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Top Signs You Didn’t Get the Job After an Interview

Top Signs You Didn’t Get the Job After an Interview

Most candidates would like to know whether they got the job right after the job interview. Otherwise, it might be very stressful to wait for a follow-up email from the company. So it is natural to look for signs you didn’t get the job after interview or, on the contrary, that you did get the job.

Although it is impossible to know 100% about the hiring manager’s decision, there are some obvious signs that something went wrong. Job seekers can analyze them and move on to the following interview. Or it can be an excellent practice to learn whether you’ve made a mistake during the job interview and how to avoid it in the future.

Job Interview Dynamics

When it comes to a job interview, it is not an equal power dynamic. Hiring managers are in control of how it goes and what questions are asked. Often, a hiring manager has more power over candidates. That’s just how it is.

It might be different if a hiring manager contacted you first while you didn’t even respond to a job listing. But, in most cases, a potential employer vs. candidate is an unequal power dynamic.

Job seeker usually needs to impress a recruiter and showcase their suitability for the role. At the same time, a hiring manager must define whether you fit the company culture and the position requirements. So, it might feel unfair right from the get-go.

It is essential to understand that such dynamics are standard for the interview process. And to regain control and power, candidates can prepare accordingly.

Negative Body Language

Controlling your body language while focusing on interview questions can be complicated. However, it is crucial to avoid negative poses or actions, for instance:

  • Poor stance, do not slouch; it might be interpreted as “hiding”;
  • Avoidant eye contact is often treated as a sign of deception;
  • Crossed legs and arms signify that you are not open for communication;
  • Being clumsy and breaking/dropping things shows your nervousness;
  • Too much sweating and overused grand gestures are also considered negative signs.

While you pay attention to your moves, you can also notice how the hiring manager acts. You probably didn’t get the job if they avoid eye contact, seem disinterested, and look at their watch several times.

Another sign you didn’t get the job might be a closed position. Maybe they’ve already made a hiring decision and just waiting for the interview to end.

Limited Interaction during an Interview

Most hiring managers will ask questions and engage in a conversation openly. They might clarify something or agree with you on something during job interviews. They are interested in learning what kind of person you are and what makes you different from other candidates.

If a hiring manager shows no interest and limits the interactions as much as possible, it might be a sign you will not get a job offer.

Lack of Enthusiasm

The same goes for disinterest during a job interview. It is a bad sign if a hiring manager seems unenthusiastic and bored. They are not tired of the same interview questions; they probably deemed you unqualified and moved on mentally to other applicants.

However, it is vital to see the context. In some cases, hiring managers use stress interview techniques. In such a situation, common signs you didn’t get the job won’t work. The hiring manager might test your resilience and stress response to ensure you are a strong candidate.

Candidate Qualifications for an Interview

The next reason why you might not get the job is your qualifications. Here are some signs you didn’t get the position based on skills and experiences.

Missing Skills or Experience

If the hiring manager asked about the gaps in the list of skills, they were trying to see whether it was a crucial factor or not. A job listing usually depicts an ideal candidate. It means that if you want to apply according to a job posting, you do not have to fit 100% of the skills and qualifications listed.

However, there are some crucial ones for each position. It is a bad sign if the hiring manager cuts the interview short or interrupts your explanations. There might be more applicants possessing essential qualifications.

Also, it is not a good sign if a hiring manager says you are overqualified. It is not a compliment but an acknowledgment that the salary for the role probably doesn’t cover your level of professionalism.

If you are overqualified for a job description, the recruiter might think you will leave the company as soon as a better opportunity arises.

Cultural Misfit

If the interview ended early, you might not fit into the corporate culture even though you have all the required qualifications. It is a problematic aspect to evaluate as hiring managers know better what type of environment they are working in.

But it might be one of the positive aspects of not getting a job. If you do not fit in, it is probably not your best opportunity.

Salary Misalignment

Salary expectations are among the prevalent interview questions. During the hiring process, you need to establish what compensation you are counting on. If it doesn’t align with what a company can offer, it is one of the obvious signs you didn’t get the job. You might feel disappointed, but it is a positive thing if your expectations are fair. Now, you can find a better-paying employer who values your qualifications.

If your expectations are too high for the industry, you might consider revising them for your next interview process. Do a quick job search and look at how much employees of your level receive for the same job.

Post-Interview Feedback

Besides signs you can notice during the job interview, you can also pay attention to the follow-up email and feedback in general.

