Interview Decision Made in 1 Minute

Interview Decision Made in 1 Minute

Interview Faux Pas

1 in 5 interviewers reach a decision within one minute

New research by online jobs site totaljobs.com has revealed just how important it really is to make a positive first impression at interview.

Almost one in five (19%) of interviewers surveyed said that they usually make their mind up about a candidate within the first minute of an interview. Almost half (44%) say that they decide within 15 minutes, and only around a third (32%) said that they waited until the interview had finished before reaching a decision.

When asked to say what was the biggest mistake made by their interview candidates, those surveyed said:

  • Not understanding the nature of the job on offer (cited by 24% of respondents)
  • Not understanding the company (22%)
  • Being late for the interview (16%)
  • Being unable to discuss their own CV (15%)

John Salt, Group Sales Director, totaljobs said:

“Our latest research shows that first impressions count, and that nailing an elevator pitch, a short presentation to sell themselves to potential employers, is more important in interviews than ever.”

Given that first impressions can be so important, make sure of the following before you attend any interview:

  • You allow sufficient time for your journey – allowing extra time for any transport delays
  • You know who to ask for on arrival at the company
  • You are immaculately turned out, wearing formal business dress and with polished shoes and brushed hair
  • You have a firm, welcoming handshake
  • You are polite to your interviewer when first introduced
  • You have practised an ‘elevator pitch’ – a 60 to 90 second summary of who you are, what skills and experience you can offer and what your goals are. The elevator pitch is often used to answer an introductory question that may be similar to ‘Tell me about yourself’
  • You have researched the company, and understand the nature of the job on offer

Totaljobs also revealed that more than a quarter (28%) of interviewers used ‘small talk’ to attempt to make nervous candidates feel at ease. Nearly a quarter (24%) tried to smile during interviews, and 17% favoured holding interviews in less formal settings.

Mr Salt added:

“So many candidates fall down because they suffer from interview pressures like talking too much, talking too quickly, or feeling anxious. It falls on the interviewer to do all they can to put the candidate at ease, whether this is through a smile or a little quip.”

Search For a Job