Are You Misinterpretating What the Interviewer Says?

Nancy Anderson
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Keeping your optimism in check can help you maintain realistic expectations during a job search. If you're prone to overconfidence, you may expect an offer after a great job interview, leading to crushing disappointment when the callback never comes. Avoid job-search burnout by staying positive and patient without overanalyzing these common talking points in a job interview.

1. You Have Our Ideal Qualifications

In most cases, everyone who reaches the interview stage has the minimum qualifications for the job, and you should expect the competition to be at your level. Confirming your qualifications is usually the interviewer's way of letting you know you're a viable candidate on paper and have a genuine chance of landing the job, but other strong candidates are also being considered. The point of the job interview is to gain a deeper comparison of top candidates, so it's unwise to assume the position is already yours.

2. You Would Be Great for This Position

Hearing that you're a great fit for the job is like getting a gold sticker. In your mind, you may think the interviewer already sees you as a part of the team, and it's safe to let your guard down. Unfortunately, the hiring manager may be making a straightforward observation that you have the right experience and character for the job. Being a "great fit" doesn't automatically mean you're the best candidate, especially if the company has just started interviewing applicants.

3. This Would Be Your Workspace

Each individual company decides how to structure the job interview process. Some hiring managers give tours as a standard part of the hiring cycle, while others reserve this privilege for top candidates who have been through multiple rounds of job interviews. In either case, the interviewer is speaking hypothetically when referring to "your workspace," and the tour gives you a chance to determine whether the environment is conducive to your work style.

4. I Look Forward to Speaking with You Again

When you hear these encouraging words, resist the urge to predict what the interviewer is thinking. After all, out of habit, you probably end many cover letters and business phone calls with a similar statement. Instead of obsessing over a callback, accept that the interviewer only intends to talk further if you are moving forward in the hiring process.

5. We Should Have a Decision Next Week

Interviewers usually have other responsibilities that may interfere with the hiring schedule, and they can also be delayed when the company's decision-makers aren't ready to choose a candidate. Most interviewers have a tentative timeline, so avoid assuming you did or didn't get the job based on this statement alone. If you don't get a call, follow up within a reasonable amount of time, and ask the interviewer what to expect going forward.

Job interviews are naturally stressful, and you only increase your frustration by projecting your expectations on the interviewer. Many interviewers work from a script, making it unproductive to overthink general statements that have no bearing on your candidacy.

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