Jobs and the Future of Work

14 signs you’re about to get a job offer

Jacquelyn Smith
Careers Editor, Business Insider
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You’re relatively sure you aced the interview and felt like you were walking on air as you left the lobby. But now, hours seem like days and days like weeks as you wait patiently for a formal offer.

“Fortunately, you can put some of the puzzle pieces together as you decide your course of action during this uncertain waiting game,” says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job.”

Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of “The Humor Advantage,” agrees.

“While you can never be certain, and you definitely don’t want to get your hopes up prematurely, there are certainly signs that might hint that you’re about to get some good news,” he said.

Here are 14 signs an offer might be coming your way.

You’re asked to come in for an additional round of interviews.You may be one of a handful of finalists.”But if you’ve been asked to return for a second round of interviews, that’s an encouraging sign that you’re a serious contender,” says Taylor. “They want to clinch the decision by building consensus among managers.”

The hiring manager tries ‘selling’ you on the company.A shift from a barrage of questions to a marketing mode is a great sign they want to hire you, says Taylor.

They ask you a lot of personal questions about your family, personal goals, and hobbies.“Showing an interest in your personal life means they’re seriously considering you, as it demonstrates an interest beyond just the professional résumé,” says Kerr.But remember you don’t always have to answer personal questions. Some are illegal.

The interviewer nods and smiles a lot during the interview.

They could just be friendly — but if you notice a friendly and warm demeanor, it could be a good sign.”It may mean they’re comfortable around you and seemed to enjoy the time,” says Taylor.Nodding can also suggest a genuine interest in what you’re saying.

Your interview is extended.

Did the conversation go way over the amount of time they scheduled? Did the interviewer invite you to continue the discussion over lunch or coffee?If so, you may have it in the bag.”Most interviewers make up their mind, whether they admit it or not, within the first few minutes and so those candidates that they know they will pass on will definitely get a quicker interview,” Kerr explains.

They start to negotiate compensation.

This is a great indicator you’ll be getting a formal offer, says Taylor. “Salary and benefits are usually only with serious contenders.”

The employer asks for references and or tells you they’ll be conducting a background check.

“This is an obvious sign that at the very least you are in the running, as interviewers will only check into references for serious candidates that are in contention,” Kerr says.Taylor explains that not all companies will inform you that they’re going to contact your references or start the background checking process, but others will. And it’s a good sign if they do.”These are among the last steps before presenting you with an offer,” she says.

They say ‘you will’ rather than ‘you would.’

“Did they shift from a hypothetical tone to a presumptive one?” asks Taylor. “If so, it means they could already envision you at the company.”

The company starts a discussion about start dates.

“This is really more of a formality and it would likely be combined with another final discussion,” says Taylor. “But it bodes well for your future employment with the firm.”If you heard, “We want to have a person in place by X date,” that’s good news. “Most employers won’t divulge that unless they’re very interested because they don’t want to be deluged with follow-up inquiries.”

They introduce you to other managers and peers and give you an office tour.

This is definitely not a courtesy they’d extend to everyone, says Kerr.”They probably wouldn’t introduce you to others if they didn’t think you could fit the bill,” adds Taylor. “They most likely prepped some people to share their positive experiences.”Also, when a hiring manager shows you around, they’re in a selling mode.”They are proud of their environment and want you to be impressed,” she says.

You’re asked about your interview status.

Did the hiring manager ask you about other firms you’re interviewing with, or try to sell you on why they’re a better choice? These are good indicators that they’re pursuing you, Taylor explains.”This can indicate that not only are they seriously considering you, they are concerned they might lose you to someone else and will need to make an offer sooner rather than later,” adds Kerr.

You find out the company has checked references.

“Assuming the employer was able to get more than the basics about you from a prior boss or other reference, you might be fortunate enough to hear back from your reference,” says Taylor. “In that case, you’re very, very close.”

Your interviewer asks how you can best be reached.

If the hiring manager asked you this, it could mean that they will call you. It also could be a formality, so don’t read too much into it, Taylor says.

You have a good gut feeling.

Do you have a really good feeling about this? Maybe you’re just being positive and overly confident — or maybe it’s because you will be getting an offer.

This article is published in collaboration with Business Insider. Publication does not imply endorsement of views by the World Economic Forum.

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Author: Jacquelyn Smith is the careers editor at Business Insider. 

Image: Men shake hands. REUTERS/Jim Young. 

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