The easy answer to the question posed in the title is, “you already know.” Just as you probably know when you did well on a test, you are likely to have a sense of whether you did well in an interview. However, there are some key indicators that can help you determine the things that you may have done wrong, which will help you avoid those mistakes in the future.

Soon after you complete an interview, try to answer the following questions:

  1. Did the interviewer smile?
  2. Did the interview look at me directly when I was speaking?
  3. Did the interviewer ask me any difficult questions?
  4. Did the interviewer provide any new information about the job or the organization?
  5. Did I ask questions that required more than a “yes” or “no” answer?
  6. Did the interview end with an explanation of what would happen next?
  7. Did the interviewer ask for my references?
  8. Did the interview last more than fifteen minutes?
  9. Did the interviewer look at his or her watch or phone more than once?
  10. Did the interviewer take any phone calls or check email during the interview?

If you can answer the first eight questions with a “yes” and the last two with a “no,” the chances are that you did pretty well! “Yes” answers to the first two questions demonstrate that the interviewer was interested in what you were saying and getting to know you better. The next two let you know that they are serious about having you as an employee. Number five shows that you were prepared and that the interviewer was willing to spend more time with you. Questions six, seven, and eight indicate that you are a serious contender. Conversely, a “no” answer to questions nine and ten suggest that the interviewer felt that the time spent with you was unimportant and that he or she was eager to bring the interview to an end.