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Are job interviews really all about your looks?

April 23rd 2014 / Ayesha Muttucumaru Google+ Ayesha Muttucumaru

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AXA's new study reveals a judgement is made in just eight minutes

A new study has revealed that it takes just eight minutes before a judgement is made in an interview. Even more surprisingly though, it showed that eye contact is the most important factor in making a good impression above knowledge of the relevant subject.

The research, conducted by AXA, surveyed 2,000 people and the findings make for an interesting read should you be looking for some useful interview tips; one in four interviewers are put off by tattoos and piercings, with a heavy face of makeup regarded as a turn off for 13 per cent of female interviewers. However, only six per cent of male interviewers had a problem with our - perhaps at times, questionable - makeup skills (give us a break, we’re probably nervous!).

Commenting on the research, psychologist Donna Dawson said,

“There are little things you can do that will mean a lot when you prepare for a job interview. How you conduct yourself during it can make all the difference. Remember that you are being sized up by a stranger in a matter of minutes - what may not seem important to you, can be very important to a prospective employer.

“Make a special effort to be clean, tidy and appropriately dressed as this shows respect not only for yourself but for the company you are applying to. Maintaining good eye contact also shows confidence and trustworthiness. The devil is in the detail and it is the little things that will ultimately mean a lot in an interview.”

Other no-nos included swearing (47%), scruffy clothes (45%), lack of knowledge of the relevant subject (44%), appearing unprepared (41%) and of course, ahem, body odour (39%).

However, make sure to match your spritz of deodorant with a smile. With almost one in three saying it’s the most important factor in making a good impression in such pressured circumstances, there’s no better reason to just grin and bear it.

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