Like anything in life, the job search process has its highs and lows. Sometimes interviews just don't go well for whatever reason. It's important not to beat yourself up and to learn from your less than great experiences. At times, candidates continue to get a false sense of hope about a job opportunity and fail to see the signs that the interview really didn't go well. Instead of spinning your wheels about an opportunity that may not happen for you, it's best to move on. Getting a job comes down to overall fit and when it feels right, you will know it.
Here are some signs that the interview did NOT go well. I do not agree with the behaviors of the interviewers in the following bullets, but they are common.
The interview ends earlier than then planned. An interview duration less than 30 minutes, unless you are getting a casual introduction, is usually not a good sign.
The interviewer seems distracted and is not making eye contact. He or she may not think you are a good fit or qualified for the position and loses interest in the conversation. If he or she starts taking phone calls or reading emails, that is not a good sign.
You feel put on the "spot". You feel like you are being asked tough questions and that the interviewer is cold and unresponsive when you do answer.
The interviewer is more intent on reading your resume than listening to you speak. It seems as he or she is reading it for the first time and they don't seem to be really listening to you.
The mention of many other "good" or "qualified" candidates in consideration. In most cases, this is a way to prepare you that you may not be one of the top candidates. Often, it's an indirect way to start setting your expectations.
No mention of the next stage in the interview process. There is no discussion of next steps or asking about your availability to come back in and meet more people.
The handshake is cold and no business card is given. The interviewer is clearly not trying to sell you on the job or the company.
These are just a few signs of a bad interview. Your best defense is to come prepared for all interviews. Arm yourself with research and great questions. Even when well prepared, sometimes the connection just isn't there and you should move on. Don't let it get you down, it happens to the best of us. Keep at it and eventually you will land a job in the right place with the right company!
For a little humor, here is a horribly bad interview. Try not to do anything that they do!!