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'YOU HAD ME AT HELLO' - Survey Finds Most Employers Form Opinions of Job Interviewees Within 10 Minutes

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TORONTO, Sept. 20 /CNW/ - Job seekers don't have much time to win over hiring managers, a new Accountemps survey suggests. More than half (52 per cent) of human resources (HR) managers polled said they form a positive or negative opinion of candidates during interviews in 10 minutes or less.

For some, impressions are made even quicker. Nearly three in 10 (29 per cent) respondents indicated it takes them five minutes or less to draw conclusions about an interviewee.

The survey was developed by Accountemps, the world's first and largest specialised staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals, and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes telephone interviews with more than 150 HR managers at Canadian companies with 20 or more employees.

HR managers were asked, "How long does it typically take you to form either a positive or negative opinion of a job candidate during an initial interview?"

    Less than five minutes ...................  12%
    Five minutes .............................  17%
    Six-10 minutes ...........................  23%
    11-15 minutes ............................  13%
    16-20 minutes ............................   9%
    21-30 minutes ............................   4%
    More than 30 minutes .....................  14%
    Don't know/no answer .....................   8%
    The median response was 10 minutes.

"Job seekers must be at the top of their game from the first moments of the interview," said Kathryn Bolt, Canadian president of Accountemps. "In addition to providing strong responses to a hiring manager's questions, candidates should project enthusiasm and a professional demeanor throughout the discussion."

Job candidates need to remember it's not just the interviewer they need to impress. "Hiring managers commonly seek advice from everyone who's interacted with the interviewee -- from the receptionist to the individual's potential colleagues," Bolt said.

Accountemps offers five tips for getting the job interview off to a good start:

    1.  Pay attention to the details. Extend a firm handshake, maintain eye
        contact and present a professional image. This includes ensuring your
        shoes are shined, clothing is pressed, and nails are clean and
    2.  Ace the likely questions. Make sure you know how you will respond to
        predictable questions, such as, "Can you tell me a little about
        yourself?" Research the firm before your interview and tap your
        network for their insights to enable you to couch your answers in the
        context of how you can help the company.
    3.  Don't be cocky. Strike the right balance between presenting your
        accomplishments in a positive light and coming across as overly
        confident. Being arrogant is one of the worst mistakes a candidate
        can make.
    4.  Tell memorable stories. Give specific examples of how and why you've
        been successful. You'll make a positive impression on hiring managers
        by sharing interesting anecdotes about how you solved a tough
        business problem or saved an employer money.
    5.  Be yourself. Avoid coming across as overly rehearsed. Interviewers
        want to get a sense of your personality and how you would fit into
        the office culture.

About Accountemps

Accountemps has more than 350 offices worldwide and offers online job search services at Follow Accountemps for workplace news at

Accountemps has produced a series of videos highlighting Bob from Accountemps, the fast, efficient, go-to accounting professional. Find out why Bob is so popular with his clients and coworkers alike in these humorous videos:

SOURCE Accountemps

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