15 Things You Never (Ever) Want to Hear During Your Job Interview

By Mike Simpson

We’ve all been there…

You’re firmly planted in your chair, chest puffed out as you rattle off perfect answers to any interview question the hiring manager throws at you…

“This isn’t so bad!  I’m a shoe-in for this position,” you surely think as the taste of victory fills your mouth and visions of dollar signs begin filling your head.

But then it happens.

The hiring manager says something that changes everything.  And not in a good way.

Sometimes it’s like a hammer slamming down on your dreams, and other times it’s a lot more subtle, but the fact of the matter is that you’ve just realized something has changed.

The interview is over and you’re not getting the job.

There is nothing more discomforting, more off-putting or more discouraging than being in the middle of a job interview and realizing that no matter what happens, the hiring manager has already made up her/his mind.

Here is our list of 15 things you never want to hear during your job interview, because chances are if you have, you’ll probably be continuing your job search when you get home.

P.S. If you want to avoid hearing any of these following things at your next interview check out our job interview tips article.

1) "I called Company X and they've never heard of you."

This can only mean one thing.  That you lied on your resume.  Really?  You actually created a fake position and didn't think that the hiring manager would be doing their due diligence?

I'm sorry (and I mean this in the nicest way possible), but if you make this mistake then you don't deserve to get the job.

2) "I was looking at your Facebook/Twitter page and I noticed that..."

How this sentence finishes is the key to how you should interpret this statement.  In other words, if the hiring manager continues by saying "...I noticed that you had some unflattering things to say about our company," or "...it looks like you are a bit of a party-girl based on the amount of pictures of you with alcohol..." you should probably put some work into interview-proofing your timeline (or at the very least, revisiting your privacy settings).

The moral of the story?  Don't get sunk by being reckless with your social accounts.  Remove anything controversial or things that don't align with the values of the company you are interviewing with.

3) "We only ever hire the absolute best people for the job..."

This one probably surprised you a little bit, but it requires more context.  You see, this statement can be a giveaway that the company you are interviewing with is not necessarily interested in "promoting from within" when jobs open up, choosing instead to head hunt candidates from around the world with hopes of hiring "superstars".

If you see yourself growing within the company and this is a deal-breaker for you, you may want to ask a follow up question (ex. "What is your policy on promoting from within?  When a position opens up, do you look within the company first?")

4) "You've got something on your shirt," or "You've got something in your teeth."

We all know how important first impressions are.  As much as we wish it wasn't the case, a hiring manager can make up their mind about you within the first few seconds of meeting you, so it is absolutely essential that you don't shoot yourself in the foot.

Having good personal hygiene is a no-brainer and therefore basically a deal-breaker if the candidate is lacking in that area.  A quick visit to the restroom is all you need to make sure you are presenting yourself in the best way possible.

5) "Are those sunglasses prescription?"

Unless you wear glasses that happen to be "transitions" (where the opacity of the lens changes based on the amount of light) and you just came into the office from a blazing sunshiney day, leave the Oakley wraparounds at home.

6) "Can I give you some advice?"

It's rare that anything positive ever comes after this question.  Generally speaking, something you have said or done has drawn negative attention to you in the eyes of the hiring manager, and now all that is left to do is respond appropriately.

We recommend that you accept the advice graciously and with a smile... nothing good can come out of a bad reaction.

7) "I'm concerned about the spelling errors in your cover letter and resume..."

If you've made it this far with spelling mistakes in your cover letter or resume, you should consider yourself lucky.  Because chances are you won't even advance past the screening stage.  Triple check every document you submit with a job application.  I'd even get someone else to take a look at your documents.

8) "We experience a lot of turnover with this position."

This should set the off the alarm bells inside your head.  Why is there a lot of turnover?  Is it simply the nature of the position you are interviewing for is there a bigger problem you should be worrying about?

The most important thing to do is get as much information about this as possible.  "What would you say are the largest contributors to the turnover?"  If you don't like what you hear, run for the hills!

9) "Please leave your pet outside."

C'mon... nobody actually brings their pet with them to a job interview, let alone tries to actually enter the interview room with the pet in tow... do they?  Actually... yes they do.  Don't be this person.  Unless you're interviewing for a veterinary position that requires some kind of demonstration on a parrot, leave your feathered friend at home.

10) "We are still interviewing a lot of other candidates."

This is a tough one to hear for a couple reasons.  First of all, we can all agree that job interviews are a numbers game.  The fact that a hiring manager uses the phrase "a lot" when referring to the other candidates just outlines the fact that the odds are stacked against you.

The other drawback to this statement is the fact that the hiring manager made it at all.  After all, if you were at the top of the heap (or even in consideration for the position) would the hiring manager really say this?  Not likely.

11) "We're a startup that is kind of figuring things out as we go along."

While being a part of a startup in the early stages certainly has its merits, this should be a red flag to you.  Do you really want to be part of a company that is flying by the seat of its pants?  What about payroll?  Are they just "figuring that out as they go?"

It sounds ominous, so be sure to ask questions about the areas that concern you (ex. work hours, health and benefits, compensation, etc.)

12) "Are you sure this is the right opportunity for you?"

This is the hiring manager's nice way of saying "You're not the right person for this position based on what I've seen in your resume and this interview."  The best way to answer this question is to be truthful, drawing on examples from your past that show why it's the right opportunity for you.

13) "Actually, my name is..."

FACEPALM!  If you can't get the hiring manager's name right, you just might be unemployable.  OK, that's extreme (as mistakes do happen), but it does help illustrate how crucial it is for you to take the time to learn the details before you go into the room.

This should be done in the days leading up to the interview.  Where is the interview?  What materials are required?  Who am I being interviewed by?

14) "Your supervisor can be tough to get along with."

Believe it or not, hiring managers will let little tidbits like this slip from time to time.  So you should be asking yourself this question.  How badly do you want this job?  Enough to put up with a difficult boss for 3-5 years?

