Here's a BIG sign you won't get the job

I've gone to more job interviews than I can count with my hands and toes.

Over the years, I've observed signals conveying that the interviewer isn't sufficiently interested in me as a candidate, whether it's because they've already chosen an internal candidate for the job, feel I'm asking for too much money, or think I lack job experience.

Such signs may include wrapping up the interview quickly. For example, I was once invited to an interview for a job with my alma mater. It lasted a whopping five minutes, leading me to assume that job had someone else's name on it and they were just going through the motions to conform to hiring regulations.

It's also not a good sign when I'm not asked any questions, when the interviewer arrives late/doesn't seem prepared for the interview, or when they're blatantly rude or disrespectful.

Employers who are genuinely interested in you don't stoop to this level; they care about the impression they're making on you just as you care about the one you're making on them.

But sometimes the signals are a tad more subtle. Here's one that often goes unnoticed: They tell you that they've only just begun interviewing people, and the process may take a while.

At first blush, it may seem a rather innocuous statement.

But why would an employer feel the need to communicate this?

Some might say, "Well, they simply want to give you a heads up in case you don't hear from them for a while."

But there's more to it. If they are truly interested, they will instead tell you that they want or hope to get through the hiring process quickly.

They'll ask questions that hint at wanting to maintain contact or keep you in the loop, like when you'd be available to start and whether you might be interested in taking a tour of the office before leaving. They wouldn't waste their time asking these things if they didn't see you as a good fit.

But telling you they've only begun interviewing people is clearly a veiled admonishment: Don't hold your breath waiting for the job because there is a good chance tou will not get it. Indeed, in such cases, I have never once gotten the position.

While it may be a harmless (and true) fact in many situations, be wary of potential employers who tell you this. They may be trying to alert you as to the steep competition you face and the fact that you may not even find yourself in the top 3.

If you still manage to get the job, congratulations! If not, don't fret -- it only means there's a better one out there waiting for you.

So the next time you sit for an interview, be on the lookout for this subtle cue. It might help you gauge how interested the company in question really is.

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