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8 minutes to make the right impression

By Sarah Owens on 03.06.14 in Your Job Search

How long have you got at interview to make a good impression?  Well it turns out it's  8 minutes.  Researchers for AXA* have proved that's all the time it takes for interviewers to make a positive or negative judgement. 

So, given that's all you've got, how do you maximise your chances of the verdict being a yes? 

  • Eye Contact 59%. The most important thing you need to do, unsurprisingly, turns out to be around body language.  You have to make eye contact.  
  • Knowledge of the relevant subject 57%. Coming close is knowledge of your subject.  So make sure you're prepared for questions where you can demonstrate your expertise using case studies. 
  • Smart dress 53%.  Check out the dress code and when in doubt, always err on the smarter side.   It's interesting that appearance is important with regard to tattoos and piercings which put off one in four interviewers.  Plus heavy make-up is a turn off for 13% of female interviewers. 
  • Being articulate 41%.  It's really worth practicing here, so that you're able to communicate concisely, relevantly and interestingly.   And whatever you do, don't swear as this is the highest scoring no-no! 
  • Smiling 39%.  One in three said that this was vital in making a good first impression and it's easy to forget with so many other things to think about. 

And what not to do?  Here are the things you really do want to avoid: 

Swearing - 47%

Scruffy clothes - 45%

Lack of knowledge of the relevant subject - 44%

Appearing unprepared - 41%

Body odour - 39%

 

 Good luck!!

 

 

* Study by AXA conducted with a group of 2000 people.