As in previous examples, it is always best to get a little more information about the issue before miking your decision.  What is it about this person that people have found difficult?

15) "We'll be in touch."

Generally speaking, what this translates to is "You're never going to hear from us again."  If a company intends on following up with you and making contact, they will be much more specific about the timeline and method of communication.  "We'll be in touch" is the lazy hiring manager's way of ending the interview without letting you down too hard.

Don't be afraid to ask the hiring manager to clarify the statement.  "Will you be contacting both successful and unsuccessful candidates?" And "When can I expect to hear from you?" are two reasonable questions to ask.

So there you have our 15 things that you never want to hear in your job interview.  There are certainly hundreds of more things that a hiring manager can say that could tip you off to the interview not going your way, and we’d love to hear them in the comment section below!

What You Should Do Next

 

special-reportOk the next thing you should do is download our formula for giving Perfect Interview Answers Every Time

Do you want to make sure you don't hear any of those 15 things during YOUR interview? Then download our special report.

In it you'll learn our perfect interview answers formula and you'll also get sample answers to 5 common interview questions you'll almost certainly face.

CLICK HERE TO GET OUR SPECIAL REPORT

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Please leave us a comment below with some of the unpleasant experiences you’ve had!

98 Comments

  • Mike Simpson

    Reply Reply March 10, 2015

    I remember when I was in my early days of interviewing, a hiring manager actually said to me, “Our company isn’t 100% financially stable at the moment.” I couldn’t believe my ears.

    Did they expect me to be excited about the job I was interviewing for? This didn’t exactly instill a ton of confidence.

    What are some of the things you’ve heard in your interviews that caught you off guard? Or that gave you the impression you weren’t getting the job?

    Let us know.

    • Debbie

      Reply Reply April 26, 2016

      I just went on an interview today and I asked the manager to describe the job to me. She said it was tedious and boring. I thought that was odd so I asked her what she did in relation to this position and why she thought it was boring. I couldn’t believe it when the hiring manager actually said: “I am glad I am not doing this job. There is no way I would want to.” So, run run for the hills. Incredible.

      • Jeff

        Reply Reply April 28, 2016

        Hahahah that is amazing Debbie.

      • LeRod

        Reply Reply July 28, 2016

        Or was it actually a good job that she wants her nephew to get, so she played you to meet the interview quota while sabotaging all non-nephew applicants? Hmmm…

        Just kidding, who needs that crummy job anyway. Life is too merciless already without that fresh hell.

    • LeRod

      Reply Reply July 28, 2016

      I disagree with a few examples. “We’ll be in touch” “couple weeks” “interviewing a lot of people” etc. I’ve heard all that, FROM PEOPLE WHO HIRED ME.

      Then I do an amazing job for a few years, until I’ve been backstabbed, underpaid/overworked, lied to, and exploited so much that it becomes futile to give a f***, I get a job somewhere else, or just start drinking and stop showing up.

      But cryptic interviewer or not, sometimes the words are actually meant to be taken at face value. Yes, “2 weeks” can just mean 2 weeks.

    • Page Hall

      Reply Reply January 26, 2017

      How about 4 months of onboarding ?
      Is this reasonable in any circumstance ?

  • Jeff

    Reply Reply March 10, 2015

    I’ve got one I used to hear Mike…

    “We’ll keep your resume on file in case another opportunity comes up…”

    (P.S. I’m still waiting for those opportunities to come up…)

    Haha..

    • JMz

      Reply Reply February 7, 2016

      One company I worked for said 90 days. When we needed someone for the team we could go to the Monday HR meeting and look at resumes. This was much quicker than posting an ad (This was pre-Internet) and waiting.

      At another company (this was 5-10 years ago) I’m fairly sure we had to go to our second choice after the probation period for our first choice didn’t work out.

    • LeRod

      Reply Reply July 28, 2016

      Again, that can be TRUE. I’ve had callbacks from jobs that were 3, even 6 months later. I had COMPLETELY forgotten all about ever applying!

      That’s a fun opportunity to (assuming you’re immature, and otherwise gainfully employed) set up an interview and stand that sucker up. Then call back and reschedule. Go ahead! Have some fun with that jerk!

      No, but seriously, sometimes they DO call back MUCH later.

      • Nephitiri

        Reply Reply December 2, 2016

        Yep, just heard back from a job almost 3 months later…they want a second interview.

  • Jason

    Reply Reply March 11, 2015

    I can think of three examples of things I’ve heard that have basically let me know that the interview is over right then and there.. “Can I be honest? I think you’d be bored here.” Was a tough one to respond to. “You’re background is in something totally different than what this job would be.. do you know what you’d be getting into?” Is not as bad to come back from, but it is definitely undesirable… and last but certainly not least, “I think we’ve heard all that we need to hear.” Now, the tone of the interviewer’s voice really comes into play on this one… I’ve heard it both ways and believe me, if you hear it in the negative connotation all you want to do is hide under your bed and never go to another job interview.

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply March 11, 2015

      Jason… those are all tough (and unbelievably frustrating)! Did anything positive ever come out of these situations? Did you ever get the job anyway? Or learn anything from these?

  • Sherie DeGroff

    Reply Reply March 11, 2015

    Hi Jeff and Mike,

    I did get one interview with a hospital for a Storeroom Clerk. I had responses ready during the interview for questions about what examples can you tell us about your achievements, team particiaption, and how did yu handle refusing to allow your supervisor to overlook a clear out-of tolerence finding to be set-aside.

    I thought for sure I would get the position.

    I think they may have hired from within, but I’m not sure.
    hSmething else I’m running into is the employer puts “hiring imediately” and once I get the interviw, I ask will yuu let me know when you make a decision to hire someone whether or not it isn’t me?

