A woman looks nervously at a recruiter reviewing her resume during an interview

5 Signs Your Interview Went Bad (+ What to Do Next)

5 min read | Feb 5, 2024
 Marta Gongos- Ad Culture By Marta Gongos

Let’s face it—interviews can be scary, especially if it’s your first time. The moment you walk in through the door, the hiring manager may already be assessing you. Your nerves may get the best of you, and you may slip up on a question or two. Whatever the case, it’s crucial to recognize the signs your interview went bad—and what you can do about it next.

In this article, we’ll dive into the cues that your interview isn’t going as well as you hoped and share some tips on how you can make your next interview a smashing success.

1. The Initial Interview Is Shorter Than Expected

The average time an in-person job interview lasts is between 30 and 45 minutes. Several factors impact the length and quality of an interview, such as whether you’re presenting an assignment or not. A shorter meeting could indicate that the recruiter already knows you aren’t a good fit and doesn’t want to waste time going through all the interview questions.

It could also mean that the hiring manager has found their ideal candidate and only agreed to meet with you as a courtesy.

What You Can Do Next

Reflect on the areas you can improve for your next interview process, such as your answers to specific questions or your delivery. Take some time to evaluate your performance objectively.

A recruiter reading the resume of an individual during an interview

Image Source: Canva

2. There’s No Rapport With the Hiring Manager

If you need a sign that your interview went bad, take a pulse on your connection with the hiring manager. If there’s a lot of dead air in between questions, or if the interviewer isn’t asking specific, follow-up questions, it could be one of the signs of a bad interview. In a successful interview, you can expect a more natural conversation that flows freely.

Read more: How to Answer Situational Questions In An Interview

What You Can Do Next

After the meeting, send a thank you email to show appreciation and leave a positive last impression. Aside from that, take this chance to clarify any answer you would’ve elaborated more on during the call.

3. The Recruiter Displays Indifferent Body Language or Tone

In connection to the point above, if hiring managers seem disinterested or “disengaged” and don’t display positive body language like nodding along and repeating their words, it could be one of the signs an interview went bad.

Some of these negative body language cues could include:

  • Looking repeatedly at the clock
  • Arms folded across their chest
  • Raised eyebrows
  • Fidgeting with items on the desk or with their clothing
  • Stops making notes
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Displaying low energy
  • Speaking in a disengaged tone

While these bothering behaviours could be due to other factors unrelated to you (a bad work day, not enough sleep, sickness, etc.), three or more of these signs could mean that the recruiter has decided to hire another candidate or feels you’re not a good fit for the role.

What You Can Do Next

If the recruiter seems distracted during your meeting, you can try to recapture their attention by asking questions about the organization or clarifying some aspects of the position you’re applying for. This demonstrates your interest in the role and shows that you’re still engaged in the conversation.

A woman sitting beside three empty chairs, waiting to be interviewed

Image Source: Canva

4. They Didn’t Tell You About the Next Steps of the Hiring Process

While this doesn’t always mean you didn’t get through to the next step, this outcome could still suggest that the interviewer didn’t see you as a strong candidate. Similarly, if the interviewer doesn’t see you as a good fit within the organization, they may not hint at the growth opportunities you could have once you join the company.

What You Can Do Next

Be proactive and ask what the next steps in the hiring process are at the end of the job interview. Aside from that, inquire about the potential career paths in the role or ways to improve your skills. This shows your interest in the position and demonstrates how you’ve thought about growing your professional career with the company.

Secure the Next Step in the Hiring Process With Ad Culture

Sometimes, job interviews don’t go as planned—that’s okay! Take a step back from focusing on the signs your interview went bad and start perfecting your process for future interviews. If you want to minimize the chances of bad job interviews altogether, you can always partner with a recruitment agency that’s committed to your success.

From coaching candidates through the interview process to prepping them with mock interview questions, and providing unbiased feedback—Ad Culture is here to help.

As the premier Toronto-based recruitment agency, we connect you with companies in advertising, marketing, and web design and development looking exactly for talents like yours. We match you with a company where you’re sure to thrive for a long time.

You can now stop looking for bad interview signs in your last application. Submit your resume today, and we’ll help you through the stages of your job search!

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