One in five employers make a snap decision on whether to hire a candidate, and not understanding the job is a critical mistake

Courtney Goldsmith
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Most employers make a decision within the first 15 minutes of the interview process (Source: Getty)

It turns out first impressions do matter. A lot.

New research suggests one in five employers make up their mind on whether to progress a candidate through the interview process just one minute after meeting them.

While 19 per cent of employers make a snap decision, 44 per cent decide within the first 15 minutes of the interview, and 32 per cent make the decision after the interview has finished, according to a survey by TotalJobs.

Read more: New Zealand wants to fly you there for a job interview (and free holiday)

Don't make this mistake...

The survey of more than 6,000 jobseekers and 150 employers found the biggest mistake a candidate can make during an interview is not understanding the job they applied for (24 per cent), followed by not having researched the company (22 per cent).

Candidates also lose marks for being late and not being able to discuss their own CV.

So what do employers want to hear?

Well, 30 per cent care most about how well a candidate answers the questions while 20 per cent look to experience and qualifications first. Nearly a fifth said a candidate's attitude was the most important factor, and the same percentage said "cultural fit" was the deciding factor.

“Our latest research shows that first impressions count, and that nailing an elevator pitch, a short presentation to sell themselves to potential employers, is more important in interviews than ever," said John Salt, group sales director of TotalJobs.

Read more: Seven things you should never ever do in an interview. Ever.

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