How to Tell if You Aced the Interview

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You just finished a grueling interview for that hospital management job. You think it went well. But you heard that employers are reluctant to hire people in their late 50’s. You need this one. It’s this or you don a blue vest and become a greeter at Wal-Mart. So how can you tell if the job is yours? 


The interview goes long on time and engagement.

A longer than scheduled interview is a good sign. So are detailed answers to your questions. It says the interviewer is interested and engaged in who you are, not only as a candidate, but as a person who might just fit into the company. If the interview moves from the Q&A stage to the conversational stage, it’s a clue that you’re on the very short list of candidates. Judi Perkins, How-To career coach and president and founder of Find the Perfect Job, says employers tend to be more hypothetical in their questions if they really want you to say yes. For instance, "the unconscious phrasing of the question 'Can you travel?' is pretty neutral," says Perkins.


You hear a decisive decision date.

If, on the phone, the interviewer suggested they need a few weeks to decide on “the right fit,” but at the end of your interview, you’re told you’ll hear back in a day or so, that’s another good sign. It means you’ve made it to the very short list.


You take the tour.

If after the interview you’re given a tour of the building, facilities and group/team members, things are looking up for you. Most employers don’t have the time to waste on these tours unless they consider you a prime candidate. Be sure to make a good impression on everyone you meet. Vickie Austin, founder of the business, executive and career coaching company CHOICES Worldwide, notes that incidental introductions to staff can provide a clue of your ranking as a candidate. If "you're being led back to the reception area and are introduced to one or two people in passing for a 30-second chat in the middle of the hall," you’re on the short list, notes Austin.


Your references are contacted before your interview.

They like what they’ve seen on your resume and cover letter. And they enjoyed talking to you on the phone. If they called your references before you walked in for the interview, it’s a good sign that you’re a top pick—and that the interview is yours to lose.


It’s a nail biter no matter how you look at it, but the clues noted above should tell you whether you’re a serious contender or if you should see what you look like in a blue vest.


Image courtesy of Ambro/


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    The examples you gave were right on.  Is there anything else to look for or do before the interview?
  • Alex Kecskes
    Alex Kecskes
    Joe: No, they could just be swamped with other work. Give it time.Cynthia: If no interview after assessment, move on to another company.Isaac: It's very rare that they will tell you why. Eva: GIve it another week, then move on.
    I found these ideas very interesting.
  • Joe B
    Joe B
    Interview Tuesday he said that you would contact me on Friday if I got the job or not. But he never did call is that a bad sign.
  • PatrickF
    I have an interview as a vet tech tomorrow, these are the things I've always wanted to know!
  • Nancy L
    Nancy L
    Sounds like this can be true for people interview for position below management level also.  
  • Aram H
    Aram H
    All good points but primarily for young persons.  At the age of 72, and tired of being "retired" I landed a job only because the manager of the company with the job requisition knew me as we attended the same lodge and he knew my skills.  As for the interview, my advice is this:  Take charge! Stop answering inane questions and concentrate on what you  can bring to the company you wish to join.  That means that you have to research the company well beforehand , what they make, or do, who are the principals, stock exchanges, financials, recent events, etc.   just to show the HR person how earnest you are and how valuable you can be to them.
  • William L
    William L
    I agree with everything in this article up to the reference check part.  My recent experience has been that my interviews skill and process has been all over the map.  Some are trained, many are haphazard in their interview approach.  I've had long interview days that were unproductive because the company was looking for "something else" even if you ace the interview.
  • Cynthia B
    Cynthia B
    Good. How do you get an interview after assessments?
  •  kelli.f
    Good information.
  • Mary T
    Mary T
    All of these things have happened to me in an interview. I have been looking for a job for over a year now. Explain that one!
  • Maria K
    Maria K
    If you have no experienced in medical, no matter what kind of position, even a receptionist, you will not get hired. Been there done that. No one will train you today for anything!
  • Karen G B
    Karen G B
    Good information.
  •  Gloriann S
    Gloriann S
    I've had tours  of the job site, and I didn't get the job. Also was told that I would hear from HR and start in a month. This was with UPMC.  I've given up on them. No one ever gets back to you.  with anything
  • Janetta H
    Janetta H
    Good answers :)
    very helpful information
  • Julie W
    Julie W
    I had the tour and the interview was long, I was even called back to interview with others. I've always heard you know in the first 4 minutes.  AGE is a factor and so is being over-qualified.  I think the hints are great. But they are common sense for anyone that is job searching.
  • Isaac S
    Isaac S
    Very similar, spent hrs in & out of interview(2) w/tour but was never called. When your experience exceeds the job or you are over qualified. What's the answer? Job security for the person interviewing? Do they want someone who can't think on their own or control, never a call to tell you why!
  • Mary C
    Mary C
    Good information, thank you.
    These hints are right on target.  Having been a recruiter in the past and currently at a "C-suite" level, this provides a strong analysis of a successful interview.
  • Elizabeth E H
    Elizabeth E H
    Just interviewed for a big name chip company.  Their  job website was very mis-leading. They did not stress the high  level of physical demands. So I stayed and chatted with the interviewer even though  I knew he did not believe I was physically able for the "Olympic" style shape and pace one must have.  However, by staying and talking with the rep. I learned allot about this job world and he bought me lunch! I did suggest he interview at the actual job site so people could get a real view of the job. I am 62 and he says people in their 20's often get injured in this field as they do not follow the rules but I think the company should re-evaluate their expectations. They can't find anyone yet for this small mtn community.  Hang in there.....don't accept work you know will hurt you physically, move on..the job interviews alone are great hiring training.
  • susan h
    susan h
    I went on an interview and got the job but now I am wondering if I made the right decision. I applied for anther job and the interview went well and I was given a tour etc. Havent heard back from them yet but they told me probably not till the end of the month. I am confused as to whether I should take this second job instead of the first one if it is offered to me. I don't know what to say to the agency that offered me the job and I accepted.
  • Queen C
    Queen C
    Well stated!!
  • eva z
    eva z
    11 days ego I had an interview; how long should I wait?
  •  Kathi M
    Kathi M
    Very informative and helpful.

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