quick judgments based on how people look, instead of solely relying on qualifications.

10. You were too ambitious

An interviewer wants someone that will be happy with the position and pay level and sees it as a great opportunity. They don’t want you to continue your job search and leave if you get bored or as soon as another job opening pops up. It reflects badly on the interviewer and managers if the candidate does not stick around for long (hiring is expensive!), or requests raises and promotions quickly before establishing their value at the company.

You don’t have to wear your heart on your sleeve and express your magnificent dreams and goals in an interview. Being overly ambitious can hurt you. Keep lofty goals, future promotions, and pay raises out of the conversation and remember this phrase, “I’m looking to get my foot in the door and gain some experience at ….. ”

Good … too good … the most good?

11. You didn’t have confidence in your answers

Having confidence that you would be perfect for the job and that you provide a tremendous amount of value is key. If you didn’t act confident when delivering your answers, even if you answered a question correctly, it can reflect negatively on you. If you can’t explain your value and show the interviewer how you can help the company, it is unlikely you will get the position.

If you saw a few of these signs during an interview and are wondering if you got the job, stop worrying and keep searching! The biggest thing to remember is to keep moving forward and continue looking for a job until you actually start one.

P.S. Try networking and directly contacting managers and professionals at companies. One of the reasons I know this works is because I interviewed a good number of people that directly contacted my boss about jobs via email and phone or were referred to him by others. I would periodically receive forwarded emails from him that I should contact a person about an interview. This is anecdotal, but my boss would actually refer back to these candidates and ask if I had brought them in for an interview yet, and if they worked out. This assured #1 – They were brought in for an interview and #2 – They became my priority too. He hardly paid attention to any of candidates brought in through the ads we posted online until they were hired. Even though we did post online job ads periodically, in off times we would still consider candidates that directly contacted us or were referred by others. Stay aggressive in your networking and outreach!

Updated 3/29/2017

– Jeremy

Applying to Jobs Online, Interview, Job Search Advice

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