Whether you're heading to your first or your fifteenth, a job interview is always a nerve-wracking experience. Knowing how to act, what to say and how to say it can be the make-or-break between you and the next candidate. Improve your chances of landing that job. From this survey of 2000 bosses we reveal exactly what you wish you knew before your job interview.
First appearances count, so make sure you present yourself in the best possible manner. When meeting new people, 55% of employers are swayed by the way a person dresses, acts and holds themselves – as soon as they walk through the door. Basically, your potential employer is more than eight times more likely to judge you based on your appearance rather than the words coming out of your mouth. When it comes to choosing the right outfit for a job interview, conservatism works. 65% of bosses stated that clothes could be the deciding factor between two candidates of similar standing. Avoid dressing for a trend and instead focus on conveying a smart, professional image. If you want to be remembered for your qualifications rather than your outfit, stick to black, grey or navy neutrals.
Usually, you walk into an interview knowing little more than the job title. However, little to no knowledge of the company outranks all other aspects of verbal behaviour mistakes, so do your research, and make sure you're equipped with the knowledge to both inform and impress. What you say (the quality of your voice, grammar and overall confidence) accounts for 38% of your first impression – just make sure what you're saying works in your favour. Over-explaining why you lost your last job is one of the top ten mistakes made at a job interview, along with lacking humour, warmth or personality, and failing to set yourself apart from other candidates.
Although you may be nervous, you need to ensure you're confident enough to look your prospective employer in the eye. Failing to make eye contact is the number one non-verbal mistake made during a job interview. Not only does it create a sense of distrust and dishonesty but also disinterest in the vacant position. While we're on the topic, avoid playing with your hair, frowning, having bad posture and fidgeting. These are all ranked as some of the most common non-verbal mistakes made during an interview. Actions speak louder than words. The average length of an interview may be 40 minutes, but 33% of employers will know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether you are the one for the job.