Skip to Content

6 Signs You Didn’t Get the Job from HR & Career Experts

6 Signs You Didn’t Get the Job from HR & Career Experts

A job search is often a stressful time full of self-doubt. Maybe the interview felt a little off or no one is getting back to you and you’re starting to worry. While it’s impossible to know for sure until you hear back from your potential employer, we asked our career experts for telltale signs that you didn’t get the job.

Asked Irrelevant Questions

If the recruiter asked interview questions that had nothing to do with the job description, it could be a sign that you didn’t get the job. This is because recruiters ask relevant and targeted questions when interviewing potential candidates for a position. Or, if the recruiter was more interested in chatting about other topics, this could be a sign that you weren’t right for the role. 

If you have received no communication from the hiring manager after your interview, it’s likely that they went with another candidate instead. Or, if you haven’t heard from them at all, chances are they chose someone else and aren’t planning on following up with you. In either case, it’s best to assume that you were unsuccessful and move on to the next opportunity.

Michael Fischer, Founder, Elite HRT

No Response to Follow-up Messages

There are a lot of reasons you may not hear quickly after an interview, and that alone doesn’t mean they have eliminated you from consideration. However, if you reach out for an update and still don’t get a response within 1-2 business days, that probably means you didn’t make the cut to move forward. 

Even if the hiring manager or recruiter is busy, they’ll take the time to reply to someone they want to hire—finding high-quality candidates isn’t easy, so they will not risk having that candidate look for jobs elsewhere, even if they’re not quite ready to extend an offer yet. A complete lack of response shows they’re not concerned about your other prospects, which likely means they don’t plan on offering you the position.

Jon Hill, Chairman and CEO, The Energists

Rushing Your Interview

If the interviewers are rushing to get you out of the room, just to get it over with, then this is a sign that you probably didn’t get the job. They might already have a candidate, or maybe they read your papers and saw some way that you might not fit. 

You can tell if they are rushing the interview if they don’t give you time to answer the questions they need to hear. If they keep cutting you off and moving to the next question, or if they don’t pay attention to your answer at all.

Lydia Mwangi, Content Writer, Barbell Jobs

No Time for Questions

Some job seekers may find themselves in a surprisingly awkward position after hours of preparation for a job interview: their interviewer isn’t giving them a chance to ask questions at all. 

While it’s uncertain to be a sign that you didn’t get the job, disregarding your opportunity for inquiry is definitely something to consider when trying to decipher whether or not you were successful. 

Typically, employers are looking for job candidates that interact, challenge, and even question—by shutting off any room for dialogue, they could very well be unintentionally signaling that they are not considering you as a serious option. If they were inclined to hire, they would give you time for questions, both out of respect but also from curiosity about their potential new employee.

Piotrek Sosnowski, Chief People and Culture Officer, HiJunior

Questions that Are Vague and Easy

If the recruiter asked very general, easy questions and didn’t ask you to elaborate on your answers, that could be a sign that they weren’t very interested in exploring your qualifications any further. This often means they’ve already moved forward with someone else. If this is the case, it’s probably best not to wait around for a response—start looking for other job opportunities!

Yusuf Shurbaji, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Prismfly

Not Asking for Your Notice Period 

One of the clearest signs that you might not have gotten the job is if, at the end of the interview, your interviewer does not ask you what your notice period is. The interviewer needs to know this information in order to assess if you can start quickly and if it will be workable for you to take the job if offered. 

If the interviewer does not ask about your notice period, it could be a sign that they have decided not to move forward with you as a candidate. However, it is important to note that this could also mean other things, so ask your interviewer before jumping to any conclusions.