There might not be an exact formula for assessing how you’re performing in a job interview, but if you pay close enough attention to your interviewer’s body language, there’s much to glean from certain subtleties.
Eye contact or, in this case, lack of eye contact, is a sure sign that you’re not doing enough to captivate their attention or establish a rapport. It’s likely they’re not taking note of what you’re saying.
Workplace expert and author Lynn Taylor says if this happens to you it might be time to inject a bit of energy into whatever it is you’re saying and try to find a way to connect with your interviewer on a more personal level.
“This is a good time time for you to lean forward with enthusiasm as you speak. It’s likely to get attention and exude confidence,” she advises.
Here are three other red flags to look out for:
The interview is short or you meet with fewer people than initially expected
If your interview comes to an abrupt end a few minutes into it and there was no initial explanation at the start to suggest that it would be cut short, then your interview probably hasn’t gone well, career expert Amanda Augustine says.
“You were supposed to meet with three different people in the department, but after the first interview, they send you on your way.” she says. “Unless the entire team suddenly came down with the flu, don’t expect to receive a callback from the company.”
If the interviewer seems distracted and isn’t asking follow-up questions
Follow-up questions are key indicators of an interviewer’s interest in you and what you have to say. If these aren’t forthcoming or the interviewer is distracted by their phone or seems bored, your interview isn’t going well at all.
A way to get around this and possibly bounce back is to ask intelligent questions to get the interviewer to engage with you. If you’re feeling really brave, you can even ask them straight out whether you think you’re a good fit for the role.
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Salary expectations aren’t discussed
If a company is seriously interested in you the question of what you expect to earn is bound to pop up, likely towards the middle or near the end of the interview.
Also, if they haven’t asked you for references, this is usually a sign that you haven’t cracked the interview.
In this case you might want to consider writing a thank-you note to your interviewer as a courtesy, thanking them for their time and the opportunity. Use the chance to make a better impression than the one you may have made during the interview. And make sure you highlight the unique skill or skill set you can bring to the organisation as well as your enthusiasm – at this point, you have nothing to lose.