Why does an interview appear to go well even if it didn’t? originally appeared on Quora – the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
There is a sliding scale of interviews going badly. Here are 10 scenarios off the top of my head that illustrate interviews ‘gone wrong’.
10. The interview is going well but you’re still not the top choice for the role. You’re #2 so there is no indication in the interview that things are going badly because they’re happy with your performance but you ultimately don’t get the job.
9. The interviewer is only interviewing you because they need to interview 3 people even though they know that they’re going to hire the internal candidate.
8. You are interviewing well but aren’t qualified in some major way.
7. You answered some of the questions well but others are just wrong, but they interviewer doesn’t react because they don’t want their response to cause you to elaborate on the wrong answer.
6. Your strong but other candidates are better prepared and it looks like you just don’t want the job as much as the other people interviewing.
5. The interviewer isn’t impressed with you for a variety of reasons, but is a professional and is committed to giving you the interview experience even though they know there’s no way you’re moving forward.
4. Your answers aren’t so great but you’ve made some sort of major faux-pas, like using their name incorrectly and they can’t bounce back and even if they could, you’re answers weren’t so great.
3. You are so rehearsed that they don’t really get a sense of who you are and how you’ll work. They don’t even feel that you’re engaging with them so they keep trying to get an answer from you.
2. You don’t know basic requirements of the job and are demonstrably making it clear in every answer.
1. The interviewer can see that you’re sweating, your eyes look like you’ve been crying and there’s a cut on your arm that’s bleeding on the table. Also, you’re not really speaking anything that makes sense to them so they’re afraid of what would happen if they gave off any indication that they’re afraid.
The ultimate answer is that unless you do something that’s horribly unprofessional, most recruiters and hiring managers won’t kick you out, or tell you that you’re failing at the interview.
If they’ve scheduled 30 minutes for the interview, unless you’re glaringly rude, they’ll give you more than 5 minutes and ask you the pre-prescribed questions just in case their initial impression is wrong.
It’s not polite for them to not let you know that you’re not doing well, but again what would the point be? It wouldn’t even benefit you because in most cases they’re not saying that you *personally* are lacking, it’s usually because you don’t fit the profile for the job. Or the answers to the questions aren’t what they want to hear.
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