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Job candidates have under 7 minutes to make an impression

Holding eye contact, a firm handshake and the way a candidate has applied their makeup are all significant factors in the six minutes and 25 seconds that job candidates have to impress a perspective employer during an interview.

Research by jobs website Monster.co.uk has shown interviewers take just 385 seconds to decide if the candidate is right for the role, meaning that first impressions do make the ultimate difference in whether a candidate is offered the job.

The study of interview experiences from more than 273 managers and 3,280 employees revealed that half of interviewers said they judge a candidate based on a handshake.

Six in ten bosses say an interviewee’s dress sense affects whether they are viewed as employable and more than two thirds of employers said they are immediately put off by tattoos.

Whilst the majority of bosses (82%) want their potential staff members to be able to hold eye contact during conversation, and 60% are influenced by the interviewee’s quality of ‘banter’ or small talk, 70% also make their first impression on the way a candidate applies makeup.

Most employers, however, still rank a candidate’s work experience as their most important attribute (36%), ahead of first impressions at interview (24%) and their education (12%).

However, from the opposite side of the table, 70% of job seekers are just as likely to be swayed by their first impressions, with 60% deciding whether to accept the job based on the interviewer’s handshake and 50% based on dress sense.