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply March 11, 2015

      Sherie,

      With regard to the Storeroom Clerk position… it’s difficult to say what you might have done to give a better interview without knowing everything about how your interview went. There were likely a lot of factors that went into the final decision, including your responses to the questions.

      When you answered the questions, were you listing off your achievements and qualifications or were you tailoring your responses to the hospitals needs? Go have a look at our article Job Interview Questions and Answers 101 for an explanation of this.

      As for the “hiring immediately” situation, do you get a response when you ask them if they will contact you? If so, how do you follow up?

  • PJ

    Reply Reply May 7, 2015

    As a recruiter/interviewer, I have some that I wish I did not HAVE to say to the interviewee!

    1) Hi Joe, our interview time was scheduled 45 minutes ago. Since I know you have a cell phone, why didn’t you call me to let me know you were going to be late? (Of course this was after I found out the candidate was okay) Did I feel like I could trust this candidate to be on time to my client’s interview?

    2) I am looking at your current resume and it has a lot of different companies and dates from your older resume we have in our system Can you tell me which one is the real resume?

  • davp

    Reply Reply November 10, 2015

    Interviewer – “You’re a bit overqualified for this position.”
    Me – “hmmm, I’m Sorry? Thank you? I guess it really depends on what you expect of the position.”

    Still haven’t heard back from them.

  • ScottyB

    Reply Reply January 31, 2016

    I love this article. I have been through a couple of variations of these in the past. My favorite was, “I’ve called this company and they’ve never heard of you.” Not because I lied on my resume but because the guy was an idiot and thought I made up the entire thing.

    I gave him specific names and left. A week later, I got a call from the interviewer’s boss at the firm apologizing on his employee’s behalf. They called me for another interview, I went in, did the interview and they offered to let me meet the other partners at the firm. I said no thanks and left.

    Also, let me add that like another poster I got, “You would be bored here” as well during an interview. I took it as, “You’re over or mis-qualified for this job because it’s not like anything you’ve done.”

    The weirdest interview question I had was at a fancy creative agency. The interviewer said, “Let me see your hands.” Why? She wanted to “read my palms.”

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply January 31, 2016

      Hahaha she read your palm!? That IS weird. What did she see?

      • Allen

        Reply Reply July 7, 2016

        Hello Jeff I had a interview last friday the interview was going really well for 20 min It was going back and fourth with questions. But suddenly someone knocks on the door and tells the Manager they need him for something then the Manager just told me “we’ll be in touch im going to finish interviewing other canidates this whole Mid-week. Thanks for coming”. I felt shocked the way it ended mid-week has past and I still have gotten a call back.

        • Jeff

          Reply Reply July 18, 2016

          Wow Allen that is incredibly unprofessional of them…not to mention frustrating.

  • Rich

    Reply Reply February 9, 2016

    Three cases:

    I. The entire interview team uses the phrase “we” — nobody wants to be the sole bearer of bad news/uncomfortable decisions — the people do not feel you will be part of the team; you are an outsider; man the barricades (w)e = (w)all. Basic psychology here.

    II. If one person deviates and uses (I) while speaking to you, while everyone/anyone else uses (we) = There is some apprehension about your curriculum vitae or suitability from the rest of the team — or it’s not up to them, so they don’t care. The (I) person may be outspoken critic, your your benefactor. Should be easy to figure out.

    III. Everyone uses (I) during all portions of interview. You are probably the leading candidate — It has been noted — in small groups (2-5 people) when faced with introductions, or welcoming to a person to a group, most will stand forward and shake hands. When apprehensive, or looking to isolate someone from a group, people will stand away and make visual signals instead.

  • lydia

    Reply Reply April 7, 2016

    My interviewer ended with a piece of advice…

    “I have a piece of advice for you, don’t lead or do so much for the project”

    It was for a management trainee position.

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply April 7, 2016

      Hmmm… that is an odd one. Generally speaking you don’t want to discourage anyone from being a leader! But in this case, as a trainee, perhaps they really just wanted someone to execute a specific task and not attempt to lead the group (which possible already had a leader).

      Sometimes you just need to be careful not to try and do too much!

      Mike

  • Lisa

    Reply Reply April 16, 2016

    I interviewed for an entry-level office position the other day. When they asked me “Why do you want this position?” I quickly responded with “I believe it will teach me important life skills and help me start my career” in lieu of the obvious and more truthful “This isn’t my dream job, but I need a job!”
    One of the interviewers curtly retorted back “Like WHAT?!” as if my response about learning “life skills” was completely ludicrous. That definitely sent me off-kilter.
    Near the end, when they asked me if there’s anything more they needed to know about me, I briefly summarized all my skills and experience that make me qualified for the position. The interview again, curtly, retorted with “Ya, you already said that.” I hadn’t.
    At the end, when I was being walked out, she said “we’ll be in touch.”

    Yikes! Thankfully, I don’t want the job and will probably not take it if, on the off chance, I’m offered it.

  • Jonathan

    Reply Reply April 27, 2016

    An interesting and somewhat tricky question (i.e. not really prepared for): If you were in [the department head’s] position, why would you not hire yourself?

  • Quarty

    Reply Reply May 11, 2016

    I just had a job interview last week, I felt it went really well. They even discussed if I would be interested in another position with them once the one I was applying for was over. I got a lot of goods and excellents in response to my scenario questions. At the end of the interview they said I would definitely would be hearing from them the following week.

    They did mention they would be calling the following week cause they were still continuing interviews this week. They didn’t give a specific amount such as “a lot”. I also wasn’t able to fully remember everyone’s names. There was four of them, but I did confirm again what their names were and never said anyone’s names wrong.

    Its already half way through the week they told me they would be calling me, I’m a little anxious. In your opinion does it sound like I have a chance?

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply May 13, 2016

      Quarty,

      I wouldn’t be able to accurately assess your chances based on the information given. All I can say is that you have to trust in the process and allow them to get back to you on the timeline they’ve offered.

