Limited Time for First Impressions –

It takes just 10 minutes for hiring managers to form an opinion of a job seeker during an interview, a new Accountemps survey reveals.

According to the survey – in which more than 500 human resource managers were polled – 60% of respondents said they form a positive or negative opinion of a job candidate during an interview in 10 minutes or less. Eighteen percent said it takes them five minutes or less to draw conclusions about an interviewee.

“Candidates are under scrutiny from the moment they arrive for an interview,” Accountemps chairman Max Messmer said in a press release. “Hiring managers often seek feedback from everyone who interacted with the interviewee – from administrative staff to the person’s potential peers.”

Accountemps offers the following interview tips to job candidates:

  • Pay attention to the details. Extend a firm handshake, maintain eye contact and present a professional image. This includes ensuring your shoes are shined, clothing is pressed, and nails are clean and trimmed.
  • Ace the likely questions. Make sure you know how you will respond to predictable questions, such as, ‘Can you tell me a little about yourself?’ Research the firm before your interview and tap your network for their insights to enable you to couch your answers in the context of how you can help the company.
  • Don’t be cocky. Strike the right balance between presenting your accomplishments in a positive light and coming across as overly confident. Being arrogant is one of the worst mistakes a candidate can make.
  • Tell memorable stories. Give specific examples of how and why you’ve been successful. You’ll make a positive impression on hiring managers by sharing interesting anecdotes about how you solved a tough business problem or saved an employer money.
  • Be yourself. Avoid coming across as overly rehearsed. Interviewers want to get a sense of your personality and how you would fit into the office culture.

Follow Valerie Jones on Twitter @ValerieJonesCMN