Signs You Didn’t Get the Job

What if you knew in advance that HR will not invite you for a second interview? What if you didn’t have to wait for two or three weeks while other opportunities passed by you?

Knowing the signs you didn’t get the job prevents you from wasting time. This article is all about outlining these signs and determining what you can do once you observe them.

Signs You Didn’t Get the Job

Signs You Didn’t Get the Job: What Are They?

1. You Did Not Prepare for the Interview

One of the signs you didn’t get the job is that you did not prepare for the interview. This is the earliest sign you can detect and one that can save you a lot of time and pain. Once you realize that compared to the other candidates you are just a bit too late, a bit oddly dressed, a bit slow in responding to interview questions, and so on, you should consider that HR may not consider you seriously.

So, signs how your preparations for a job interview are insufficient includes the following:

As soon as you take note of these details, prepare your heart to look for a job elsewhere.

2. You Fall Short of the Role’s Requirements

Self-awareness is a virtue. The main decider of the success of a job interview is usually how well you can prove to the hiring manager that you meet the job’s requirements. However, if 5 or 10 minutes into the interview the hiring manager has to explain every industry-specific term they use, then you are clearly in the wrong job interview. It should be obvious to you that you don’t meet the requirements for the role. Most likely, you will not get the job.

It’s the same if you match the advertised requirements and your resume and find yourself not qualifiedwanting. In such instances, you are not the right person for the job and the interviewer will also figure that out.

3. The Interview is Shorter than Normal

The length of the interview is another one of the clearest signs you didn’t get the job. A typical face-to-face job interview takes between 30 minutes and an hour. Phone interviews or those conducted via Skype, Zoom, or any other video-conferencing channel usually go on for a lot less time. So, if the interviewer wraps things up in a handful of minutes, it is most likely because they do not consider you the best candidate for the job.

4. The Interviewer is Distracted

An overly preoccupied interviewer is one of the signs you didn’t get the job. You can identify this attitude when the interviewer takes too long to interact with you because they are on their phone or keep looking elsewhere. If the mind of the interviewer keeps wandering during the interview and they don’t seem to care how you feel about it, they may already have a candidate before you came. And if the role is a single-person job, you can be certain that you will not be getting it.

Even if the job is not already occupied for all intents and purposes, an inattentive interviewer does not make a good cross-examiner. However, you tend to get the short end of the stick since it means the interviewer will not accurately document your session for later consideration. Either case, it is more likely that you will not get the job.

5. The Interview Questions are Too Easy but Unrelated to the Role

If the interviewer is asking very simple questions, look again. Maybe you prepared so well that the interview questions don’t faze you. But what happens when the questions are not related to the role? Then the interviewer does not think you are the right person for the job.

Another dimension to this is that the questions are too difficult. Imagine interviewing for the role of a secretary and the interviewer asks you what 1771 times 5269 is. These kinds of questions indicate the interviewer’s lack of interest in you and are parts of the signs you didn’t get the job.

6. The Interviewer Claims You are Overqualified for the Role

In most cases, when you are called for an interview, the interviewer has already seen your resume. Consequently, nobody who is considered overqualified or underqualified for the role is invited for an interview. Therefore, if you have answered a few questions and the interviewer suddenly closes your file and tells you they think you are overqualified for the role, whether they are being honest or otherwise, you will not be considered for the job.

Fortunately, this is one of the clearest signs you didn’t get the job. So there is no way to misinterpret it. Moreover, when the interviewer tells you this, it is because they don’t want to waste your time.

7. The Interviewer is Reluctant to Answer Your Questions about the Company and Role

It is common knowledge now that one of the ways you can stand out from other job aspirants is to ask questions at the end of the interview. When the questions you ask are about the company, interviewers will answer promptly and accurately if you are being seriously considered for the job. However, if they think you are not suitable and are looking to get someone else, they will not be straightforward with their answers.

So, you can be more proactive in finding out ahead of time if HR will call you back. As long as you ask questions about the company, the attitude posture of the interviewer will tell you whether you will get the job or not.

8. HR is Reluctant to Accept Your List of References

Asking you for a list of references after your interview is one way you know the job is yours. HR usually doesn’t waste time after finding the right candidate. If they ask for references to ascertain your identity, they are most likely seriously considering you for the job. If they don’t ask despite it being a requirement, then they don’t think you qualify. In other words, they have no job for you.