      Let us know how it goes!

      Mike

  • Myriam

    Reply Reply May 12, 2016

    What if HR manager tells you at the end of the interview: We still need to meet other candidates?

  • Madeline

    Reply Reply May 18, 2016

    Hey Mike,
    Great article! I have a quick question, when you have a minute…
    I had a second interview last week with the owner of a small practice. The position was for their office manager and I did well enough in the first interview to be brought back. I *thought* the second interview went great too–they were even talking about compensation, benefits, and how they think my background and experience would be a great contribution to the position and the practice and it was an overall good fit. However, at the end of the interview the interviewer said “well, I think that this would be a great fit but we are still in the process of interviewing others. We should know by Monday or Tuesday of next week and will be in touch.” It is Wednesday and I haven’t heard back from them. I also gave them the 3 references they asked for and my past supervisor (who I still talk to) said they hadn’t called him for a reference. Should I follow up with them or just assume I didn’t get the position since they didn’t get back to me?
    Thank you for any help you can provide!

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply May 18, 2016

      Great question Madeline!

      First of all, did you manage to read this article?

      Here’s the deal. Sometimes the interview process takes longer than hiring managers anticipate. So it is possible that they are still going through the motions, and the original timeline they gave you has changed slightly. You don’t want to be annoying and bother them while they are still in the thick of it.

      I’d wait until Friday, and if you haven’t heard anything I’d send a follow up email.

      Hope this helps.

      Mike

    • Marybeth

      Reply Reply June 3, 2016

      I would have called them on friday, instead of email.. (which they can ignore more than a call) or even go in person. I have done both and have gotten the job (past jobs now) because of my grandfathers advice.

      Great article by the way, Mike!

  • Kathryn

    Reply Reply May 24, 2016

    I just had an office I her view position. And for the most part I think it went fairly well. There was some laughing and also relation as we both knew a previous boss on my application (in a good way). All questions were asked and answered and answered some ahead of time. But one thing drive me nuts was her phone event off a couple of times but she ignored it until it was a text message. And as I was leaving tried to be polite and out my chair in and open the door to leave but shook her hand and thanked her as I left. When I left there were e employees in the office that arent usually there all together one girl smiled at me and the other guy nodded but I didn’t know if I was supposed to introduce myself so I just smiled and quietly walked out. I didn’t want to interrupt anything they might have been talking about but also didn’t know if they were there to descretly see me. Did I handle this right?

    Kathryn

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply May 25, 2016

      I don’t think there was really any other way to handle that Kathryn… I wouldn’t worry about it.

  • Ka'rynne Parks

    Reply Reply June 4, 2016

    Just had an interview yesterday and the lady asked me if I already knew what she was asking because my answers answered other questions, she told me at the end of the interview that she would let me know today or the beginning of next week. She emailed me today and said it would be next week. then came by and spoke to a co worker and saw me and said she was sorry that she’ll come up with a decision next week, I told her no problem, have a good weekend. Is that a good sign?

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply June 7, 2016

      I think you are definitely still in the running…

  • Tonya

    Reply Reply June 7, 2016

    I had an interviewer ask what I currently did, then proceeded to badmouth my current position and company, telling me the way we do things is wrong, we don’t have a good system, that our customers must be very unhappy, and that I was little more than a phone jockey. None of these things are true, for what its worth. I am a level 2 service analyst applying for a level 1 service desk as a lateral move for upward mobility. He also said “I need someone to blow me” meaning of course blow me away. Now had this been once, simple mistake of words, he said it over 5 times. I will not be called back, and if I am, I will refuse the position. Totally uncalled for

  • bryan

    Reply Reply June 27, 2016

    I had an interview last tuesday and everything when well with the interview. They mentioned when would i be able to start and if i would give my current job a two week notice and they also mentioned how much i would get paided. I also wanted your a opinion if they conduct a background check after the interview is that good sign. He also mentioned that the schedule is flexible .

  • Jim Pisello

    Reply Reply June 30, 2016

    “The Candidate needs to fit into our work culture.” AKA..”you’re too old.” Yes, it’s true ageism is RAMPANT in tech, especially amongst the Mlllennial crowd who hasn’t a clue of how to operate in the real world, because they’ve been sheltered their entire life, moving from the bubble of their home, to the bubble of college, to the bubble of their workplace, which BLURS life and work. They only know the people they work with, and their work compratriots are all they know. I have been in many interviews where the hiring team (n their 20s, 30s) literally appeared crestfallen when they noticed I was older.

    Sorry, this never happened in my day ever. We hired on merit and experience, not how many beers you can drain during happy hour.

    I stopped continuing advancing my career in tech, because of that idiotic Millennial mentality.

    • M.W.Hamilton

      Reply Reply January 26, 2017

      Perhaps instead of blaming others for your lack of adaptability within todays work force, you actually take the time to work on yourself and how you fit into your career field? My Great Grandfather said it best when I asked him what his generation thought of the Baby Boomers. “They just wanted to make a better life for themselves and give their kids the things they didn’t have. THEN THEY SCREWED IT ALL UP!” (He’s 94, this is very strong language for him)He then went on about how in his generation his entire family lived in a logging camp in the middle of what is now the Sam Houston National Forest, without any electricity or running water. My Great Grandmother, and her sister who were both there then put in their 2 cents about the Baby Boomers. You seem to be under the (very mistaken) impression that generations before you thought the Baby Boomers were fantastic or some other nonsense. Let me assure you, they did not. Nor do they think Millennials are any worse.

  • Absalom

    Reply Reply July 5, 2016

    Hello sir, last week i had an interview on monday, length 1 hour. I was called back on Thursday for a 2nd interview, length 20 min.
    I was told i would be contacted by Tuesday (today). As of 8am i had not recived a call. Since id been given a biz card with the interviewers cell number, i decided to text the following at 8 am, “Good morning sir, im sure your weekend and holiday went well. Id like to know if there were any updates or is there more information you need regarding my application? Thanks!”
    Response, “We will get back to you. Thanks.”

