Nail Your Job Interview With These 2020 Facts and Insights
Once an expertly-crafted resume and cover letter get your foot in the door, be ready for the next, crucial step: the job interview.
What's the best way to ace an interview? Here's what we learned from the available research.
Interviews are an extremely important part of any hiring process …
Only 2 percent of applicants will be called for an interview for the average job opening. (Glassdoor)
The average job interview is 40-minutes long. (Gallup)
The interview process takes an average of 22.9 days. (Glassdoor)
Many of the selection techniques that companies use to find (non-management) candidates are interview-related:
… and the first moments of the interview may be the most crucial.
About one-third of bosses (33 percent) know within the first 90 seconds of the interview whether they're going to hire someone. (Come Recommended and Classes & Careers)
Most young people are "somewhat confident" about their interview skills.
Share of university graduates who are confident their job interview skills will get them a job they want in the United States in 2019:
That's good, but it could be better. Confidence is a major factor in interview success.
People who use mental imagery of feeling confident and in control before a job interview had a higher performance and lower stress than those who don't. (Journal of Managerial Psychology)
Chronic self-promoters perform better in job interviews than others. (Journal of Applied Social Psychology)
One way to feel more confident: prepare, prepare, prepare!
91 percent of people who take an interview-training program felt it helped them do better in their real interviews. (Personnel Psychology)
Simply recruiting others to help you prepare increases the likelihood you'll receive follow-up interviews and job offers. (Personnel Psychology)
Also, try to land an early interview slot …
Being the first to interview for a job, or taking the first interview slot of the day, may give you a privileged status. A 2012 study found that "first is best" because humans are hardwired to prefer their first encounter — whether they're seeing their mother at birth or hearing the first argument presented on a complex topic. (PLoS ONE)
… and dress nicely without being ostentatious or overly stylish.
70 percent of employers say they don't want applicants to be fashionable or trendy. (Come Recommended and Classes & Careers)
65 percent of employers say clothes could be the deciding factor between otherwise similar candidates. (Come Recommended and Classes & Careers)
After all, people get first impressions very quickly and sometimes subconsciously.
Here are a few examples:
You'll likely be seen as smart if you make a lot of eye contact while talking. (Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin)
You will be seen as high-status and important if you dress in luxury brands. (Evolution of Human Behavior)
Dressing nicely will also help you be viewed as more promotable. (Psychology of Men & Masculinity)
OK, let's move on to interview do's and don'ts.
Here are 10 interview mistakes that could instantly destroy your chances:
And here are the 10 most common mistakes, according to employers:
- Failing to ask for the job.
- Failing to set yourself apart from other candidates.
- "Winging" the interview.
- Trying to be all things to all people.
- Concentrating too much on what you want.
- Inadequate research about a potential employer.
- Not showing enough interest or enthusiasm.
- Lacking humor, warmth or personality.
- Conveying that you're not over it.
- Over-explaining why you lost your last job.
Now, you can make mistakes that have nothing to do with the substance of your answers. Here are key nonverbal errors:
Finally, here are eight interview questions you should be ready to answer:
- Tell me about yourself.
- What is your greatest strength?
- What is your greatest weakness?
- Why should we hire you?
- Why do you want to work here?
- Tell me about a time you showed leadership.
- Tell me about a time you were successful on a team.
- What would your co-workers say about you?
The facts above will help you successfully prepare for any type of job interview. Get ready by:
Reviewing your qualifications for the job. Spend time re-reading your resume and cover letter before you sit down for an interview so that you're prepared to explain why you're a great fit.
Learning as much as you can about the organization. This will help you prepare for the question, "Why do you want to work here?"
Practicing again and again. We know that preparing for and practicing answers to interview questions is key and will make you more confident — and confidence leads to a stronger interview. It's clear that a bit of practice could be the key to landing your next job.
If you'd like to keep learning, read more of our 2020 employment stats series:
Why working into retirement has become the new normal. We look at the underlying conditions causing the trend, and which jobs are best-suited for workers 65 and older.
The state of blue-collar work in 2020. These jobs haven't disappeared — they're just changing. We look at why experts predict a blue-collar job shortage in the next 10 years, and how you can break into one of the fields most in need of workers.
How to reenter the workforce without breaking your stride. Today, more workers are taking career breaks, and employers have started offering "returnships" for people interested in returning to work. We pull together key stats explaining this trend.