- You’ve got the interview panel talking too. People like to talk. If our answers are prompting or stimulating them to talk, that’s nearly always a good sign. You’ve got them thinking. Don’t be afraid to ask them a question.
- You feel like an adult throughout. Remember, you’re not 16 years of age looking for a summer job. You’re an adult. You’ve studied and/or you’ve worked. You’ve got something to offer. Okay, you may be (or, indeed, you may not be) a little lower down the ladder in terms of experience, but you are not coming to this engagement like a beggar at a feast.
- It goes by quickly. The more animated and engaged you are, the quicker it will go. If it feels like pulling teeth to you, it’s probably not that enjoyable for them either.
- Your immediate thought afterwards is ‘that went pretty well’. Trust that. Of course, driving home – or walking away from the Zoom meeting – you will realise you forgot to tell them something crucial, but c’est la vie. Most people forget something in interviews. I refer you to your immediate thought after the interview. I have always found that to be reliable – and even if you don’t get the job, you should evaluate your interview for what it was. The result is not the only way of assessing your interview – there may have been a stellar candidate ahead of you, or perhaps the boss’ nephew.
- When they say things like “it was lovely to meet you”, it sounds like they mean it. Interview panels love nothing better than candidates who do good interviews. It elevates their day, breaks up what can be a tedious affair, gives them something to chew on in their post-interview discussions.
- The interview over-runs – this is generally a sign of a high level of engagement. If you find the panel asking you follow-up or clarification questions, the likelihood is that they are genuinely interested in you.
- They start selling the job to you. Interview panels live in fear of the runaway winner turning the job down. You don’t think that’s true? Trust me it is. If you discern the table turning during the interview, take it as a good thing. But don’t get complacent. Your focus should still be on persuading them you are the best candidate. That job isn’t done until it’s done.
- The interview feels more like a conversation than an interrogation. This is a reiteration of Points 1, 2 and 3 above.
- A member of the interview panel comes out to bat for you. There are often wheels within wheels on the other side of the table. Panellist A might be drawn to your skills and experience because they have an immediate use for them – and so they (Panellist A) may make a point of highlighting them for the benefit of Panellists B and C. If this happens, sit back and let it roll.
- When you ask a question about the company or the role, they take time to answer it in full. They want you to know the score. This can be a first cousin of what I flagged in Point 7 above.
Mary O’Brien-Killeen is a Career Coach with Sli Nua Careers in Claremorris, Co. Mayo.
Make a booking HERE for CV Preparation, Application Form Writing, Interview Training and Mock Interviews.
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