Panel interviews are nerve-racking, and it’s more difficult to read the body language of several interviewers than it is in a 1-on-1 interview.
So, how to know if a panel interview went well?
Well, there are signs to look for that your panel interview went well.
Here are 15 signs that your panel interview went well and it’s very likely that you’re going to get the job!
How to Know if A Panel Interview Went Well? 15 Signs that Say It Did!
1. Your Interview Went on A Lot Longer than Expected
This is a classic sign that any type of interview went well, but is especially true with a panel interview.
I say this because you have to consider that for several members of a panel to run over on time means a lot of schedules being disrupted.
It’s a great sign that they’re interested in what you have to say, want to learn more about you, and it’s a sign your panel interview went well.
2. All of The Panel Interviewers Were Engaged with You
It can be difficult engaging with several members of a panel interview, so when it happens it’s a sign things are going well.
You want to make sure you’re making eye contact, speaking clearly, and giving everyone a chance to ask their questions.
Panels can be tough to crack, often there is at least one person who takes a back seat, and there is nothing wrong with that.
But the more engaged every interviewer was, the clearer it is that they were impressed with you.
3. You Could See the Panel Interviewers Making Good Eye Contact
Don’t be anxious if one or more of the interviewers were not making good eye contact, sometimes interviewers are just not good with eye contact.
But that said, if they were making good eye contact when talking to you it’s a fantastic sign.
This is especially true if the panel interviewers were making good eye contact when you were not answering questions relating to them as well.
4. The Panel Interviewers Were Smiling and Making Notes
These are two signs that things are going great in an interview!
The reason being is that when interviewers are taking notes, it means they’re interested and want to remember what you’re saying.
And if they’re smiling, it means they like what they’re hearing!
If you notice these things during an interview, you need to keep a level head and just take a mental note.
After the interview when you’ve taken a few deep breaths and calmed down, it’s definitely something to be happy about.
5. They Used Words Like ‘Impressive’ to Describe Your Achievements
If the panel interviewers are using words like ‘impressive’ to describe your achievements, it’s a very good sign.
It means they’re impressed, of course, which usually symbolizes that they’re hearing more than what they were expecting.
This is a great sign that your panel interview went well and shows that you’re meeting – or hopefully exceeding – their expectations.
6. The Conversation Flowed Well Back and Forth
The last thing you want is awkward silences, stuttering, and people talking over one another!
If the conversation flowed well back and forth, it’s a good sign that everyone is engaged and enjoying the discussion.
This also shows that you were on the same wavelength as the panel interviewers and had good energy, and that’s always a good thing.
7. The More They Told You About the Role the More It Suited You
Preparation is key when facing a panel interview, but for me, it’s what comes out during the interview that counts.
If the more they told you about the role, the more it suited you – that’s an amazing sign.
It means that the role is even more ideal for you than you thought, and hopefully, you were able to convey this to the panel.
8. The Panel Member Most Relevant to You Asked the Most Questions
Panels typically comprise of interviewers and team members from different departments within a company.
So depending on the role you’re interviewing for, there will often be one panel member who is more relevant to you, such as the manager for the department you’ll be working in.
If this person asks the most questions, it’s a good sign they’re impressed with you and your skills.
It also shows that they want to know more about how well you’ll fit into their team.
9. You Didn’t Struggle to Answer Any Questions
There is nothing wrong with struggling with tough questions, the panel might be deliberately testing interviewees.
But on the other hand, if you breezed through every question that was thrown at you this is obviously a good sign.
It shows that you were well prepared, knowledgeable in your field, and a good fit for the role, all of which as good signs that your panel interview went well.
10. They Asked You if You’ve Had Any Offers Yet
If the panel asks you if you’ve had any offers yet, it’s a good sign that they’re interested in hiring you and are weighing up how quickly they need to act.
This is usually a good sign that you impressed them in the interview and they want to hire you, but of course, it’s always best to wait until you’ve got an offer in writing before getting too excited.
11. The Panel Liked Your Questions and Gave You Detailed Answers
Asking good questions is an important part of an interview, and how well your questions are received usually correlates to how well your interview went.
If the panel liked your questions they will give you detailed answers and bounce more questions off of you.
This shows that they thought your questions were relevant and is a great sign that you did well in your interview.
12. It Felt Like Their Questions Went ‘Off Script’
With a lot of interviewees lined up, there will be a certain number of questions that the panel will ask each candidate.
If you’re part of a robotic interview that feels like you were asked a set of questions without much room to improvise and get additional points across, this is never good.
On the other hand, if there was loads of ‘off script’ conversation this is an excellent sign that your interview went well and you probably made a lasting impression.
13. The Panel Members Discuss Things Among Themselves
This can come across as rude at times, but it can also be a great sign if panel members share notes or talk to one another during your interview.
It usually shows that they want to make one another aware of important bits of information while it’s on the top of their mind.
They may even be comparing you to other candidates, or simply so impressed with something you said they need to make sure other panel members heard it!
14. The Panel Asked You About Possible Start Dates
If the panel asks you about possible start dates, it’s a strong sign that they’re interested in hiring you.
Of course, this might be a standard question that they need the answer to. But you can also read between the lines as to how they ask you.
There is a difference between, “What would be your earliest start date?”, and “If we were to make you an offer, when would you be able to start?”
15. They Made References to How You Would Do in The Role
If the panel makes references to you and specific work-related scenarios and situations, this is one of the best signs that your interview went well.
From a psychological aspect, hearing them placing you in the role and discussing how you would deal with certain situations is great.
It leaves them with a feeling of seeing you in the role. If you answered their questions well it’ll leave the panel with a great impression of you.
How Long After a Panel Interview Should You Hear Back?
I know how anxious you’re feeling waiting to hear back about a job after a panel interview – I’ve been there myself!
The problem is that there is no set timeline in regard to how long you’ll wait to hear back, so I can’t tell you how long it’ll be.
The panel should have given you some idea of when they’ll make a decision, and you could ask your recruiter if you used one if they know anything.
Otherwise, it’s a case of waiting and keeping your fingers crossed.
I hope this article helped you understand how to know if a panel interview went well.
Just remember that there are many factors at play, and the best thing to do is not to get too wound up with thoughts about specific things that happened in the interview.
It’s all a learning experience, and I’m sure you gave it 100% you’ll get that offer you’re waiting for!
Image credits – Photo by Mapbox on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.