If you're like most people, after you've had a job interview, you replay the conversation over and over in your head, trying to figure out how you did. Were your answers okay? Did they like you? How likely are you to get the job? But often, the most telling clues about how the interview went can be found in the interviewer's words and demeanor.
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Here are 10 signs that your interviewer just isn't that into you:
1. Mentioning the company is talking with a lot of candidates. Sometimes statements like this can be an attempt to tamp down your hopes.
2. Checking email, texting, or looking bored. While these can also be the sign of a bad interviewer who's disengaged for reasons that have nothing to do with you, they're often the sign of an interviewer who just isn't being wowed, rightly or wrongly.
3. Being vague about next steps. Good interviewers make sure that strong candidates know exactly what will happen next and when they can expect to hear something. (Of course, there are plenty of thoughtless interviewers out there, too.)
4. Seeming unconcerned when you mention you might get another offer. An employer who really wants to hire you won't be nonchalant if they hear that they're in danger of losing you to another company. They'll do everything from expediting their own process to asking you to wait to make a decision until you've heard from them.
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5. Focusing on areas where you don't have skills. If your interviewer continually talks about the company's need for someone with skills in X, when you mainly have skills in Y, she may be communicating that she doesn't think you're quite right for this particular role.
6. Interrupting you. This might signal that you've been rambling, or it might signal that the interviewer has simply lost interest. Either way, it's not a good sign. (And if you notice it happening, make sure you change gears.)
7. Ending the interview quickly. When interviewers aren't especially interested in a candidate, they'll often look for opportunities to wrap the interview up because there's no point in drawing it out.
8. Rushing you through your own questions. Whether or not candidates are strong contenders, most interviewers will ask what questions they have. But if you're a strong candidate, then a good interviewer will probe to make sure your question was answered satisfactorily. Good interviewers will also encourage you to be forthcoming about your reservations.
9. Expressing concerns directly. If you hear statements like, "I think you might have trouble with X" or "I'm concerned that you don't have more experience in ___," take them at face value.
10. Giving you career advice. Often if an interviewer starts advising you on what you could do to be a stronger candidate, it means that you're not going to get the job this time. (But keep in mind that this is a generous gesture and it's worth listening to the feedback.)
Of course, none of these signs is foolproof. An interviewer might do one or two of these without meaning anything.
And remember, if an employer isn't that into you, it's not the right fit. Instead, turn your attention to employers who are enthusiastic about what you have to offer.
Alison Green writes the popular Ask a Manager blog where she dispenses advice on career, job search, and management issues. She's also the author of Managing to Change the World: The Nonprofit Leader's Guide to Getting Results and former chief of staff of a successful nonprofit organization, where she oversaw day-to-day staff management, hiring, firing, and employee development. She now teaches other managers how to manage for results.
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