Congratulations—you’ve landed an interview for your dream job! There’s just one issue…what do you do next? Preparing for job interviews can be difficult for anyone, and it’s normal to feel a sense of trepidation along with your excitement about this opportunity.
Like many other things in life, practice makes perfect when it comes to the interview process.
However, if you want an additional edge, it’s a good idea to try to understand this process from the hiring manager’s perspective.
Keep reading to learn some job interview facts that could make all the difference in your job search!
10 Job Interview Process Statistics to Help You Crush the Interview
Myth-Busting Stat #1: Skip The Scattershot Approach
The results of a survey from Bullhorn show that the biggest pet peeve of 30 percent of recruiters is candidates who apply to jobs they’re blatantly unqualified for.
Your Interview Strategy: If you’re interviewing for a position that you can’t realistically fill, it’s already too late. That doesn’t mean you should be afraid to apply to jobs that are a bit outside your comfort zone, of course. When you find an opening that calls for skills that aren’t even close to your own, however, it’s best to keep looking.
Truth #1: Winning Personalities Win Job Offers
In the same Bullhorn survey, 57 percent of interviewers said one important factor in their decision-making process would be how well a candidate’s personality meshed with the employer they are applying for.
Your Interview Strategy: Before you head into the interview, take some time to read up on the company you’re hoping to work in. That way, when you talk to the recruiter, you’ll be able to highlight how your personality fits the company’s values and culture. You’ll also come off as more knowledgeable about the employer.
Myth-Busting Stat #2: Feeling Anxious? Don’t Worry About It
When you’re dealing with pre-interview jitters, it can be easy to imagine other candidates are much more confident than you. According to JDP, however, 93 percent of American job seekers get nervous before a job interview.
Your Interview Strategy: One major source of anxiety is not knowing what to expect, so the more you’ve done to prepare, the better. If you’re feeling apprehensive about an upcoming interview, the online mock interviews provided by InterviewFocus can be a big help. You also might want to look at our list of entry-level interview questions!
Truth #2: First Impressions Matter
Forbes has reported that 33 percent of recruiters don’t even take two whole minutes to make a decision on prospective candidates. Instead, they decide during the first 90 seconds of an interview!
Your Interview Strategy: Before the interview starts, take a few deep breaths, and no matter how nervous you are, try to project a sense of confidence. Smiling can also help create a connection between you and the interviewer. Additionally, wearing the right interview outfit will project professionalism throughout the interview.
Myth-Busting Stat #3: It’s Not Just A Handshake
A study by University of Iowa business professor Greg Stewart determined that handshakes play an even larger role in recruiters’ decision-making processes than a candidate’s physical appearance or outfit does.
Your Interview Strategy: While the COVID-19 pandemic has limited the handshake’s popularity for the time being, this job interview mainstay will almost certainly come back into style at some point. In the meantime, practice your handshake with someone in your “bubble.” Focus on building a firm grip and making comfortable eye contact.
Truth #3: Honesty Is The Best Policy
In 2017, HireRight found that a whopping 85 percent of employers have caught candidates misrepresenting their credentials.
Your Interview Strategy: Dishonesty in an interview or on a resume is an obvious red flag. Recruiters know to keep an eye out for this behavior these days, and some of the questions they ask are designed to uncover untrustworthy applicants. No matter how tempting it is to lie, stick to the truth.
Myth-Busting Stat #4: Not Every Interviewer Is A Pro
According to research from Hyper Recruitment Solutions, 47 percent of hiring managers had received no training on what questions they should ask in interviews.
Your Interview Strategy: If you often feel jittery during interviews, you might start thinking that the recruiter is looking down on you or that they’re much more experienced and competent than you. In moments like these, keep this stat in mind. They might be feeling just as overwhelmed as you are!
Truth #4: Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
According to a Twin Employment And Training report, 65 percent of recruiters said candidates who didn’t make enough eye contact didn’t get the job they wanted.
Your Interview Strategy: Here at InterviewFocus, helping candidates build eye contact is one of our strong suits. The patented technology our system is built on analyzes eye contact during mock interviews. If you’re worried about going too far in the other direction, we’ve also written about how much eye contact is too much.
Myth-Busting Stat #5: Thank You Notes Still Matter
A TopResume survey found that 68 percent of recruiters believe that simply sending a thank-you note can affect the decision-making process. Almost one out of five recruiters had rejected a candidate because they didn’t send one.
Your Interview Strategy: Make sure to send a thank-you email to your interviewer within 24 hours of the interview. Given the importance of this message, sending it after proofreading is important. That way, you ensure you aren’t making any grammatical errors that can make you come across as unprofessional. Take this part of the job-seeking process just as seriously as the interview!
Truth #5: Patience Pays Off
Glassdoor Economic Research has determined that the hiring process for an average position in America takes 23 days.
Your Interview Strategy: Though being on standby can feel like torture, stay patient —
you’ll get the results soon enough. When the interview ends, you can ask the interviewer about the approximate timeline for the rest of the interview process. Even if they sound confident, though, any number of factors can push things back.
The Job Interview Process in a Nutshell
Hopefully, these facts will help you in your search for a new job. As you gear up for another interview (or your very first interview), it’s a good idea to review the structure of a typical job interview.
This may seem simple but remember: first impressions are vital. Be polite, make eye contact with the interviewer and give them a firm handshake.
AKA “small talk.” Here, interviewers build (or at least attempt to build) a personal connection with candidates. Take this as an opportunity to share your personality with the recruiter.
During this section of the interview, you’ll be responsible for “pitching” yourself to the interviewer. Try to communicate how and why you got interested in your field of choice.
This section is mostly what it sounds like: the recruiters will ask you some questions, and you’ll answer them. Interviewers also use this section of the interview to trip up dishonest candidates, so don’t stretch the truth — you might just end up stretching their patience.
Finally, you’ll want to thank the interviewer for their time and give them another strong handshake. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re done with them at this point, though — you still need to send a thank-you email!
Focus On Your Next Interview
Along with these tips and tricks, InterviewFocus’ mock interview service can go a long way towards making your next interview a successful one. You’ll benefit from our groundbreaking face and eye tracking, as well as our industry-best interview coaches.
With some help from InterviewFocus, you’ll be more prepared than ever for any interview you walk into. Give us a try today!