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Tips That You're Not Getting a Second Interview

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Many job seekers wish they could know during the interview if there is a good chance they will be invited for a follow-up meeting. While some interviewers play it close to the vest, others send out subtle signals that let you know not to wait by the phone for their call.

Nonverbal Signals

Interviewers sometimes give themselves away through their body language. If the interviewer glances at his watch, phone or computer, or looks out the window, he may be bored. Or he may have already decided you’re not the best candidate but is continuing with the interview out of obligation. Other subtle cues include not smiling, nodding or otherwise responding to your replies. Also, if the interviewer rushes through his questions without following up on your answers or he interrupts you, he’s likely just going through the motions.

Lack of Commitment

If an interviewer wants you to come in for a second interview, he’ll usually address the subject toward the end of your first meeting. He may explain the interviewing and hiring process and tell you what to expect, and may even ask if you’re available for a follow-up meeting, and discuss possible dates and times. When an interviewer is seriously considering you, he’ll often try to pin you down regarding your interest. He may ask when you can start if offered the job and if there’s anything that would prevent you from accepting the position.

You’re Over- or Underqualified

When an interviewer says you’re either under- or overqualified, he often has serious doubts. His line of questioning should address your suitability for the role, so if he brings up your qualifications even after speaking with you, he may have already made up his mind. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make your case, however. Ask him to explain the reasons behind his concern. If he says he doesn’t think you’ll be happy there because you’re overqualified, he may not doubt your skills but fear you won’t stay long.

Early Ending

The length of the interview can also offer insight into the employer’s impression of you and his interest in getting to know you better. Phone screening interviews often last around 15 minutes while in-person, first-round interviews typically take between 30 minutes to one hour. If the interviewer abruptly ends the call after five minutes or dismisses you from his office after 10 minutes, he’s probably already crossed you off the list and is eager to move on to the next candidate.