Unusual but vital interview tips for graduates getting a job

03/03/2016 - By Josh Spencer

Waiting patiently in the reception area, for the interview you’ve been praying for for months, can be an extremely nerve-racking experience for most. In this competitive job market, It is not enough to just prepare answers you might give to certain questions or have a quick peruse of the company website. Today, employers are looking for more if you are going to stand out. In fact, some employers will take into account some unusual factors, which you might not be so aware of. Fortunately for you, we’ve shared 5 of them below!

Make sure you’re hydrated

Employers tend to offer candidates refreshments before the interview is due to commence, but deep down they’re hoping for the answer “no”. Your interviewer doesn’t want to spend 10 minutes of their time making you a coffee or tea; instead they’d rather kick-start the interview and ‘get down to business’.

TIP: If they offer you something to drink besides water – like coffee or tea – don’t accept it.

Leave your jazzy clothing at home

If you’re planning to leave for an interview wearing bright clothing, think again! According to 2,099 hiring managers who took part in a CareerBuilder survey, blue and black clothing are the best choices for a job interview, and orange is the worst.

When meeting an employer for the first time in a professional setting, conservative colours like black, brown, blue and grey are the safest bet, whereas colours like orange can be too ‘loud’ for some in an interview.

TIP: Research the culture of the company in advance; if it looks on the conservative side don’t be too loud with your choice of clothing. However, be sure not to go too far the other way. If the company is a young, hip start-up, where everyone is in Converse, jeans and t-shirts, turning up in a sombre suit and tie might alienate.

Choose an appropriate time

You’ve excelled in your job application and the employer is inviting you in for an interview, what time do you choose? According to a report from Glassadoor, scheduling an interview for 10:30am on a Tuesday is the best time, so if you get the choice, book that slot!

People are shown to be most productive on Tuesdays, and 10:30am is late enough in the day for the employer to check their emails, have a drink and prepare for your arrival.

TIP: Avoid scheduling interviews pre or post-lunch, or after work.

Don’t let your hair down

According to a study by a professor from DePaul University in Chicago, the key to giving a good impression during an interview is low-maintenance hair, either short or tied back. His study found that wearing one’s hair down in an interview can be extremely distracting and runs the risk of conveying a message to the interviewer that you’re not task-focussed. Who knew!

The DePaul University study suggested women who arrive at interview with super-styled, curled hair could be perceived as high-maintenance, and unfortunately regarded as someone who spends too much time on themselves and not on their work.

TIP: Keep your hairstyle smart and minimalist; employers are interested in your achievements, not your hair!

This could come in ‘handy’

Have you ever been taught about body language? Well now you have ‘hand language’ to consider too. A study from Molider and Parus, authors of “Crazy Good Interviewing: How Acting A Little Crazy Can Get You The Job”, suggested that the correct hand gestures and language can influence employability. Here’s some things to consider next time you are in an interview.

  1. Showing your palms indicates sincerity
  2. Holding your palms downward-facing signals dominance – do not shake hands with your palms down
  3. Pressing your fingertips together is a display of confidence
  4. Putting your hands in your pockets is a sign that you have something to hide
  5. Finger tapping is a sign of impatience
  6. Folding your arms is a defensive position, indicating disappointment or disagreement
  7. Overusing hand gestures to the point of distraction

TIP: Remember the 7-step hand guide – you’ll come across as the perfect graduate candidate

How many of these factors are conscious on the part of the interviewer is not clear, but studies have shown that despite what we are told, appearances do matter. A huge 73% of employers responding to a survey stated that they take into account a candidate’s appearance during the selection process. This is despite the numerous laws and guidance out there that outlaws this approach.

Consider this, we even found one survey that purported to show that women who wear more make-up can earn 30% more than someone who doesn’t. Now we would question the validity of any such findings and certainly not support the message, but it does highlight the sad fact, that like it or not, our appearance still seems to play a role in the employment process. So don’t take it for granted next time you’re preparing for an interview at your dream employer.

If you’re a graduate looking for a career in recruitment and you’d like more tips and tools on how to excel in interviews, visit our website at http://the-recruitment-academy.co.uk/.

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