15 Surprising Things That Can Affect Whether You Get Hired
CV’s are usually used to determine whether you have the right qualifications and experience for the job whereas the interview is used to decide if you’re the right fit for the company.
Most people take interviews very seriously by arriving on time, answering questions intelligently and dressing in a smart manner.
However, it has been found through a variety of studies that there is more to it than just turning up smartly dressed and answering the questions as best as you can – there are actually many other small details that can affect the way you’re perceived. The top 15 include:
1. The time of your interview
Apparently, 10.30 on a Tuesday morning is the best time to have an interview as people have been shown to be the most productive on Tuesdays so the interviewer won’t feel rushed by the time they meet you.
It is best to avoid interviewing pre or post lunch because you will either be cut short or be left waiting for a long time. Also, the last appointment of the day may not be best as the interview’s attention may not solely be on you. They could be thinking about what’s for dinner or what they are doing after work.
2. The weather on the day of your interview
Researchers have found that applicants fare worse if they are interviewed on a rainy day compared to a sunny one – this has been found to be consistent for both senior and junior candidates.
3. How early you arrive
Although it may look good to arrive early, arriving excessively early could ruin your chances.
Obviously it is better to arrive early than late but don’t show up half hour before your interview! It can make you appear too anxious. If you do arrive early and have time to spare, gather your thoughts in your car or take a brief walk to get your energy up.
4. Whether others are being interviewed for the same role are on the same day
It is difficult to know when other candidates are being interviewed for the same role, but if you do happen to know or can find out, try and schedule your interview for a different day.
Research has shown that whether or not you’re considered qualified for the role depends on who else is applying for the job.
4. What you do while waiting in the lobby
It is impossible to know for sure the exact time the interviewer will appear; therefore it is best to appear organised and attentive and not overly relaxed talking on the phone, texting or drinking coffee. It is also best to keep one hand free in order to shake hands if the interviewer suddenly appears.
It has been suggested that making conversation with the receptionist, reviewing notes from your notebook or reviewing any company materials for guests are good things to do whilst you are waiting.
5. Your handshake
In any business or networking situation, a week, tentative handshake conveys a lack of confidence. This gesture is a key part of your first impression therefore you need to convey yourself assurance with a firm handshake and a smile.
6. Whether you’re a little narcissistic
A study has revealed that narcissists score much higher than others in job interviews due to being comfortable with self-promoting. Narcissists usually think they’re fantastic – and the interviewer may think so too.
7. The colour of your clothes
According to 2099 hiring managers and HR professionals, black and blue are the best colours to wear to a job interview – with orange being the worst.
Conservative colours such as black, blue, grey and brown, seem to be the safest when meeting someone within a professional setting for the first time, whereas brighter colours, like orange, may be too loud for an interview.
8. Whether you glance at your watch or phone
As benign as it may seem, people do notice when you have a peek at your watch or phone. Your phone should be off and put away and there’s no need to have a look at your watch. By doing either of these it shows that you aren’t engaged in the conversation so you want to show that the interviewer has your undivided attention.
9. Sitting before you’re asked to
Always wait to be offered a seat or for the interviewer to sit first in an interview. It shows you respect them and their space. After you sit, sit tall with squared up shoulders and try to occupy as much chair space as possible to avoid looking like a shrinking violet.
10. The way you make eye contact in a panel interview
Keep everyone’s attention within a panel interview by making eye contact with different people at specific times during your response.
Always begin your response by making eye contact with the person who asked the question then make random and soft eye contact with each of the other members of the panel. As you finish your response, return your eye contact to the interviewer that initially asked you the question.
11. Your posture
When in an interview, your default posture should be sitting straight and keeping a pleasant smile on your face – Remember to slightly lean forward, showing interest in the interviewer.
If you feel the interview is starting to go downhill, maintain your poise, posture and inflection as sometimes it can help to turn things around.
12. What you do with your hands
a. Showing your palms indicates sincerity
b. Holding your palm downward is a sign of dominance – avoid shaking hands with your palms down
c. Pressing the fingertips of your hands together to form a steeple shows confidence
d. By concealing your hands – for example putting them in your pockets – is a sign that you are hiding something
e. Finger tapping is a sign of impatience
f. Folding your arms across your chest is very defensive which indicated that you are disappointed or in disagreement
13. The questions your ask
You may be confidently able to answer all the questions the interviewer asks you, but you also need to leave on a good note by asking smart, well thought out questions at the end.
Some questions that could be asked include:
- What are some of the problems your company faces right now? And what is your department doing to solve them?
- What type of employee tends to succeed here? What qualities are the most important for doing well and advancing within the company?