9. The Interviewer Wishes You Well in Your Future Endeavors

Some interviewers are very straightforward. After the interview, they may spend some time telling you about how to ace interviews. When they are done with their counsel and wish you well in your future endeavors, that’s all. They are telling you in an HR tone, “We cannot give you this role. Look elsewhere.”

Much like the hint from the interviewer claiming you are overqualified, this sign is usually positive. It could also mean that although the hiring manager does not consider you to be a good fit, your profile is good overall.

10. HR Takes Longer than Normal to Get Back to You

The time it takes HR to get back to you, assuming they do, tells you whether you should move on or continue waiting. Usually, interviewers tell you they will send you feedback within a specific time frame. Use this time frame as your guide. If they don’t call or email you within this period, you will most likely never get feedback from them. If no time frames are given and you get no feedback after three weeks, move on.

11. The Job Trail Goes Cold

If you are like most determined people, then you send an email after the feedback time frame has elapsed. If the company responds to your email, there would be no need for further speculation. They will tell you whether you got the job or not. However, if the company does not at all respond, there is only one interpretation: you did not get the job. So, in addition to the other ways we have suggested for verifying your employment status, you can send emails to HR after the designated time frame and see how they respond.

12. The Job is Still Running Adverts

HR managers are not known for wasting company resources and running adverts for available jobs as it is not cheap. So, if the company is still running adverts after your interview, you certainly did not make their cut. ThusSo, if the company has not gotten back to you, one way to check your status is to go back to the original job post. If the company has not taken it down, they have not gotten a suitable candidate.

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What to Do When You Did Not Get the Job Interview

If you have observed any of the above-listed “signs you didn’t get the job,” here are a couple of things you can do.

signs you didn't get the job

1. Rest

No individual thrives on setbacks, which is what a failed job interview is. Some people respond by collapsing completely. Others are more determined and go to greater lengths to get the same or a similar job. What you should do, first and foremost, is rest, sleep, or whatever else you need to do to keep the thoughts that you are a failure at bay.

After resting, go and do something you enjoy, and don’t be overly hard on yourself. This too shall pass, they say. So let it pass without crushing you in the process.

2. Look on the Bright Side

After relaxing your mind, the next thing to do after noting one or more of the signs you didn’t get the job is to look on the bright side. For one, you are now more experienced in job interviews. Two, the world is big and there are solid job opportunities everywhere. You only need to get the right one.

Having this mindset helps you strengthen your resolve and lighten your steps. So, in the case of any setback, always look on the bright side.

3. Go Back to the Drawing Board

After restoring your hope in the endless possibilities that exist between now and the next moment, take time to check yourself. What did you learn from the last job interview? Are you now better equipped to ace the next one or do you need to read more books about winning interviews? Or maybe you need to narrow your job prospects to what corresponds to your resume the most. Or maybe you need to reconstruct your resume to fit your preferred job industry. Just make sure to rouse yourself to continue searching.

4. Try, Try, and Try Again

Having decided to try again, try again. Execution without planning is foolishness, which is why you had to go back to your drawing board. But planning without execution is straight out laziness or cowardice. And none of these traits make for a good job applicant. So, strategize and apply for new jobs and attend new interviews. You may even get better working conditions the next time you try.


How Long Do I Have to Wait Before Trying Another Job?

No time whatsoever. You can have an interview for one today, another tomorrow, and another the day after. It depends on your preferences. You don’t have to wait for feedback from HR before trying for another job opportunity.

Should I Reapply for the Same Post After Rejection?

Yes, but not immediately. HR will most probably ignore your application if you make another attempt not long after your first. But if the job is still available a few months after your interview, then you can apply. Your chances are better if you improved your resume during the interval.

Will HR Inform me that They Have a Suitable Candidate?

Maybe, maybe not. Different companies have different policies. Some are invested in the process enough to ring you up and tell you to look elsewhere. Others simply move on. But if you don’t get feedback within the expected date, you can email them. If you don’t get a response, then they got someone else or are still searching.


Waiting for feedback from HR after an interview can be stressful. But if you have an eye out for “signs you didn’t get the job”, you can make better use of the time by applying for other jobs while you wait for feedback.

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