No Follow-Up Questions

If, during the hiring process, the recruiter asks no follow-up questions, they might have made their mind up. If they start to give you career advice, it is even worse. It is a clear sign you didn’t get the job.

Interviewer questions signify the dynamic of the conversation and their interest in you as a potential employee. They are not interested in learning more if they do not ask for additional facts. Although there is a slight chance it is because you are the top candidate and they’ve already made a decision to hire you. But in most cases, it is one of the signs you didn’t get the job.

Vague Responses to Your Questions

It is specifically worrisome that the hiring manager doesn’t share a lot about the job, responsibilities, and the company. It is usual for you to ask such questions during a job interview. And at some stage, recruiters have to “sell” you the position too.

If you are a valuable candidate that stands out from other applicants, the recruiter would want you to accept the offer. So, they would spend time describing the responsibilities, the team, and the benefits offered.

But if they do not do that and avoid directly answering your inquiries, they probably do not consider you a good fit.

Extended Decision Timeline

After a job interview, a recruiter is supposed to send a follow-up message about the company’s hiring decision. However, many employers do not let applicants know they are looking through more candidates or hired someone else for the role.

Follow-ups signify your chances of getting a job. It is a bad sign if the recruiter has not contacted you, especially past the signified hiring decision date. There might be a few reasons, and it is acceptable to send follow-up emails about the job after an interview.

Communication and Contact during and after the Interview

Sometimes, a hiring manager might hint that you didn’t get the job by saying something.

No Response to Thank-You Email from a hiring manager

They probably have moved on to other candidates if you do not get any answer or feedback. So it is time for you to also go for the next opportunity.

A response, on the contrary, would be a positive sign. It doesn’t mean you got the job per see, but it means that the company treats your job application seriously and is interested in potential collaboration,

Interviewer Mentiones They Accept Applications

When a hiring manager says they are still accepting applications for the same job, it might mean a few things. First, they are looking for specific qualifications, and you didn’t meet them fully. Secondly, the hiring process might be significantly longer. Thirdly, they might not rule you out but do not want to give you false hope.

It is one of the interview signs you want to take seriously. Whether you do not fit the job description or might not be the best culture fit, do not put a lot of hope in getting that job after an interview.

The job ad is still active after the interview.

An obvious sign that you didn’t get the job is an active job ad for the same position. It doesn’t get any more straightforward. The company is looking for other candidates, and the team doesn’t consider you a good fit.

Excuses and Lack of Direct Response

You might be in a situation where you are unsure whether your job search is over. A company might give you a hiring date but leave you hanging. If you do not hear by this date from the recruiter, you didn’t make the cut.

In some cases, a company might make excuses as to why they postpone the decision and the hiring date. Usually, the reason is that they are looking into other candidates and consider someone a better fit. You can ask for a specific hiring decision date if it is your dream job. After that, it is time to let it go.

Gut Feeling and Intuition After the Interview

Even if there were a lot of positive aspects to past interviews, you might get a gut feeling that there will be no follow-up. Intuition is hard to explain, yet it might be telling you the truth.

Your Instincts Tell You

The interview was satisfactory; there was nothing out of place. There were no apparent signs you didn’t get the job. But you still feel that something was off. Maybe you’ve picked up on some nonverbal clues without even acknowledging it.

It might be a good reason to continue a job search. However, if you tend to have anxiety or misinterpret things, do not jump to conclusions too soon. Send a thank you mail 24 hours after the interview and wait for a follow-up. Based on whether you receive it and what it says, you’ll know for sure.

The Interview Felt Like an Interrogation

The interview should not feel like an interrogation unless you are applying to a secret service or law enforcement agency. If it did, you probably didn’t get the job.

If an hour-long interview felt like ages and you were asked questions rudely or unpolitely, you might consider other positions. Among positive aspects, you probably didn’t want to work for a company with such a toxic work environment.

No Connection or Chemistry

There are times when it just doesn’t click. You didn’t feel the spark, and the interviewer wasn’t too excited. It was a generic interview with generic questions. It went ok but not excellent. Maybe you didn’t get the job. But it would be nice to send out that “thank you” letter just in case.

In Summary

If you notice one or more of the above signs, you might not get the job after an interview. It doesn’t feel great, even if you were not too invested in the position. Think of what could be the reason objectively and look into other jobs.

Maybe it was not a good fit for you, too. Even if the interview was unsuccessful, it is an excellent way to gain experience and practice. Maybe the next job ad you apply to will be the one.

Date: 8 September 2023
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