How to Tell If a Phone Interview Went Well: 14 Signs
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated August 16, 2022 | Published April 3, 2020
Updated August 16, 2022
Published April 3, 2020
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Video: Top Phone Interview Tips: 5 Common Questions and Best Strategies
In this video, Holl shares advice from expert career coaches on what recruiters look for during an initial phone screen of a job interview.
Many factors lead to a phone interview's successful outcome. It's important to look out for signs that indicate whether or not you can expect to move forward in the interview process.
In this article, we explain the importance of a good interview and 14 ways to tell if your interview went well.
What's the importance of a good phone interview?
Phone interviews are often the introductory portion of an interview process as many hiring managers use them to screen candidates. Therefore, a successful phone interview can help you advance in the interview process. The further you advance, the greater chance you have of getting the job.
A good interview can also provide you with clarity regarding the position and help you determine if the position is ultimately right for you. Understanding the job in full detail also lets you determine how you'd answer the hiring manager should they offer you the position.
14 signs your phone interview went well
There are several ways to determine how well your interview went without waiting to hear from the hiring manager. Here are 14 signs that your phone interview went well:
1. They said they want to speak again
Be mindful of the phrases an interviewer uses throughout the interview—particularly at the end of the call. If they indicate that they'd like to speak to you again, they may be considering moving you forward in the interview process. For example, they might say, "You did great. Speak to you soon." A remark like this can mean they have plans to contact you in the relative future.
2. It was a long interview
If your interview went longer than you expected it to, it can be a good indication that it went well. This can occur for several reasons. For example, you and the interviewer may have had many things to discuss regarding the position or the interviewer simply lost track of time because they enjoyed the conversation. Either way, a lengthy interview means the hiring manager was genuinely interested in speaking with you.
3. You asked good questions
A phone interview is a great opportunity to receive clarity regarding the company and the role you're applying for. If you asked good questions based on your research of the company and displayed a genuine interest in the position, it can help you have a successful interview. Not only does asking questions let you show how much you've learned about the company, but it can also help the interviewer assess your overall enthusiasm.
4. The interviewer asked about your availability
If the interviewer asks how soon you're available to start near the end of the interview, it could indicate they have plans to offer you the job. This shows they may be considering the next steps in the process such as your potential start date at their company. Keep in mind that if they ask this at the beginning of the interview, it may just be normal practice for them to ask this of all candidates.
5. They said you seem like you're a good fit
Your phone interview may have gone well if the hiring manager indicates that your qualifications make you a great candidate for the role. Here are some examples of what they may say to indicate they think you're a good fit:
"I'm excited about your qualifications. Your knowledge of content creation and digital advertising will greatly help you in this role."
"I'm going to pass along your resume and portfolio to the design team lead. They'd be your supervisor, so it'd be great to set up a time for them to speak with you personally."
"Based on our conversation, your experience and skills make you a highly-qualified candidate for this role."
6. The interviewer asked if you have other job offers
Though the hiring manager may ask this question to any candidate, if they ask about your job search and specifically about the companies you're speaking with, it can indicate their genuine interest in you. It's especially pertinent if the interviewer asks you this after they've interviewed you a few times.
Hiring managers often ask about your other job prospects when they want to know how passionate you are about working for their company and what the odds are of you accepting a position with them—especially if you have other opportunities to consider. It also lets hiring managers know how quickly they need to make a job offer if they're interested in hiring you. Depending on your answer, they may feel the need to further persuade you to select them over another company.
7. The interviewer asked about your salary expectations
If the interviewer asks what salary you're looking for near the end of the interview process, they may be thinking of offering you a job and salary at their company. If they ask this near the beginning of the interview process, this question may be something they ask all of their candidates.
8. They try to sell you on the company
Your interviewer may try to sell you on the company to persuade you to work for them. This is because they want you to be excited about working for them and the opportunities you have available at their company. This can also mean they're already interested in offering you the job.
They may try to appeal to you by listing the benefits their employees receive or by sharing plenty of information regarding the company and the position you're interviewing for. This is especially the case if you've mentioned you have other job prospects you're considering.
9. The interviewer discussed your potential future at the company
When an interviewer talks about your future and growth at the company, it can mean they're already visualizing you taking on the role. They may discuss your future by mentioning what the role may look like in the future or discussing your opportunities for advancement within the company.
10. You bonded with the interviewer
If you have a personal connection with the interviewer, you may pique their interest. For example, if you shared mutual interests outside of the job itself such as a favorite sports team or band, it can help you advance in the interview process. This lets them know that you're personable and friendly which are strong indicators of a good team player.
11. They were engaged throughout the interview
If an interviewer is interested in what you're saying and they ask you follow-up questions, they may consider you a serious candidate. It can help if your answers aren't too long and if you display genuine enthusiasm about the role. Since it's a phone interview, it's important to gauge their attentiveness through the questions they ask and their tone of voice, since you can't see their facial expressions or body language.
12. The interviewer asked several questions regarding your experience and skills
Though it's normal to ask about your relevant qualifications during an interview, it's a good sign if the hiring manager asks for added detail regarding your background. This lets them verify your abilities and helps them determine if you're a good fit for the role. Here are some examples of what they may ask that can indicate your interview is headed in the right direction:
"Do you have a list of references?"
"Can you send me your portfolio?"
"What contributions did you make to your previous employer?
"What activities did you take part in during school?"
13. They discuss the next steps in detail
If you're allowed to ask questions at the end of the interview, consider asking about the next steps in the interview process. If the hiring manager provides you with clear and definite steps, they may be considering you for the role. By this point, they might already know whether they want to hire you based on what you've told them in the interview.
14. You ended the interview with a good feeling
If you end the interview feeling great about how it went, it could mean it was successful. Though this isn't a clear sign of how well it went, your gut can provide you with added insight regarding your performance.
Tips for waiting to hear back after a phone interview
As you wait to hear from the hiring manager regarding your phone interview, there are several things to consider doing in the meantime. Here are some suggestions that can help you bide the time:
Continue applying for jobs
When you apply for a job, it's important to have several other prospects in case one doesn't work out. This increases your chance of employment overall.
Know how long it's been since the interview
Keeping track of how long it's been since your interview lets you know when it's safe to follow up with the hiring manager. If you don't know the next steps in the interview process, it's safe to wait approximately a week since they're likely interviewing other candidates.
Determine if the position is really for you
Once you interview with a company, you more or less know if this is an opportunity you want to continue to pursue. Take the time to evaluate your other prospects and where this job falls on your list of job preferences. It's also important to determine how you'd answer if the hiring manager wants to move you on to the next round of interviews or hire you on the spot.
Nonverbal communication is one of many tools that can help you make a good impression in interviews and in your professional life. However, candidate assessments should be based on skills and qualifications, and workplaces should strive to be inclusive and understanding of individual differences in communication styles.
Video: Interview Stage: Screener/Phone Interview
Jenn, a Career Coach, provides a look at the interviewing process and shares tips on how to position yourself for success during the screener/phone interview stage.
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