I have received a number of questions from job seekers asking if there are certain key indicators that would suggest that they will be successful in moving along the recruitment life cycle. Specifically, I was asked if a positive response to a thank you letter, questions of salary and availability, and/or discussions of next steps would be a good sign.
As usual, the short answer is: it depends. Let’s look at each of these indicators in more detail to see if there are any insights you can glean.
Possible Good Signs
Taking a look at the three indicators I am most commonly asked about, we have:
- Positive Response from Thank You Letter – it is not necessary to respond to a thank you letter. That said, I was recently asked if this is a good sign, or indicator, that you would be selected for a next round interview. Unfortunately, it isn’t necessarily an indicator that you would be moving forward. However, it could be a good indicator of the company culture. At the very least, it is a strong indication of the attitude of the responder. This is also a good indicator that the responder likes you, which is always positive, regardless of the outcome.
- Questions on Salary and/or Availability – this indicator depends on timing. For instance, during a telephone interview or pre-screen, the interviewer may ask about these line items simply because they need the information to make a short-list decision. As such, this alone is not an indicator that you are likely to move forward in the process (unless otherwise mentioned). On the other hand, if you are asked about salary and/or availability during a final round interview, this may be a strong indicator that you are being seriously considered for the role. This is especially true if the conversation becomes more like a negotiation.
- Next Steps Discussion – a common question asked of interviewers is that of next steps. Many interviewers, anticipating this question, will simply outline the next steps in their recruitment process. In this case, it should not be considered an indication either way of your candidacy. If, however, the interviewer informs you of next steps and schedules a next round interview, then you know that you are still in the running.
Although each of these key indicators are potentially good signs that you would be moving forward in the recruitment process, it is important to consider these indicators in the context of timing.
Unless and until you have a job offer in hand, it is important to continue along your job search journey. Anything can happen in the recruitment process that could result in you no longer being in the running for a particular position – even in spite of the positive indicators that you might receive.
I hope you found this post helpful. If you have any additional insights, or would like to share your experience, I’d love to hear from you.
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Until next time, happy hunting!