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How to Tell If a Phone Interview Went Well

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You can't always tell if a phone interview went well because you can't see the interviewer's facial expressions or read her nonverbal cues. However, there are some telltale signs that the interview went well and you're still in the running. As long as there wasn't a lot of uncomfortable silence and the interviewer didn't cut you off or use buzz words such as "unqualified" or "overqualified," assume the interview went well and hope for the best.

Ending Remarks

The best way to tell if a phone interview went well is to assess how it ended. If the interviewer schedules a second phone interview or suggests a face-to-face meeting, you know the interview was a success. It's also a good sign if the interviewer asks you to email or send a hard copy of additional information or requests a list of professional references. Any attempt the interviewer makes to increase communication or maintain a close connection sends a strong signal that you passed the test.

Types of Questions

You can often tell if a phone interview went well by evaluating the line of questioning. If the interviewer progressively asked questions that became more complex or asked questions that required personal insight, it means you were on the right track. If the interviewer never moved beyond your education or former work experiences, it could mean you are under- or overqualified for the job. When your answers spur follow-up questions about your skills, talents, goals and experiences, it likely means the interviewer is interested and wants to know more about what you could add the company.

Subtle Comments

You can't read the interviewer's expressions, but subtle comments and future-oriented remarks often mean the company is seriously considering you for the job. If the interviewer used phrases such as "when you start," "once you join the team" or "as an employee," she's likely already thinking of you as an addition to the workforce, according to CBS Money Watch. The only way to know for sure if you aced the interview is if you are offered the job, but forward-thinking statements are a sign you're one step closer.

Casual Chit Chat

It's a good sign that the interview went well if the interviewer got more comfortable and relaxed as the interview progressed. Jokes don't always come across over the phone, so it's a positive step in the right direction if the interviewer felt comfortable enough to joke around or make personal comments. If the conversation turned to casual small talk after all the formal interview questions were addressed, it could be the interviewer's attempt to bond with you, according to career experts at Beyond. Hiring managers and headhunters typically only attempt to bond with candidates that make the cut.


As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.

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