Whatmore, who leads a three-man race for the position, hailed the contribution of recently appointed captain Shoaib Malik after meeting the players during a brief stay.
"From my point of view I found the team vibrant, positive and confident and my understanding is that the shift in captaincy with a younger guy coming in brought this change," the former Bangladesh coach told AFP.
Malik was brought in to help Pakistan recover from a traumatic World Cup when they were knocked out in the first round and Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room a day later.
After months of frenzied speculation about how the coach died, Jamaican police retracted their original statement that he had been murdered.
The 53-year-old Whatmore, former Australian fast bowler Geoff Lawson and Richard Done are all in the running to take over.
"I had known some of the players from opposition point of view but in my short interaction I found them eager to do well which is a good sign," said Whatmore, who met the players at a training camp in Abbottabad.
Whatmore, who had two stints with Sri Lanka including their 1996 World Cup win, appears favourite because of his experience and knowledge of cricket in the sub-continent.
He guided Bangladesh to the second round of this year's World Cup before deciding to leave the job. He also showed interest in coaching India but was rejected.
Despite his experiences with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, the Australian admitted Pakistan would present a challenge.
"Pakistan, despite not having the best of World Cups, are still number three in Tests and four in one-day rankings and are a better performing team in terms of their wins in last few years, but with the bigger team comes bigger challenges," he said.
Pakistan hope to name their new coach this week. The appointee is expected to take over before September's inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa.