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Did your job interview
go well or badly?

Job interviews are a nerve-racking experience. You have to make a good impression, answer questions well, and try to sell yourself as the best candidate for this job. In this stressful situation, don't forget that you too should put the company you are presenting yourself to to the test – because the company should be selling itself to you as well. Therefore, pay particular attention to warning signs during the interview and correctly interpret the signs.

Your gut feeling will tell you relatively quickly whether the interview went well or badly. But there are also some obvious clues that tell you directly where you stand. All you have to do is observe your interviewers closely and perceive nuances.

Yes, it's the job you absolutely want. But for that very reason, do not set aside obvious negative signs. If you feel uncomfortable talking, feel a frosty atmosphere or the company answers your questions in a rather evasive manner, then you should notice these signs and restart your search for your dream job.

Job interview: Interpreting the signs correctly

The interview is your chance to make a good impression on your future employer and to present yourself as the best candidate for the job.

The following signs indicate that the interview is not going well – and you should change your orientation:

If you notice any of these warning signs, try turning the conversation around. Maintain your energy, stay positive and be as engaging as possible.

1. Your interviewers are not the ones that they should be

Instead of the team leader, you only meet an employee or even an intern? Appreciation looks different as you know. Someone may not have been able to cancel or reschedule your appointment in time. Alternatively: It doesn't seem that important to get to know you.

However, show that you are motivated and ask why the combination of people involved has changed during the interview (e.g. illness) and whether it would be possible to get to know them at a later stage.

2. The interviewers complain about their customers and also about their own personnel

As a candidate, it is certainly very unpleasant for you to hear them complaining about former colleagues or the competitors in your presence, isn't it? But what is behind all this? Try to find out why your interviewers are making disparaging comments.

Could it be that the competition is far ahead of your potential employer and their race to catch up has been unsuccessful so far? Or does the company lose employees to the competition because the working conditions there are better or the pay is fairer? Listen carefully during the interview and pay attention to such statements. Find out later about the competitors, what they offer and their culture. Maybe you are one step closer to your idea of a dream company.

When your interviewers bad-mouth your predecessors, you should be sceptical. In all probability, their cooperation was far from ideal and the working atmosphere was toxic. In such cases, you can never be sure what will probably be said behind your back in the future.

3. The persons involved appear bored or disinterested

Are you in the process of presenting your career, skills and qualifications in detail and have devised an exciting story to tell about this? But unfortunately, your interviewers are not fully focussed, seem disinterested and bored and are constantly looking at their mobile phone or the clock?

It was probably already clear before the interview with you that you wouldn't get the job. But it could also be a stress test. So stay calm and continue as you had planned. Perhaps the tide will still turn. If silence fills the room, use the opportunity to express your feelings and ask what else is of interest.

4. The interviewers cannot show you any development prospects

Changing jobs also often means acquiring new prospects and giving your own career a new boost. Ask about further training opportunities and development prospects during the interview. This also makes sense if you do not have any real continuing education ambitions at this stage. The answer to this question automatically gives you interesting insights into the company.

Do you only get standard answers or do the interviewers deflect away from the actual topic? In the job interview, it is definitely a bad sign if your future employer sweeps the topic of "further training" under the carpet and is unable to clearly outline a typical career path in their company. This will not allow you to estimate how and in which direction you will develop in this company.

If you are pursuing a specific plan, you need the support of your employer. Find out if there can be a common future.

5. There is no mention of the team

Your job can be as exciting as it is. But without the right team, even the dream job can quickly become a burden. A team with a positive attitude is essential for the ideal job, especially if you are to lead it in a professional or disciplinary manner.

If the team does not play a role during your interview, this may be a reason that you get a bad gut feeling after the interview. It may be that the company is rather made up of lone fighters who focus only on their own advantages.

6. The interviewer cannot explain to you why they like to work for the company

If you show clear conviction about something, it's easy to talk about it, isn't it? At least the same should be true for the HR managers when you ask why they like to work for their company.

If the answer is difficult and you only get a weary smile, you should become suspicious. Current employees should be able to convince you with their bright eyes that you would like to work at the employer of your dreams.

7. Nobody in this company seems to be really happy with their work

It is not always easy to interpret all the signs correctly during the interview – especially if you only capture brief moments. For example, if you are waiting in the reception area before your interview and observe the day-to-day activities.

What is the mood among the employees? Are you noticed by them and do they greet you in a friendly manner? If there is a depressing silence, this is a bad sign that should be able to influence your job decision.

8. The interviewer does not answer your questions

Sometimes you get a bad feeling only after the interview. You probably go through the interview again in your head and work out that not one of your questions was answered in detail. Or worse still: Your interviewers actively avoided your questions. Did they try to hide something? Avoidance is never a good sign in an interview and is probably part of their everyday working life.

9. Your interviewer leaves you in the dark

Stalling, not committing and finding excuses: What may be common in some private areas of life, however, should not apply for your professional future. Uncertainties about your tasks or goals are definitely a bad sign in the interview. This is especially true if the job profile described in the interview differs too much from the one described in the job advertisement. Last but not least, if you are missing information about your salary or benefits, you should sound the alarm bells. It's best to head for the exit – and look for another professional alternative.

10. The interview was much shorter than planned

One and a half to two hours were anticipated, but the interview was over after 20 minutes? It's no wonder that this gives you a bad feeling after the interview. Probably something didn't fit at all.

Review the interview yourself. Were you well prepared? Would the job really fit well with your profile or did you perhaps arrive too late? Was the chemistry right? Often you can gain valuable insights after a period of time.

Analyse the interview calmly

After the interview, you will certainly have plenty of time to interpret all the signs correctly. Therefore, analyse each one of your interviewers calmly and remember how the interaction was with each other during the interview. Listen to your gut feeling when you assess whether the interview went well or badly.

Remember and create a clear picture of what the everyday working life may be like in your (supposed) dream company and whether the job opportunity still sounds as appealing as it was at the beginning. Have you been able to address all your career and development, onboarding, salary and corporate culture questions openly?

Even if the interview went badly, try to take something good out of it. You will have undoubtedly learned to present yourself well and to get even more clarity about how your future employer should be set up. Stay confident and always bear in mind that you have valuable skills that could be very useful to a company. Ask the right questions without hesitation and remain attentive during the interview. This will help you to find out if you and the company are a good match.

Tips and tricks for the job interview

In the interview, show that you have researched the company and that you are the perfect person for the job that you are applying for.

No-go questions in an interview

Asking the right questions in an interview can be crucial to your success or failure. Find out what questions will shoot you in the foot!

Let's get the best out of it

The interview went well and you now have to negotiate your salary? We'll help you to put yourself in a good position.