How Do You Know if the Hiring Manager is Really Interested?

Nancy Anderson
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The stress of a job interview is nothing compared to the waiting period, when you're searching your memory for any signs of success or failure. Was the interviewer genuinely impressed or just being polite? Are you even in the top tier of candidates? Over-analyzing isn't helpful, and it's the main reason people accept bad job offers out of fear. Instead of panicking, let the hiring manager's behavior tell you how the job interview is going.

Your Interview Is Longer Than Expected

Experienced hiring managers space out interviews so they have extra time to talk with strong candidates. If your meeting runs much longer than expected, it's a good indication that you closely fit the hiring criteria and the interviewer wants to know more.

Add a few points to your mental scoring card when the interviewer offers a tour or introduces you to other managers and staff. Hiring managers don't waste time on job seekers who are a bad fit. They hurry the job interview along and move on to better candidates.

You Have the Interviewer's Full Attention

Many hiring managers have a standard list of interview questions and jot down your answers with little discussion. You should feel confident about your prospects if the interviewer is fully engaged in the conversation, listening intently and asking detailed follow-up questions to gauge your experience. Pay attention to the overall rapport throughout your job interview. While hiring managers sometimes use chattiness to disarm you, it may also be a sign that the interviewer feels comfortable talking to you and can picture you fitting into the company culture.

The Interviewer Shows Positive Body Language

Is the interviewer distracted, closed off or avoiding eye contact with you? Body language can be deceiving, but it's safe to assume you're on the right track if the hiring manager is upbeat and generally agrees with your responses. Look for signs of positive affirmation, such as nodding, smiling and leaning toward you.

You Discussed Salary and Work Availability

A job offer could be on the table if the interviewer asks about your start date, salary requirements or other positions you're pursuing. Managers have to deal with the daily burdens of having unfilled positions in their department, so it's in their best interests to act quickly when they find the right candidate. A manager who candidly discusses your work availability is probably ready to move forward and get approval from higher-ups.

You Feel Like You're Being Wooed

You know you're a top pick when the hiring manager hypes the company culture throughout the job interview. Interviewers expect good candidates to have other options, and they're more motivated to sell you the benefits of choosing one employer over another. If it feels like the interviewer is trying to impress you, instead of the other way around, don't be surprised to get a callback.

No matter how qualified you are, the hiring manager might decide to go with a different candidate. All employers have their own job interview methods and criteria, so you can never be completely sure you landed the gig. However, you can use your observations to monitor your performance and adapt to any challenges an interviewer throws at you.

Photo courtesy of goddard studio 13 at


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