    Was this a good move on my part? Did i tank my chances?
    Thanks.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply July 18, 2016

      I don’t think you tanked your chances but you may have jumped the gun a bit. Next time give it a little more time.

  • James

    Reply Reply July 5, 2016

    Any advice on this situation? I am unsure of what the outcome will be, but I have been interviewing with this one company for a couple weeks now. I have had four interviews so far. Two of the people who I have interviewed with I would be working with and to me they seem to like me. In addition to the interviews I also completed a job shadowing to see more of what the office environment would be like and what the job would entail. I have now been trying to have the fifth (and last) interview with one of the VPs but they have rescheduled me four times. After the job shadow I was feeling pretty confident on the job but once I was rescheduled again for this last interview I’m starting to think twice now. I was told I was one out of three candidates and there are two openings. Should I be worried that I keep getting rescheduled by this last person?

  • Melisa

    Reply Reply July 14, 2016

    I had an interview seemed to go really well the owner already new me and previously wanted to hire me.During the interview she mentioned me potentially becoming a supervisor and “leading the pack”.Then she asked what my “bottom line was”keep in mind i have never negotiated money before and even told her so.The job discription said anywhere from $11-$14 per hr,not knowing what to say i said $14 hopeing to negotiate.Everything got weird after that she said that she was looking for 12.50-13.00 an hr which i also agreed too.Left the interview with a “Hug”…kinda weird and she said “She will call me”….what do you think its been a week ive done a thank you email and called and she was out of town on a family thing…what do you think?do i still have a shot?

  • dee dee

    Reply Reply July 18, 2016

    Hello, i had a job interview today. i guess it went well; however, i was told the usual, we have other candidates to interview. however, i asked questions like, ‘what is next in the interview process and she said, ‘we’ll call you if there is a 2nd interview, but what i’ll need from you is a couple of references,here is my business card’. ‘if there is a second interview, we’ll also have a background check and drug screening’, is that good or bad/

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply July 19, 2016

      It’s tough to say whether that’s good or bad since you asked about the next step in the process..

  • Amy

    Reply Reply July 18, 2016

    Jeff/Mike,

    I interviewed for an internship today with a Forbe’s “100 best places to work” company. At the closure of the interview the HR manager commented that, “There are hard decisions to be made.” The interview itself went well from what I could tell. Does that closing statement mean anything more than what it is? I’m taking it as there is another candidate equally preferred.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply July 19, 2016

      Hi Amy,

      I would read that comment the same as you. Sounds like you are one of either 1 or more equally liked candidates! Well it’s a decent problem to have! Fingers crossed for you over at interview guys’ headquarters..

  • Ben

    Reply Reply July 21, 2016

    Hi Jeff,

    I was interviewed for a job role yesterday.

    At the end of the interview, the hiring manager said ” you have really done your research about our company” However, he didn’t ask me when I can start but asked if I am bond-able. When I asked the likely time the decision will be taken and the possible location, he told me he has some other candidates he’s going to interview and the location will depend on whosoever he hires, and he will let me know his decision in 3 weeks time. He said I will receive mail giving me an offer or telling me that another candidate has been employed. He also asked me to send him mail if I do not have any response from him after 3 weeks.

    What do you think about his responses? Do I stand any chance of getting the job?

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply July 21, 2016

      Hi Ben,

      I think you definitely have a chance at this job! Everything the hiring manager said is a good sign. Now of course, one of the other candidates could still beat you out…but it sounds like you did a great job. Good luck!

  • Jenna

    Reply Reply July 22, 2016

    I had an interview that said, I will see if we need to have a 2nd interview or not, I will have to talk to them to find out, and I will have to skip through the interviews, and I will let you know on Thursday or friday if you need a 2nd interview or not she smiled and winked at me shook my hand with doubled hands and said it was great speaking with you? Did I get the job? The job starts this monday its Friday now.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply July 26, 2016

      Well Jenna sounds pretty good to me!

  • Jenna

    Reply Reply July 22, 2016

    She Also said that “this is the resume I wanted to see”, with a big smile on her face.

  • Brook

    Reply Reply July 29, 2016

    This is how I knew they weren’t considering me for the position, “Would you consider any freelance work right now?” Just had to hang my head in shame and move on.

  • Desmond

    Reply Reply August 2, 2016

    My interview is scheduled tomorrow l hope not to hear those things above

  • Mercedez

    Reply Reply August 18, 2016

    I just went on an interview today with the vice president of HIM. She ask me basic questions and then proceeded to give me a new paper application to fill out. A few minutes later she gave me her business card and told me she is going to introduce me to the CEO. After 5 minutes she came back and told me she is going to show me the department. Once we was leaving out the CEO was ready for me. I sat with him and he told be about the position and told me he will be my direct contact and the vice president will be training me. After, he confused me because at the point I thought I was hired. He said he still interviewing several candidate to interview and offer me his business card if I have any question to give him a call.He walk me out and the vice president met me at the door. When i look they were talking and the CEO had a big smile. I’m not sure if I should throw my hat in or if that means I got the job.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply August 25, 2016

      Fingers crossed Mercedez! It all sounds good so far!

  • Skirnir Hamilton

    Reply Reply August 23, 2016

    Today’s interview did not go well. So I get to the office about 10 minutes early, as per my usual, the receptionist tells me that the interviewer just went into a meeting and will be about half an hour. The interview starts about 15 minutes after the scheduled interview time. He asks a few questions, then he asks me to sit down at a cubicle and send a pretend email to a client asking for these documents and give this reason. He says he will be right next door in the office we interviewed in, if I have any questions. I take some time and write and send such an email. As I have no background in the type of business they represent, I am sure it is not a great job. I go back to his office and he is not there. I quietly stand in the doorway and some of his staff passing by asked me if I need something and I indicate that we were mid interview and I did not think the interview was over, but had no idea where he went. Oh, he went out of the office. I am sure he will be right back. I politely sit down and wait. I see the next interviewee come in and sit down in reception. (About 15 minutes early, I assume.) He comes back in and asks if I had finished.. uh yeah.. We talk a few more minutes, then he proceeds to answer his cell phone and then use that to say goodbye.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply August 25, 2016

      Wow how unprofessional of the interviewer. Sorry to hear that Skirnir.

