Interviewing is nerve wracking even in the best of circumstances. If you feel like you are under a microscope, it is because you are! The interviewer or interview panel is looking for chinks in your proverbial armour. Likeability is an intangible component of your interview, so how do you ensure that you come across as likeable as well as competent?
The fact is that there is no magic formula. Your best bet is to prepare for the interview as well as you can, put your best foot forward, and then do the best you can. If the interview doesn’t seem to go well, you can try to pivot a little, but sometimes there is nothing you can do. If the interviewer has already made up his mind to go with another candidate and he is just going through the motions by interviewing you, that isn’t on you. It happens, however, and it happens perhaps more than you even know.
Careeralism.com advises that you look out for these three signs as indicator that your interview isn’t going well.
Interviewers don’t react the way you expect them to when you tell your stories of success
You may have a story of a success that in the past has gotten nods of approval or smiles from your interviewer(s). If you tell the same story with the same zest, and you don’t get the same or similar reaction, it may mean that they aren’t listening, or they didn’t get the point of the story or missed the import of the success. It could be a sign that you have failed to connect with the interviewer(s) from the start, and they aren’t as attentive as you need them to be to get why you are the best-qualified candidate.
Interviewer(s) seem bored and distracted
If the interviewer or individual panellist keep looking at their phone or computer screen, they may be displaying their lack of interest in what you have to say, or they may just be distracted by something that is going on that is taking precedence over your interview. Perhaps they are monitoring an emergency situation, but they can’t or don’t share that with you. Or perhaps they have just decided that they aren’t going to hire you, so nothing you say will make a difference. Again, they are just going through the motions. Without being rude yourself, there is little you can do to get them to pay attention to you unless you manage to get their attention with a witty remark or a humorous story.
They don’t tell you about next steps or ask if you have questions for them
As you wind up the interview, and if it has gone very badly, that may be sooner rather than later, they won’t ask if you have any questions for them, and they won’t offer what the next steps will be. If you ask and they seem vague or reluctant to tell you by when they expect to fill the job, that is another sign that you probably aren’t going to be considered as one of the finalists.
Sometimes circumstances are just out of your control, and there is nothing you can do to save an interview that isn’t going well. As a post interview exercise, you should consider from hello to goodbye how you believe you performed and what the reactions of your interviewer(s) were.