Signs A Zoom Interview Went Terrible!

Have you come away from a Zoom interview wondering if it went as badly as you thought it did? There are a few signs you can look for to let you know.

You can usually tell if a Zoom or video interview went poorly if one or more of the following occurred….

  • your interview was drastically shorter than expected
  • the ‘next steps’ in the interview process were not explicitly made clear
  • you were not given any new information about the position
  • your interviewer lost interest or was distracted easily during the interview
  • your interviewer expressed concerns about your suitability for the role

Looking at each point in more depth below, here are the five signs that indicate a Zoom interview went less than perfect.

Your interview was cut short

Most interviews are established with an estimated length, especially if they are digital interviews. They may last between 30 minutes and one hour, though if you and your interviewer have a particularly in-depth discussion, the meeting may go on longer.

If your interview ends up much shorter than you anticipated it to be, this may be a sign that it has gone badly. This is especially true if parts of the interview were rushed or even skipped, such as meeting with other members of the employer’s team or allotting time to your questions about the position.

The follow-up wasn’t made clear

If your potential employer is particularly enthusiastic about your interview, they will usually make the next steps in the process as clear as possible, giving you contact information for your next interviewer, an estimated time range for responses, or even a clear overview of the remaining steps toward onboarding and a potential start date.

If your interviewer does not offer follow up information beyond “we’ll be in touch,” and especially if they do not give you a time frame unprompted, it’s unlikely that they are enthusiastic about your interview, as this shows that they have not considered what moving forward with you would look like.

Little new information was given about the position

Hiring managers who are enthusiastic about particular applicants will do their best to sell you on the position that you are applying for. This often means that they will offer more detailed descriptions of what the job entails, including more specific hours, pay ranges, and an overview of the responsibilities of the role. They may even offer a rundown of what a typical day in the role looks like.

If, however, you leave the interview knowing little more about the position than you knew from the public job listing, your interviewer likely did not see it as worthwhile to express the information to you, meaning that they are unlikely to move forward with hiring you.

Your interviewer was disinterested

An engaged interviewer is likely happy with how the interview is going. They may smile more or offer more active listening to your responses, as well as engage in conversation beyond the basic interview script. They’ll be fully invested in talking to you, and may even lose track of time and let the interview run long. Oftentimes, interviewers will tell you if an interview went well and if they are pleased with your responses.

On the other side of this, an interviewer who is multitasking during the interview (checking emails or their phone, working on another project, etc.), keeps checking the clock, and offers little response to your answers to rote questions, instead moving through them without pausing, is likely not pleased with how the interview is progressing. They will (usually) continue to be polite, but they will not go out of their way to engage with you.

Your interviewer expressed or repeated concerns

The most obvious sign that an interview is going poorly is if your interviewer highlights a particular concern they have with either your application or your responses. They may ask multiple questions about the same issue or take a long pause after a response.

While a concern is not always going to mean that you do not get the position, repeated instances of concern or a particularly hard focus on one concern can be a sign that the interview is not going well and that your interviewer does not see you as a good fit for the position.

Final thoughts

It’s inevitable that we are going to have poor interviews, especially when they lack the in-person element of connection. It may not even be your fault – you may simply not have the right qualifications or have caught the interviewer on a bad day. You may have technical issues that prevent the interview from proceeding smoothly or have some concern that wasn’t communicated clearly in the job listing.

Whatever happens, you can take a bad interview as a chance to learn and grow. Remember what went poorly this time and work toward correcting it in your next interview. That way, you can land a position that is really right for you, where your employer is enthusiastic about working together.

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