  • Joe

    Reply Reply September 1, 2016

    Today I had a group interview and at the end each individual was pulled out one by one. With this being my third interview with the company one of the HR personnel said were still interviewing other candidates , you will get a call if we want to move forward . So I’m out of the loop here . What are my chances?

  • John

    Reply Reply September 3, 2016

    A week and a half ago, I interviewed with a hiring manager and a VP. The interview lasted for over an hour and I thought it went extremely well. After the interview, the hiring manager said they’d be in touch (no time frame was given). After about a week and a half, I decided to follow up. I directly called the hiring manager who interviewed me. She apologized that they hadn’t given me an update and said the delay was caused because certain people had been out of the office. She then said that HR was supposed to be contacting me with “some information.” I’m trying to think positively, but this statement makes me feel like I didn’t get the job and she didn’t want to tell me over the phone (she would rather let HR do the dirty work). I feel this way because I believe she would have given a hint that I got the job (or outright told me) if the news was positive. Also, her voice sounded very neutral and slightly evasive; based on her tone, I have no indication that good news is coming my way.

  • Jessica

    Reply Reply September 12, 2016

    Hi I had a interview about a week ago and at the end of the interview the principal and the mother said they will discuss it over and get back to me because there are other applicants also .so far it’s almost two weeks and no response back at all. I wanted to call to follow up but I think they will just say it was filled even if it’s still available because they weren’t impressed with me . Am I correct on this?

  • Mary

    Reply Reply September 15, 2016

    Hi Jeff,

    I have an interview scheduled for a Research Assistant position. I applied for it almost 1 month ago. I got an email from the director that they were interested. He wants me to send a cover letter to add with my application. Also, he told to get familiar with the projects on their website. What do you think this means in reference to getting the job.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply September 15, 2016

      Hi Mary,

      I think it’s a good sign. He has also given you a great clue.Be sure to really pour over every inch of their website, especially their “projects” section as he mentioned. Highlight in your cover letter AND in the interview how you are a person who possesses the qualities needed to help with the types of projects they have. I would mention SPECIFIC projects. Don’t be wishy washy. For more info on writing your cover letter we have a comprehensive 101 post here: https://theinterviewguys.com/how-to-write-a-cover-letter-examples-included/

      Good luck Mary!

  • DMax

    Reply Reply October 18, 2016

    Hi Jeff,

    I had a phone interview on Thursday and an in person interview on Friday last week. I fell that the interview went really well. I interviewed with the owner, his wife (who is the Office Director), and one of the account managers (that would be a colleague). My interview lasted for an hour and a half. The owner asked me what my salary requirements were at which I told him a range that was around what I was making in a previous job that is exactly the same as what I was interviewing for. He wrote the amount down on my resume, but when his wife came in to do her part of the interview I noticed that it had been erased. (Is that a bad sign?) I noticed that her questions were a little more detailed asking specifically how to do things in a program. I felt that they were all very pleased with my responses. The owner came back in at the end of the interview and told me that I did good. (Is this a sign that I got the job?) I was walked through the office and introduced to potential colleagues and I was informed that the next step in the process was to further discuss my credentials with another employee that was on vacation until Monday. I was informed that I would hear back from them today, which is Tuesday. I feel really good about the interview, but still have the doubt in the back of my mind. I also know that I am the only person that they are interviewing besides a girl that had previously worked there, but in another department. I also know that the owner seemed a little hesitant about wanting to bring the other girl back in. Do you think that I got the job?

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply October 18, 2016

      Hi Desirae,

      Well obviously it’s hard to know for sure but from what you outlined it sounds like you have a really good shot! Fingers crossed for you over here at Interview Guys Headquarters!

  • Dumobserver

    Reply Reply October 18, 2016

    As for number 10, I disagree. No hiring manager will interview one candidate and decide him or her to the best among the lot without looking at least 3 candidates in all. “We have more candidates to talk to before we make a decision.” Candidates often get disappointed when they hear this, figuring that the interviewer is signaling that they shouldn’t get their hopes up. Sometimes that is in fact the case, but this is also a very normal thing that many interviewers say as a matter of routine to all candidates – because it’s true, and it’s a normal part of hiring to talk to other people. It doesn’t generally indicate anything about your chances. SO DO NOT SIT AND WAIT FOR THE OUTCOME. INSTEAD, KEEP INTERVIEWING WITH OTHER COMPANIES.

  • Kim

    Reply Reply October 20, 2016

    I’ve been to so many interviews and never get the job. In September alone I had 4 interviews with 4 different companies. I have over 15 yrs of experience in customer service, administration and analytics with both financial services and retail operations. I had one company flat out tell me I’d get a 2nd interview only to get the “after careful consideration…” email a couple weeks later. It’s pretty exhausting. I’ve had companies give me multiple interviews to get the exact same email I stated above. Companies are not hiring like they use to. The worst is some of these companies I do business with and the way some of the customer service reps act is unbelievable- I actually think to myself how is it this person works here yet I’m not qualified to get a job here? It’s pretty bad. Now I’m doing low paying temp work for a company that could careless for their workers. The company I’m at right now has been probably the cream of the crop when it comes to inappropriate comments, no to completely backwards structure. I stay b/c I’m broke and need a job. It’s discouraging and frustrating to no end. There really is no light at the end of the tunnel. No jobs really in the US that pay decent or value hard work or even great people. No idea why the unemployment keeps saying there’s job growth. I haven’t seen it in 6 yrs!

