First Impressions Really DO Count!

A new study has shown that more than two thirds of candidates would turn down a job offer if they had an unpleasant first impression of the work place they had been interviewed at. More than 70% of job seekers stated that they would turn down a job if they had a mediocre impression of the work place and a third (35%) said they would not take a job if they did not like the reception area. 51% stated they would turn down the position if they were left to wait there for too long. This all shows how much first impressions count, not only for the employer, but for the candidate too. Other first impression factors that could alter a candidate’s decision include the appearance and characteristics of the interviewer – with 50% claiming they would be influenced by what the individual interviewing them was wearing, 58% would be influenced by banter from the interviewer, 59% by their makeup and 60% by their handshake.

It was found that on average, candidates have less than 6 and a half minutes to impress an interviewer. This shows that it is both the interviewer and candidate that are judged on their appearance, as 62% of interviewers say that the candidates dress sense has a big impact on employment along with bad odours and tattoos.

An employer’s first impression is also influenced by the candidate’s timekeeping (96%), preparation (93%), ability to maintain eye contact (82%) and personal appearance (73%), showing that employer’s do rate first impressions as being very important, ranking them second to work experience.

The job market has become so competitive and complex that these factors show how the basics can have such a big influence. Once you’ve made a first impression, you will not get the chance to get another, so make your first impression count!  The first impression a candidate or employer has from you can come from communication from emails and phone calls to meeting face to face so it is always important to ensure that you get it right – otherwise the candidate will lose out on the best role, and the employer could lose out on the best talent.

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