According to new research, employers know within the first five minutes whether a candidate is a good fit
An interview is all about first impressions; however, it may be more about the first impression. A new study shows that the first few minutes of an interview are the most critical to getting the job.
According to a CareerBuilder survey, 48 percent of employers know within the first five minutes whether the candidate will be a good fit for the position. As the interview progresses, 87 percent will know in the first 15 minutes.
“An employer uses the resume to figure out if the candidate is going to be a good fit for the business, but the interview is to judge if the person is a good fit for the team…”Rosemary HaefnerNotably, 70 percent of respondents noted failure to make eye contact as a common error. Lucinda Smith, Senior Vice President (SVP) of Human Resources (HR) at AGCO Corp., confirmed actions speak louder than words when candidates first begin an interview.
“Body Language and eye contact can be a key indicator,” Smith said. “Through this, it is easy to judge the candidate’s interest and professionalism.”
Having an awareness of these new statistics can be a valuable resource to job seekers looking to maximize the first few minutes in an interview. Rosemary Haefner, VP of HR at CareerBuilder, stresses the significance of first impressions.
“An employer uses the resume to figure out if the candidate is going to be a good fit for the business, but the interview is to judge if the person is a good fit for the team,” Haefner said. “Once a person gets a call to come in for an interview, they must immediately begin practicing and organizing their thoughts. Doing this will help a candidate not only be strong in the beginning of the interview, but throughout the whole process.”
This new data is useful for hiring managers as well. Because the first impression has proven to be very influential in hiring, Haefner advises those who are interviewing candidates to keep an open mind.
“It is never good to rush to judgment,” Haefner said, “but also realize that if a candidate’s responses early in an interview set a tone that they will not have the impact your business needs, don’t dodge it. Ensure the rest of the interview focuses on those areas of possible concern so that you have the full perspective needed to make a final decision on whether the candidate is a fit for your organization.”
The study cited an additional trend: Employers finding that about half of all applicants commonly appear disinterested or arrogant, dress inappropriately or talk negatively about previous employers. Smith offers some advice when it comes to avoiding these mistakes.
“Be patient and professional,” she advised. “Know what you want in a position, and make a point to understand the company culture and values. It is important to have alignment in these areas, and it contributes toward employee satisfaction and productivity.”