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply October 24, 2016

      Kim,

      Have you thought about following up with the Hiring Managers for feedback? If everything that you’re saying is true, then there might be one thing (or a variety of things) that you are doing that are taking you out of the running.

      You might want to consider asking for some “tough love” from your next few interviews to get a better sense of what is going on.

      Let us know how it goes.

      Mike

  • Collin

    Reply Reply October 27, 2016

    Hey Jeff,

    Yesterday I had a lunch interview with the hiring manager and 5-sit ins who joined us(5 other technicians). When I arrived, I called the hiring manager and was told he’d be ten minutes late to the interview and for me to make myself comfortable with the others. I went in, saw two techs, and we got a table. I decided to begin the interviewing process without the hiring manager by asking the technicians about the job. They gave me a brief explanation for each of my questions. Later, three more showed up and introduced themselves. The hiring manager finally came in and spoke with me. He was very calm and nice and even gave an explanation as to his tardiness. The hiring manger than began making conversation with everyone around the table. The atmosphere was very casual. When he finally got to me, it was a casual question, but I answered it in a professional matter(went on like this for 1hr-1/2). They spoke to me about training, who I would apprentice under, where they send new employees to train and their bad experiences of the job. ALso, He did at one point, mentioned how he was concerened of my school hours getting in the way of work. So when the interview was coming to an end, the hiring manager told me he would get back to me before the end of the week…

    Do you think I landed the job?!

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply November 3, 2016

      Hi Collin,

      It sounds like it went great! You didn’t mention how you handled the question about your school hours, but overall it sounds very promising. Let us know how it turns out!

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply October 29, 2016

    I had a phone screening last week from the hiring manager and it was only a 5 minutes call. I did not get the name of the person who called me, but I would like to make a follow up call. What should I do?

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply November 3, 2016

      Hi there,

      If it was just a 5 minute phone screening there’s no need to follow up. Follow up after the in person interview.

  • Mo

    Reply Reply November 5, 2016

    These are great!

    I went on an interview this week and had never seen this before– one of the interviewers introduced herself to me with her back to me, and didn’t shake my hand. The interview was held in a conference room, and the smoke porch was through a conference room door. One of the interviewers waved two smokers to come through during the interview to go smoke. Her reasoning “we were finishing up anyway.”
    Will not be accepting a job offer if it’s given!

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply November 8, 2016

      Wow that is incredibly unprofessional!

  • Maria

    Reply Reply November 21, 2016

    Hi Mike,

    I had a phone screen with a woman who said she was the one-person HR department, who oversaw payroll, and general office administration. She has the initial phone screen to see if the candidate is a good fit, she takes notes and then can recommend if candidate should have another phone interview with someone who can answer more technical questions. When I asked her if she could tell me a description of my day to day responsibilities she said no that would be with the other interviewer. After her introduction describing her role in the process, she went on to say I will answer some of her questions because “people can look really good on paper but when they get here their not as good.” Is that a normal thing for an interviewer to say? I have never heard that before, and it threw me off because it felt like a negative tone to come back from with a complete stranger. I did my best but was distracted because I felt like her impression is everyone lies on their resume. Is this a normal interview statement? Should I feel like the interviewer is assuming my resume is a lie?

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply November 21, 2016

      Maria,

      Unfortunately, just as it is possible to not be a great interviewee, it is also possible to not be a very good interviewer! For this reason, you have to learn to expect the unexpected, including questions that are off-putting.

      In this case, it sounds like you had an interviewer who lacked a bit of “bedside manner”. All you can really do is play along, be yourself, and do your best to show how you will add value to the company should you get the job.

      Hope this helps.

      – M

  • RJ

    Reply Reply November 22, 2016

    I had an interview yesterday, in the end of the interview the manager told me “I’ll give you a shot. We will call you within this week for requirements” we were 6 candidates for that position. The opening are only 3. It was really tricky because I asked the other applicants how was there interview (I got there numbers) and they told me that we got all the same message. 6 of us.well, Except for that “I’ll give you a shot” wich bothers me as well. I feel like I have 50/50 chance.

  • Kim

    Reply Reply December 12, 2016

    Had phone interview with company HR who called next morning appointment for face-to-face interview. Put HR on hold to go get pen and paper, HR person was verbally annoyed. Asked who I would be meeting for interview and address. She said she would email time and address. Never heard back from her. Got a call from company half hour after scheduled interview time stating I had missed interview and if I wanted to reschedule? I did not call back. At another company I was offered a job and they never sent me the email to accept or deny the job offer after repeatedly telling hiring manager I never received it. They have correct email because they have emailed me. Both companies are Fortune 500. Very unprofessional!

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply December 19, 2016

      Wow Kim, that is incredibly unprofessional!

  • Andrew

    Reply Reply January 17, 2017

    I have a Masters degree in Education with a concentration in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). I have been employed in four countries over a period of about 15 years. Recently I returned to the USA, mainly due to the fact I would prefer to be around family and close friends as I am getting older (57). I have sent my resume out to employers believing that my experiences adapting to different cultures and my highly-developed skill set of speaking/writing would qualify me, as crossover skills, for more than telephone customer-service positions. However, I am consistently told I am “overqualified” even though my Masters is in a different area. On my last interview I wore a nice sport jacket, pressed slacks, a nice tie and wingtip shoes. I literally saw a funny look on the face of the female interviewer, who was about 30, as I entered the room. I found this odd since the dates on my resume would have been an indicator of my age. Her questioning was aggressive and rude, and it showed me she didn’t give a rip about my experience, even though I had direct customer-service experience listed on the resume. The next day I got a “thanks but no thanks” letter, with vague reason about “company fit”. Is this a sign that Millennial-age interviewers look down on older applicants? I am desperate for work and am sick of playing mind games with some of these people. Why not be completely honest during interviews, as it seems people used to be, and make this process so much simpler?

