SECRETS TO MASTERING THE INTERVIEW
During an interview, minutes can feel like hours to a job candidate and like seconds to the employer who is using all of his or her senses in summing up a potential employee. The time you spend during an interview answering and asking questions compared to how long it took you to complete a degree and acquire experience is a drop in a bucket and yet seconds count during your first meeting.
Every minute you are talking with an employer paves the way toward the next steps in the interview. What few job seekers truly understand is the significance of time in making a good impression with the interviewer.
A survey of 2,000 supervisors from the U.K. reported that employers form perceptions of candidates within 90 seconds.
What might be more surprising is what influenced hiring decision makers in the fastest amount of time – your appearance.
Nonverbal language has always driven impressions; however, in a competitive job market it pays to be extra sensitive to what you wear on an interview as well as how you conduct yourself during the meeting. While it may seem unfair for employers to make a decision first based on your interview attire versus getting to know your contributions, the truth is impressions add to the comfort level that most hiring decision makers seek.
The majority of supervisors (65-70 percent) rated the type of clothes an applicant is wearing as important when determining the next steps with a candidate; employers don’t want clothes to be too trendy and if two candidates are similar, the deciding factor could be how they are dressed. Choose the safest route with your interview attire by avoiding extremes with bright colors, low cut blouses or tight clothes.
As trivial as clothes may seem, they do send messages and even more so when combined with nervousness that prevents you from smiling and being confident. Employers hire candidates who would best represent their company and how you conduct yourself in the interview gives them a snapshot of how you would be as an employee.
Other nonverbal cues such as the lack of eye contact, crossing arms, fidgeting and bad posture all add up when an employer is making a hiring decision. The good news is that you have more control over an interview than you might realize and it starts with being aware of what drives first impressions.