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10 Minutes Is All Employers Need to Evaluate Job Candidates

Job Interview   / Credit: Job Interview image via Shutterstock

Job interviews aren't much different from speed dating, a new survey suggests.

A survey by online job search website Accountemps reveals that during interviews, 60 percent of human resources managers form a positive or negative opinion of job candidates in 10 minutes or less. Nearly one in five of those surveyed said it takes them less than five minutes to draw conclusions about an interviewee.

It takes just 1 percent of hiring mangers longer than a half hour to form an opinion of an interviewee.

"Candidates are under scrutiny from the moment they arrive for an interview," said Max Messmer, Accountemps chairman. "Job seekers should convey their professionalism, including through their body language, and be able to quickly highlight the value they bring to the organization using a well-honed elevator pitch."

Accountemps offers several tips for getting a job interview off on the right foot, including:

  • Pay Attention to the Details: Extend a firm handshake, maintain eye contact and present a professional image. This includes ensuring 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 an interview and tap your network for their insights to enable you to position 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.

The research was based on interviews with more than 500 HR managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.

Follow Chad Brooks on Twitter @cbrooks76 or BusinessNewsDaily @BNDarticles. We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.