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply January 18, 2017

      Andrew,

      I can definitely appreciate your frustration. I’d offer that ageism isn’t just a millennial issue, rather, that it has been a part of the interviewing process for many years. While many companies are fighting hard to prove that they do not allow these types of discriminatory practices to influence their decisions, a great many still hide behind the “company fit” designation you mentioned.

      Age discrimination is in fact illegal, so if you feel you can prove that you are being discriminating against I suggest you contact a lawyer or report the company to the EEOC. A word of warning, however. This is very difficult to prove, and will likely just end up costing you money and time and add ultimately to your stress levels.

      The best thing you can do is continue to fight the good fight and present the best possible version of yourself. I truly believe that you will eventually be hired if you are the best person for the job… but you may have to put up with the immaturity of a few companies like this along the way.

      I hope this helps.

      Mike

  • Jas

    Reply Reply February 24, 2017

    Hey Mike I got interviewed today before that the company made me do a spelling test math test excel calendar typing test and letter to the owner of the company, after that the interviewer said she loved my calendar and my letter we talked for about 45 min she said she like me and she liked my experience she said she wanted to bring g in her office manager to meet me so she came in we talked for another 20min than she said ok well we will be interviewing other candidates until next week but here is the first interviewers card and u can definitely follow up with her. They both walked be out the door shook my hand gave me some of the offices branded office materials and walked me to the door together. They did talk about what my expected salary was but before I spoke to the second interviewer I was pretty certain they were going to offer me the position I was thinking of following up on Monday if no call???

  • Kristi

    Reply Reply March 9, 2017

    I just had a final interview on Monday and I thought it went really well. He had requested I send a previous report and presentation that I’d worked on and my references. I sent it all a few hours later and felt good. Now, it’s been three days and no response back from my submissions, no contact with my references, nothing… It’s hard to be patient when they’ve moved so quickly up until this point and I know they need someone asap. Should I reach out?

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply March 16, 2017

      Hi Kristi,

      If you haven’t followed up yet, you certainly can. However, like you said 3 days isn’t that long! There’s definitely still hope..

  • Chris Clayton

    Reply Reply April 27, 2017

    I had an interview yesterday morning and I feel that it went very well. Firstly, I met the owner of the company about two months prior and he extended interest in me then. I emailed him, and the interview was set up. I graduate in two weeks and the position is for HR Generalist which is what my degree is concentrated in. The interview lasted about an hour and towards the end things were said like “you’ll see what the office attire is…” and “you’ll find that….”, things like that. He proceeded to ask when I could start, and asked if I had his personal number. I do, and he said to go home, think everything over, and call tomorrow (today) with my decision. So that is extending the job offer if I want it, correct? I called today and never got a response from him or his receptionist and left them both messages. What do I do!?

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply May 1, 2017

      It sounds like it went very well Chris. There’s no need to panic yet. If you still haven’t heard back since your first message (and you haven’t called again) it’s time for a follow up call. There are a lot of reasons why they may not have returned your message.

  • Denise

    Reply Reply July 21, 2017

    Hi! I had
    an interview with a big hospital and I felt like the interview went well. I met with middle managers and they liked my experience. The conversation was engaging. They introduced to me to another manager who came into the office, I asked for a tour of the area I would be working in and they accepted. The conversation flowed nicely and we talked about past experiences working in hospitals. It was more on a personable level. Just wanted your opinion and how you thought the interview went.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply July 31, 2017

      Hi Denise,

      It sounds like the interview went as well as you could hope for. It sounds like you managed to turn the interview into a “discussion between peers” which is always a good thing.

  • Nancy Young

    Reply Reply September 7, 2017

    I had a very good interview on August 22nd with both the supervisor and manager, they even discussed benefits, holidays and how sick/vacation time is accrued. They said they would be in touch by the end of the following week, but I haven’t received any response yet and it’s been 11 business days. Should I just assume I wasn’t chosen for one of the two positions?

  • Brent

    Reply Reply September 7, 2017

    I had an interview today and was caught a bit off-guard by a couple of things.

    First, as we were walking from one-building to another the Head Manager escorting me turned and made a comment about my car’s color being too bright. It’s not by any means a out of whack color, it’s a normal royal blue color…and I am not sure if she even knew it was my car…but I didn’t answer this one. Never seen that sort of thing play out before…

    After the interview was 3/4’s over I found out the hard way the actual position I interviewed for, was slightly different than the position I applied for.

    I first received a telephone call about the position I applied for by a separate recruiter, and was told it was a Team Lead position where I would be over-seeing 6 other people.

    Then during the interview, I awkwardly found out that the position I was actually interviewing for was not the Team Lead position.

    I would have no problem not working the Team Lead position, but I feel mislead a bit by the company, and of course I looked very stupid in the course of the exchange. I’ve never seen a company do a switch-eroo like that before.

    Needless to say I don’t feel too comfortable about getting the job. I feel the person who I would work for liked me and my qualifications but the Head Manager who made comments about my car wasn’t too impressed by me.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply September 19, 2017

      Wow their whole operation sounds pretty unprofessional to me Brent.

  • Suzan

    Reply Reply September 17, 2017

    The other day I had a job interview that I felt went really well. The interview was over 30 minutes, both the person interviewing and I were relaxed (yet professional) and he mentioned “I interviewed well.” He then had me meet the owner of the company (this was an extra unplanned step). The company owner and I got along very well and she loved my answers to her questions. Some of the questions were personal as well as professional, which to me is always a good sign in an interview. After the interview was over, the Manager (first person interviewing) gave me a sheet of paper and an address (along with street directions) to go get a pre-employment drug test. After the results come in, he said they’d be putting together an offer package. Is this a good sign?

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply September 19, 2017

      Absolutely Susan!

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