Eye contact 'most important' to impress at a job interview

Paul Snell is managing editor at Supply Management
27 April 2014

28 April 2014 | Paul Snell

Paul SnellHow long do you think you have to make an impression in a job interview? An hour? 30 minutes? Less than that?

According to a study published by insurance provider AXA UK, you have just eight minutes before a decision is made about your future prospects.

The survey of 2,000 people identified the top five things that make a good impression. Interestingly making eye contact (59 per cent) was considered to be more important than knowledge of the relevant subject (57 per cent). So perhaps if you don’t know the answer to a question, just gaze longingly into the interviewer's eyes instead.

Other things that leave a good impression include smart clothing (53 per cent), being articulate (41 per cent) and smiling (39 per cent).

The study also highlighted the top five turn offs; swearing (47 per cent); scruffy clothes (45 per cent); lack of subject knowledge (44 per cent); appearing unprepared (41 per cent); and body odour (39 per cent).

Tattoos and piercings left a poor impression on 27 per cent of employers. And heavy make-up was disliked by 13 per cent of female interviewers, and 6 per cent of men. Oddly, one in 50 men take their wedding ring off to make a better impression (I will leave it up to you to decide exactly what impression they might be aiming for).

If you are looking for advice on how to prepare for an interview, why not check out this popular piece from our archive on questions to expect at an interview?

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