This Interview Is Now Over: The Telltale Signs
The day has come. You’ve scrubbed behind your ears, ironed your suit, shined your shoes, and re-read all of your research and background information on the target company 1,000 times. It’s now show time.
Time to knock the interview out of the ballpark.
Entering into the interview room, you are confident, excited, and ready to roll.
But somehow, during the conversation, things don’t exactly turn out the way you had hoped. At a certain point, you just know that this interview is now over.
So what are the telltale signs that let you know when this moment has occurred?
Energy shift. Everything is going swimmingly, and you feel a synergy going on between yourself and the interviewer, but all of a sudden, it feels like it evaporates.
Eye contact. Can’t get eye contact from the interviewers? It means that they are hiding something. Or, if they are having extensive eye contact with anyone else on the panel, this can mean that they are communicating something between themselves.
You don’t want the job. Most job seekers report that at some point in their lives, they experienced an interview where, midway through, they decided that they didn’t want to work at that company. A conscious decision is made that this is not an employment option.
The “Awkward” moment. Interviews can suddenly shift from favoring you as a candidate to a “no-go” situation quickly because of how you answered a question… or didn’t answer it the way they wanted you to… which can create awkward moments when you realize, through their silence, that it wasn’t the answer they were hoping for… and you know that was the “make or break” question.
Facial expressions. People who are interested in you are smiling and engaging you. Interviewers who are no longer interested are stone-faced and short.
They don’t ask follow up questions. If there aren’t any follow-ups, that means that in many cases, they interviewers are hurrying through the questions just to reach the end of the interview session quickly so they can hustle you out the door.
So how DO you handle the situation when it is clear that the interview, from the employer’s standpoint, is now over?
The most important thing to remember is to continue on as though this is the most important interview ever, and that you still really want the job. Don’t let any negative energy or employer reactions taint your performance. You still need to deliver your best so you walk out of there secure in the knowledge that you did your very best, and you didn’t get shaken up during the process.
Leave how you feel about the job, interviewer, company, and the how the interview itself out of the equation until you exit the building.
Because despite all of these tell-tale signs, you NEVER know what an employer is really thinking! And as long as you did your best, you know that the rest is out of your hands and should never be taken personally.
Dawn Rasmussen, CMP, is a Certified Advanced Résumé Writer and the president of Portland, Ore.-based Pathfinder Writing and Career Services. Clients from across the United States and Canada and from all career levels have benefited from Dawn’s highly-focused and results-oriented résumé, cover letter, and job search coaching services. Many professional groups as well as colleges and universities have appreciated the insights and expertise she shares during presentations on career management topics, and she is a frequently requested national speaker as a result.