The Interview Mistakes Candidates Make (Without Even Realizing It), According to Survey
- 1 in 2 employers know whether a candidate is a good fit within five minutes of an interview
- Poor eye contact, fidgeting and bad posture among most common body language mistakes
PR Newswire

TORONTO, March 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Much like a highly anticipated first date, a job interview can go from pure potential to pure disaster in mere minutes. According to a new survey from, 51 per cent of employers know within the first five minutes of an interview whether a candidate is a good fit for a position. By minute 15, that number reaches 89 per cent.

The nationwide online survey of more than 400 hiring and human resource managers reveals the most off-putting interview behaviours candidates display during job interviews.

Top 10 Body Language Mistakes

Facial expressions, posture and other physical behaviours can reveal more about job seekers than the words they use. When asked to identify the biggest body language mistakes job seekers make, hiring managers named the following:

  1. Failing to make eye contact: 72 per cent
  2. Failing to smile: 44 per cent
  3. Playing with something on the table: 38 per cent
  4. Fidgeting too much in their seats: 38 per cent
  5. Crossing their arms over their chests: 37 per cent
  6. Displaying bad posture: 34 per cent
  7. Playing with their hair or touching their face: 26 per cent
  8. Having a weak handshake: 19 per cent
  9. Using too many hand gestures: 9 per cent
  10. Having a handshake that is too strong: 8 per cent

"There's a reason most employers require in-person job interviews before making a hiring decision," said Mark Bania, managing director of CareerBuilder Canada. "They are looking for the non-verbal cues that indicate a candidate's level of professionalism and fit for the position. This is why body language is so important, as it can often say as much about a candidate's attitude than his or her words."

Bania recommends the following tips to prepare yourself for a successful interview:

  1. Enlist the help of friends and family: Practice your interview skills ahead of time with friends or family, who can observe your body language and provide tips to improve it. 
  2. See yourself through their eyes: See yourself through the interviewer's eyes by recording (and then watching) a video of yourself answering common interview questions. This practice will help you identify any body language mistakes you may not realize you were making.
  3. Do your research: Before you go into the interview, find out as much as you can about the company and prepare questions for the interviewer.
  4. Just breathe: Many body language mistakes are the result of nervousness. Taking a few deep breaths prior to meeting with the hiring manager is a simple but effective way to ease pre-interview jitters.

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