Sometimes, you're just too busy thinking about yourself and impressing her. You know you already like her, so you don't put too much into effort into thinking what she looks like--but rather, how you look like to her. Dating is like a game of tennis, in the sense that both players need equal focus for a good game. However, there will always be really good shots that you just, well, miss. Here's a quick list of tips when talking to a woman that you like. Keep in mind, these signs can all appear before the first date.
1. Don't mistake big talk for small talk.
She's asking about your goals and motivations for a reason. What school you go to, where you were are all important to her. Little backs-and-forths like these are mistaken for small talk, but there are ways to see through it. You'll know she's implying more than just "I just met you, and I pretty much don't care but I'm being nice anyways." Asking about family is another common topic with a lot of weight. It can come across as chit-chat, but given the personal nature of it, you can learn a lot about someone. If she's asking, she's taking a risk. That's a risk you want her to take.
2. You're not reading body language.
There are handful of things she might be doing at once to imply that she likes you. Conversely, there are things she might do to show you she doesn't like you, or at least, something that you said.
But let's just focus on the good stuff. For one, if she's playing with her hair a lot, some might interpret this as boredom--but if you're confident enough about yourself, look at it as her playing with her hair to make sure it look nice. When you see her playing with her hair, tell her it's beautiful. Unless, of course, it's not. There will always be other things to compliment. Just don't over-compliment.
If she's looking at your lips, it means she's into you, that's out of the question. Batting of the eye-lids is another body sign that she's into you. That, and the scanning of the face. If your see her eyes darting over your face crack her a smile.
3. If she's not talking a whole lot... bad sign.
Find a balance. Don't do to much of one thing, and not enough of another. For instance, don't do a lot of talking without a lot of listening. Try and notice yourself getting ahead of the conversation. Try and also notice how long it's been and how much you know about her. If she's not willing to say a lot of things, it might be because she doesn't want to, or perhaps because you're steering the conversation too much. Naturally, that's not a good thing. You want her to open up, but on the same coin, you don't want to ask too much. If you ask to many questions, it can come across of intrusive. The ways she responds to your questions are equally as important. If she's willing to talk extensively, give her that privilege.
4. If she's talking to others willingly... bad sign.
It might be because you're not important enough. Say you're at a party and there's a whole lot of people, it's not unlikely that she'll be talking to other house guests, but if you find yourself alone and she's still looking for her friends, that might not be a good sign. If you find yourself alone, however, and she's got no problem talking to you in quiet, it's a good sign she wouldn't mind to spend more time alone with you. To be fair though, we all have the needy friend that always needs talking to, so you can't blame her for others intruding on your conversation. If the two of you have good chemistry, expect everyone in the area to notice it. Sometimes the forces are external.
5. She wants you to move the conversation.
There are a few ways you can turn a seemingly bad conversation into a good one. If you're with her and she's playing with her phone often, this is your chance to be a little smug. Not in a disrespectful way, but in a way that will come across as sly. Wait a few minutes and keep up the conversation. If she's not interested, change the topic to something about her, because chances are whatever you're talking about is not interesting. Afterwards, if she's still looking at her phone, make a few strong glances at it and ask her for her number. Laugh and ask her if it's a better way to communicate. From here, she'll do two things: she'll laugh and give you her number for being straightforward, or she'll say politely say no because she realized she was in the wrong by not giving you her attention. Both are good, honestly, because it was your straightforward, no-BS way of communicating with her that got you an answer.
Communication is 100% the most important thing, and there are many ways to tell if she's inclined to like you, whether it's with her body-talk or her actual talk. Who knows, you're going to want to keep up your excellent communication skills if things just happen to progress a little further.