Signs a Job Interview Is Going Poorly

One of the most difficult aspects of the already-hard task of finding and landing a health care career is reading how well an interview went. You answered all the questions honestly and to the best of your ability. You did everything you learned from your Graduate Employment Specialist at Concorde. You seemed to get along fine with the hiring manager, had a good rapport and shook hands firmly on the way out.

But, can you really determine how you fared? According to an expert in the health care career workplace, the answer is, absolutely. There are many signs that occur during a job interview that go a long way to telling just what the hiring manager is thinking. If you see too many of these signs during an interview, well, best move on to the next listing.

“It behooves you to read between the lines and gauge the interviewer’s actions and responses, so you can shift your approach, presentation style, or better clarify your answers,” Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job,” said in a February 2015 article in Business Insider.

Much can be determined by reading body language, Taylor said, and those subtle cues can tell you exactly how they feel about you as a candidate.

Signs to look for when interviewing for that health care career

The article listed 15 telltale signs an interview probably won’t end with a job offer. Here are a few highlights.

  • The hiring manager doesn’t maintain eye contact. If you feel like saying, “Hey … I’m over here!” as your interviewer seems to be looking everywhere but at you, it’s not a great sign.
  • They seem distracted. If the hiring manager is texting or checking email, or walking around the room as you speak, it’s not looking good for you.
  • The interviewer cuts the interview short. There might be a legitimate excuse, like a personal emergency, but if the hiring manager wraps things up quickly and doesn’t explain or apologize, that’s not a good sign.
  • They don’t listen carefully to your answers or ask pertinent follow up questions. If you feel like you’re speaking to a wall, try a different tack, such as asking for their opinion on the topic. Once you get the interviewer talking, they’re more likely to perk up, Taylor said.
  • There’s little discussion or enthusiasm about your skills, accomplishments or goals. This might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning.
  • The conversation doesn’t flow, and there are lots of pauses or interruptions as you try to respond. Sometimes, the chemistry just isn’t there. And, that never bodes well for success in an interview.
  • You get the limp handshake. Never a good sign. Still, always be firm with yours.

Stay positive

If you detect any signs that an interview is going badly, it’s important to maintain your confidence and a positive attitude, no matter how discouraged you might be.

“The hiring manager might just be distracted for other reasons or could be having a bad day,” Taylor said. “So don’t give up and shut down.

“Maybe the fit just isn’t there, or you had an off day. In the worst-case scenario, by looking for subtle cues, you’ll be better prepared at the next job interview.”

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