Have you ever been in an interview that you were pretty sure wasn’t going well? Perhaps things started out well and went south or started off badly and continued to get worse.
Sometimes your interviewer is just throwing you off. Not wanting to give anything away, some interviewers only pretend to be detached when they’re actually very excited about you as a candidate.
I know that sounds really annoying, but it happens – sorry.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell and I get that so here are a few giveaways you can definitely count on. If you’re in an interview and notice any of these things, it’s safe to say things aren’t looking good.
- You and your interviewer are not getting along. There’s no chemistry and the thought of working with this person (or someone like them) is driving you up a wall.
- It feels like you’re only being pumped for information. The manager doesn’t seem genuinely interested in you, they just want to leverage what you know to build their business. They have no intention of moving forward but know that you have ideas and are aware of systems and strategies that may be useful for them.
- The tone of the interview suddenly takes a turn for the worst. The interviewer seemed really upbeat and energetic in the beginning of the interview but then things changed. Suddenly, their tone changed. They now seem bored and standoffish.
- There is no mention of next steps. If there’s no mention of follow up interviews or if you inquire about next steps and aren’t given a direct response, then there are no plans to move forward.
- The interview duration is much shorter than expected. If your interview was scheduled for 10am and ended at 10:15 with no explanation or plans to reschedule, this means they’re going to pass and continuing the interview for another 15 minutes would be a waste of time for you both.
- You’re itinerary changes dramatically and you’re meeting with less people. If you’re scheduled to meet with 5 people and after meeting with 2 people are sent home with no explanation or plans to reschedule, they’re not planning to move forward.
So what do you do when you’re in the midst of an interview you know isn’t going anywhere? You have a few options.
You can end the meeting in the most gracious way possible, and simply walk away when you’re done. Don’t bother sending a Thank You note. Don’t bother following up. Just walk away.
This is NOT what I recommend. This option doesn’t teach you anything and if you’re not learning, you’re not getting better.
Instead of walking away with your heart in your hand, toughen up. Ask your interviewer head on how they feel about you as a candidate. Do they see what they’re looking for in you? Do they see you as someone who can solve the organizational challenges they’re facing? If not, why? Listen carefully to what’s said and take notes. If their feedback contains something technical that you can work on, do that.
If it’s a cultural fit issue then unfortunately there’s not much you can do with that. If their company culture is intense and fast paced, and you seem more laid back, it isn’t going to work. Sometimes the opportunity in front of you just isn’t the one for you and that’s OK.
Hopefully this helps you feel better about those missed interviews. Job seeking can be an arduous process that requires lots of research, preparation, ingenuity and perseverance. If you find yourself in a serious bind, I’d be happy to help you.
Let’s work together!
Hi, my name is Pamela Shand and I want the best for you in your career. I started Offer Stage Consulting to show job seekers how to overcome the most annoying challenges and get where they want to be in their careers. It is possible to actually be happy at work!
Let me show you how.