New research by totaljobs has revealed that 19% of employers say they make up their mind on whether to progress a candidate in the interview process just one minute after meeting them.
44% of employers say that they make the decision within the first 15 minutes of the interview, with just 32% saying they make the decision after the interview has finished.
Nearly a quarter (24%) of UK employers say the biggest mistake made by candidates during interviews is not understanding the job they have applied for, followed by not having researched the company (22%). Being late to interviews is also a common candidate blunder, according to one in six (16% of employers), as well as candidates who aren’t able to discuss their own CV (15%).
With first impressions playing a crucial role in interviews, totaljobs has launched #TheElevatorPitch, a campaign to help candidates through the daunting interview process. Totaljobs is partnering with star of ‘The Apprentice’ Nick Hewer and psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, to coach jobseekers on overcoming interview pressures so that they can make a great first impression and nail their elevator pitch.
Totaljobs’ survey of more than 6,000 jobseekers and 150 employers revealed that the most important factor that employers look for in an interview was how well candidates answered the questions (30%), followed by experience and qualifications (20%). Nearly a fifth said a candidate’s attitude was the most important factor, with the same percentage saying cultural fit was key.
Previous totaljobs research had revealed that 65% of jobseekers said nerves prevent them ‘showing off their true ability’ in interviews. To counter this, today’s research finds that 29% of candidates said that holding the interview in a less formal setting would put them at ease. Over one-in-five (22%) said a simple smile would help, while one-in-ten (9%) said a joke.
Interestingly, over a quarter (28%) of employers said they use small talk to alleviate interview pressure. Nearly a quarter (24%) opted for a smile, while just 17% hold the interview in a less formal setting – the most popular measure chosen by candidates.
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. However, 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. We’ve also launched #TheElevatorPitch to help jobseekers nail their interviews by making sure they show off the best-possible version of themselves – which can only be a good thing for employers and jobseekers alike.”
Read more about the campaign here.