Signs an Interview Went Bad (With Tips to Help You)

Updated 1 April 2023

After a job interview, you may have conflicting views about how well you did. There are some key signals to look for when trying to figure out how an interview went, such as an interviewer's body language and the types of questions they asked or did not ask. Learning how to assess how an interview went can help you feel better prepared for your next interview. In this article, we discuss some signs an interview went bad and outline some tips and suggestions to enhance your performance in the next job interview.

Related: Interview Video Tips: How to Succeed In Video Interviews

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What are the signs an interview went bad?

There are several signs that an interview went bad. Attempting to determine whether your interview went well may help you move on and focus on preparing for your next chance. It's important to remember that these signs are not necessarily an indication of your performance. For example, if an interviewer seems uninterested during your interview, it might be due to factors beyond your control, such as a hard day at work or personal concerns. Outlined below are several signs you may look for when evaluating the interview:

The hiring manager didn't talk about your future with the firm

It's common practice for the recruiters to ask about your professional aspirations and explore prospects for progression within the organisation. If this did not occur during your interview, they might have concerns about your past and ability to handle the task. To explain the issue, enquire about advancement chances and whether there's anything you might change that would make you more qualified for the position. This demonstrates your drive and dedication to self-improvement.

Related: How to Prepare For an Online Interview: Tips and Suggestions

The interview was much shorter than anticipated

A common in-person job interview lasts between 30 minutes to an hour. If your interview concluded sooner than expected, it might mean that the recruiter made a quick choice to move on to the next applicant. If the interviewer looked rushed, seemed apologetic for cutting the interview short and offered to reschedule, they undoubtedly still have interest in learning more about you. This might happen, for instance, if they've got an important meeting or project to attend to.

You felt hurried

If the recruiter likes you and believes you're a good match for the job, they're going to take their time during the interview to go over critical details with you. This might be your work history, job experience or the tasks and responsibilities of the position you're looking for. Some may even talk about your interests and things you have in common.

You may also find yourself in a position where an interviewer attempts to speed you through the talk. This might indicate that they're running late for another meeting. In any case, thank them for the chance and convey your excitement about maybe progressing to the next stage.

Related: What Is a Speed Interview? (With Benefits and Tips)

The hiring manager lacked compelling body language

In certain cases, body language may reveal a lot about how an interviewer perceives your performance throughout the interview. Consider paying attention to their facial expressions and how they sit if you want to know their thoughts on your talents and expertise. If they're smiling, paying attention, actively listening and asking follow-up questions, they presumably think you're a qualified candidate whom they may consider for the next round of interviews.

The hiring manager didn't ask you follow-up questions

In many circumstances, hiring managers may want to ask you further questions after you've given your responses to understand more about you. This allows them to better comprehend not just your talents, but also your thought patterns and what drives you to pursue this job. If they go from one item to the next without asking follow-up questions, it might indicate that they're in a hurry. When this occurs, consider going into further detail to describe your talents and prior job responsibilities to them.

Related: How to Answer Second Interview Questions (With Examples)

The hiring manager looked distracted

A preoccupied recruiter may continually check their phone or the clock, giving the impression that they're waiting for something. In a circumstance like this, try to remain calm and confident. Their behaviour may indicate that they're running late for another meeting. Interviewers usually plan many appointments with applicants per day and interview for multiple jobs within the organisation, which might cause stress.

The hiring manager didn't ask about your availability

Hiring managers who want to employ you may want to know when you're going to start working for the new firm. They ask about this so that they can properly arrange your onboarding and give you ample time to give your old company your two weeks' notice. If they don't mention it, try offering information about your availability and when you can begin work. Most likely, they simply forgot to ask you about it, or they plan to ask in a follow-up email or conversation.

You received very few questions concerning your abilities

If a recruiter appears engaged in your background and skills, they may have an interest in learning how you can help the firm expand. They could convey this by asking you more detailed questions about how you work and think. If they appear uninterested in how your abilities may contribute to the company's success, they may already have another applicant in mind. Consider reviving their interest by discussing your previous successes or tasks that are closely relevant to the job you've had.

The interviewer did not promote the firm

Interviews provide the recruiter with the opportunity to advertise the organisation to possible applicants. They may, for example, highlight organisational culture and performance. If the interviewer doesn't try promoting the firm, this might be a symptom of a terrible interview. Maintain your excitement for the position, irrespective of their attitude toward sharing corporate information with you.

There were fewer panellists than anticipated

If you come into a panel interview room and notice that some seats are empty, this might be a negative omen. It's likely that the recruiting team has already chosen another applicant and that the panellists who were unable to attend opted not to see any further candidates. There might be other causes, such as a last-minute meeting or an illness. Engage the remaining panellists and give the interview your full attention, regardless of the number of vacant chairs.

Related: FAQ: What Is a Panel Interview? (With Example Questions)

Tips for enhancing your job interview performance

Outlined below are some extra pointers to assist you in better preparing for your next job interview:

Demonstrate enthusiasm and curiosity

Demonstrating your enthusiasm about a career opportunity may demonstrate to the recruiter that you're set for greater professional challenges and are working to improve your abilities. To showcase this, conduct a thorough study on the company and job. This might help you explain to the interviewer how your talents can affect the organisation's performance and how you'd like to progress in your career by making a significant contribution to the success of the department.

Related: How to Prepare for an Interview

Make certain that the position is a good fit for you

You may find yourself applying to a variety of jobs hoping that the recruiter would recognise promise in you. Although this can occasionally work, consider just applying to positions that match your current talents and expertise. This can considerably improve your chances of succeeding in an interview. Interviewing for a position that you believe would help you advance professionally might make you more enthusiastic about the firm you're interviewing with.

Examine frequent questions and practise responses

Examining sample interview questions that an interviewer may ask you is an excellent approach to prepare for the encounter. It can make you feel more comfortable and confident, which can help you perform better in interviews. You may also test your knowledge by answering the questions aloud with a family member, colleague or friend.

Pose interesting questions

At the end of your job interview, most recruiters expect you to ask them questions. They use this to determine whether you're interested in the position and want to learn more about it. If you want to conclude your interview on a high note, prepare some questions for the interviewer ahead of time.

Related: What to Say in a Job Interview? (With Examples)

Take your time responding to questions

When you rush to deliver an answer to a question, you risk not explaining your arguments effectively. Make sure to pay close attention to what they say and take your time answering. This demonstrates that you're already involved in the position and want to do well during the interview.

Explain to the recruiter how your expertise may benefit the organisation

Concentrating your responses on how you can help the organisation may boost your prospects of progressing to the next round of discussions and interviews or possibly receiving a job offer. Employers want to help their employees advance professionally, but they often prioritise the demands of the organisation. If an interviewer asks you about your professional ambitions such as where you see yourself in five years, try saying that you want to help the company grow. In doing so, it can allow you to get more experience and enhance your talents.


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