Want to increase your chances of getting hired? Ask a lot of smart questions about your potential employer and job description, new research finds.
A study from SmartRecruiters revealed that the most successful job candidates spend a lot of time in their interview learning about the company they are interviewing with and exactly what their job would entail. Of those surveyed, 63 percent of job candidates who were eventually hired said during their interviews they spent a significant amount of time talking about company culture and the functions of the job with their interviewer compared to just 47 percent of rejected candidates.
There were also several differences in appearances between job seekers who were hired and those who weren't. The research found that 70 percent of hired candidates wore a mostly black outfit to their interview, with only 33 percent of rejected candidates wearing black. [See Related Story: 11 Important Qualities to Look for in Your Next Hire]
It's not just what they wore that separated successful job candidates from their unhired peers. Overall appearance could also impact a hiring decision. The study discovered that 78 percent of hired candidates rated their physical appearance as "average" or "slightly unattractive," while 66 percent of the rejected candidates rated their looks as "attractive" or "very attractive."
Social media is another area that can make or break a job candidates' chances of being hired. More than 40 percent of rejected candidates had public social media postings and 23 percent said their social media pages contained photos of them drinking alcohol at a party or bar. Additionally, 23 percent admitted that their social media postings sometimes included spelling errors.
The research also shed light on why some successful job candidates end up turning down a job offer. Nearly 30 percent of applicants said they declined positions they were offered because the salary was not high enough, with 19 percent saying the benefits were not competitive.
Other top reasons why job candidates turned down offers included that they had a better competing offer (11 percent), they didn't think the company culture was a good fit (9 percent) or the job was different than initially described (8 percent).
"The results of the research indicate that hiring success requires a holistic approach, starting with the job description itself, and (employers) must communicate as much information as possible as early as possible for candidates," Jerome Ternynck, founder and CEO of SmartRecruiters, said in a statement. "Those who reported spending significant portions of the interview learning about the company and the specifics of the job were ultimately those who went on to be hired."
The study was based on surveys of 180 job applicants who were subsequently hired and 1,800 candidates who were subsequently rejected during the hiring process.