Job interviews are nerve-wracking, and you can’t predict how they are going to go. Most of the time, you’ll be able to relax into your interview and may even end up enjoying yourself. However, sometimes your job interview may take a turn for the worse.
So, how can you tell if your job interview is going badly? There are a few signs that you should be aware of that indicate your job interview isn’t going as you would like. If you can spot these signs during the interview, you may still have time to turn things around!
Here’s what to watch out for.
1. Your interviewer is displaying negative body language
Often, our body language reveals a lot more than what we are actually saying. If your interviewer is displaying negative body language, such as leaning away from you, crossing their arms or not giving you eye contact, then you could be in trouble.
This type of body language suggests that you have not built a rapport with your interviewer. They are not very engaged with you and what you are saying so you need to do something about it.
Try to speak more enthusiastically and lean in to engage your interviewer more. If you can, connect with them on a personal level by sharing your own experiences that are relevant to the interview or demonstrate desirable qualities and skills.
2. Your interviewer isn’t smiling much
Not everyone is super-smiley, however, most people will crack a few smiles if they are interviewing a great candidate. If your interviewer doesn’t seem to be enjoying themselves, you could try uplifting the mood with some light-hearted comments.
If they’re still miserable throughout then it may just be a sign that this isn’t the role for you and you probably wouldn’t want to work for an unhappy manager anyway!
3. Your interviewer doesn’t try to sell you on the company or role
If your interview is going well, then you will find that the interviewer puts in a real effort to sell the role and the company to you. If this doesn’t happen, then they may not think that you’re the right fit for them.
4. Your interview is very short
Short but sweet isn’t a phrase you’ll hear very often when it comes to an interview. If your interview seems short and easy – no behavioural, hypothetical or brain-testing questions – this is not a good sign. Some interviewers make a decision very quickly if a candidate is not right for the role and may simply cover the basics and wrap it up.
If this happens to you, you can’t really try to extend your interview. The best thing is to remain professional and thank them for their time. When you hear from them later, you’ll be able to ask for interview feedback.
5. Salary isn’t mentioned or there is an issue over salary
If a job offer is on the cards, your interviewer will almost certainly as you about your salary expectations. They want to know that they can afford you.
If salary doesn’t come up, then it may not be good news this time (however, bear in mind that some employers hold second interviews for these types of discussion). Similarly, if you have asked for a very high salary or more than they are wanting to pay that could be a deal breaker.
To avoid this disappointment early, be sure to check the salary bracket before applying to any roles and ensure that you would be happy to be in that bracket.
6. Your interviewer doesn’t mention the next steps or ask about your availability
If the employer is interested in you, they are likely to explain the next steps in the recruitment process. Alternatively, you can take the lead with this yourself and show your interviewer that you are keen by enquiring about the next steps.
7. Your interviewer offers some friendly career advice
In some instances, you may be offered some friendly career advice by your interviewer. While it’s great for you to get some advice and feedback it may indicate bad news on this occasion.
What to do if your interview is going badly
If these seven signs are cropping up in your job interview, here’s what you should do.
- Remain positive
No matter what happens or how badly you feel your interview is going you should try to stay positive. You can’t know for sure what your interviewer is thinking and some people are simply harder to connect with than others.
Even if your interview starts on the wrong foot, i.e. you arrive late, a positive attitude, confidence and enthusiasm can turn things around.
- Be ready to adapt
If you’ve been talking about something in particular that you sense isn’t hitting the right note, then be prepared to switch it up a bit. Throughout your interview you can discuss:
- How you chose your career path
- Your previous experience
- Your knowledge and enthusiasm for the industry
- Your interests that highlight desirable qualities and exemplify key skills
You never know what exactly will help you to connect with your interviewer so just try different things out.
- Ask questions
A great way to show that you are interested and engaged is to have some of your own interview questions to ask. If you’ve felt that your interview has gone badly, you may even want to ask your interview if they think you seem like a good fit for the position.
Bringing it all together
Some interviews go well and some not so well… In some instances, the role just isn’t the right fit for you. In others, you can turn the situation around and even secure yourself a job offer. Good luck!