You’ve just gone to your interview and you think it’s gone well. Then the interviewer shakes your hand, thanks you for your time, and says, “we’ll be in touch.” Interviewing can be nerve-wracking, especially when the interviewer says something like that, which could be interpreted in multiple ways.
“We’ll be in touch” means that the interviewer has not made a decision yet. This could be because they have other candidates to interview or just want more time to think. For a better indicator of how your interview went, you should observe the energy of the interview.
Now I’ll go over some of the different reasons that your hiring managers might say, “we’ll be in touch.” Then I’ll discuss a couple of different indicators that you can use to gauge whether or not your interview went well.
Why Do Interviewers Say “We’ll Be in Touch”?
Interviewers usually say “we’ll be in touch” after a job interview when a decision regarding the position has yet to be made. They may still need to interview other candidates or may have to review their notes with a supervisor before making the hiring decision.
More Candidates To Interview
A lot of the time, if businesses have multiple positions to fill or they’re hiring for an entry-level position, then they’ll have pre-scheduled interviews with multiple candidates.
They’ll want to make sure that they’re giving time to each candidate so, even if you manage to blow them away, they won’t want to provide you with an answer until they’ve had time with each candidate.
This is why you want to make your interview as memorable as possible, especially if there are many candidates. If they’re looking at 20 candidates and you all have similar credentials, you’ll need to bring up something that will help you stand out so that when they are in touch, they’ll remember who you are and be more likely to hire you.
You’ll want to have interesting but still relevant stories to tell. That way, when they’re discussing you, they’ll remember you.
They Need To Consult With Their Supervisor
Another really common reason that you’ll initially be told “we’ll be in touch” is because the person interviewing you is not qualified to make the final decision. To make the final decision, they’ll need to go to their supervisor or someone higher up in the company and present their notes from your interview.
Until then, they’re unable to give you an official verdict.
So, while they wait to get the verdict from the person in charge, they’ll likely tell you that they’ll be in touch once a decision has been made. Then, once they’ve discussed their notes with their higher up, they’ll contact you to let you know what decision has been made.
Can “We’ll Be in Touch” Be a Negative Thing?
“We’ll be in touch” can be a negative thing, but then it can be a positive thing as well. All it means is that good or bad, the team is not ready to decide and will get back to you when they are.
There is a possibility that when your hiring manager says, “we’ll be in touch,” they already know that they’re not going to hire you.
The interviewer may choose to do this for various reasons, but it’s likely because they don’t like confrontation. It’s far easier to let someone down over email than in person, especially when this person has just spent the last 30 minutes of their life trying to prove why they’re a good candidate.
In my experience, the majority of the time that I’ve been rejected from a job, they’ve still told me that they’ll be in contact with me at a later date.
For the most part, “we’ll be in touch,” or “we’ll be in contact” is simply a standard phrase that interviewers use at the end of the interview to signify its end and to let you know that they have yet to make a decision. It’s not much deeper than that.
However, because of that, it’s not a good indicator of whether or not the interview went well. To determine whether or not the interview went well, there are several other factors you’ll want to consider. All of which will better indicate how well the interview went.
How To Tell if an Interview Went Well
To tell if an interview went well, you’ll want to pay attention to the body language and energy of the interviewer. Things like asking many questions, maintaining a conversational tone, and the interview running late are all great signs that the interview is going well.
Let’s take a closer look at these factors.
Asking a Lot of Questions
One of the best indications that an interview is going well is that the interviewer asks you many questions.
Of course, they’re always going to ask you questions. That’s the purpose of an interview, but try and pay attention to how they are asking the questions. Are they simply reading them off a sheet, or seem like they’re just reciting them? Or do they seem genuinely interested and are asking questions to understand you further?
There Was a Conversational Tone
Another great indicator that the interview went well is if it was feeling a lot like a normal conversation by the end.
That means that the interviewer was comfortable with you and probably liked your personality. It should have remained professional, but if you were both relaxed and enjoying the conversation by the end, that’s an excellent sign.
They Seem Engaged
If you’re talking to an interviewer and all they’re doing is looking at their hands or out the window, the interview probably isn’t going well. You want your interviewer to be engaged in what you’re saying. If they’re taking notes, asking questions, maintaining eye contact, and overall seeming interested in what you have to say, that’s a good sign that the interview is going well.
Of course, this could just mean that the interviewer is very poor at what they do, and doesn’t know how to interview people very well.
The Interview Ran Long
One final sign that we’ll talk about is the interview running long. If you have a great conversation and make good points, the interview will last longer, especially if you come with prepared questions, which is a must for any interview.
The interview running long also means that the interviewer took an interest in what you had to say and was likely asking you to expound on several things.
However, if the interview ends on time, that’s not always a bad sign. Sometimes the interviewer is on a strict schedule and needs to adhere to it exactly. So, if your interview ends early but all the other indicators of a good interview were present, don’t worry about it.
Signs That an Interview Went Poorly
Some signs that your interview went poorly are ending early, the interviewer not asking questions, and an overly formal atmosphere. If the interviewer simply doesn’t seem interested in what you’re saying, the interview probably isn’t going well.
One of the most significant signs that an interview went poorly is ending early.
If you start talking and it isn’t going well, the interviewer may just decide to cut the interview then and there, especially if they have other candidates to interview. Ending early can be very discouraging as the job candidate, but keep in mind that by doing this, they’re keeping them and you from wasting time on something that isn’t going to work out.
Not Asking Continuing Questions
Another sign that things aren’t going well is if the interviewer is not asking continuing questions.
Here’s what I mean by this. Say you’re talking about your experience with children and mention that you worked at a summer camp in college. This piques their interest, and they start asking more questions about your time working at summer camp.
That would be asking continuing questions. If they leave it at you working at summer camp, they’re probably not interested.
An Overly Formal Atmosphere
Job interviews will never be a completely casual environment and are typically at least a little awkward, but if things don’t start to warm up by the end, it’s probably not going well. You want to be speaking to each other naturally without too many awkward pauses, and you want the interview to take a life of its own.
If it seems like they’re reciting an interview that they’ve done many times before, you’ll probably want to assume that it isn’t going well.
Ask When You Should Expect To Hear From Them
If told, “we’ll be in contact,” the best thing to do is ask the interviewer when you should expect a response. Most companies have hiring policies and should have a general time frame that you should hear back within.
The job search can be a stressful process: responding to a job offer, completing a job application, and taking part in the dreadful interview session.
We’ve all been there, and it’s even more stressful when things don’t seem clear. “We’ll be in touch” is not a negative sign, not a positive sign. It simply signifies that you can expect to hear back about the decision at a later date.
To determine how well the interview went, you should pay attention to other factors, including the interviewer’s body language and the type of questions being asked. Also, at the end of the interview, ask when you can expect to hear back. They should be able to give you a time frame.