What’s the Key to a Successful Job Interview?

Express Experts Emphasize Non-Verbal Communication, Personality; Survey Finds 21% of Employers Look for Candidates who “Actively Listen and Ask Questions”

The job interview begins the moment a candidate walks in the door, long before the first question is asked-according to David Robb, marketing director in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, Express Employment Professionals office.

“One thing I always look at during an interview is how the person interacts with every person on our team-body language, demeanor, speech, and especially how they treat others. This is applicable to all skillsets we interview for.”

Deb Gray, an Express franchise owner in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, says recruiters in her office always observe eye contact and body language-and are most impressed by traits like humility, flexibility and an openness to learn. Citing quantifiable metrics and details, she says, can also make a big difference.

Likewise, Robb notes, “Some of the things a candidate can do to dramatically improve an otherwise average application include asking good questions, listening well, taking notes when needed and demonstrating a willingness to learn and grow within the position.”

In a recent survey, Express asked business leaders and decision makers, “What most improves a candidate’s chances during the job interview?”

Twenty-one (21) percent said actively listening and asking relevant questions, while 18 percent said skills, experience and work history.

Fifteen (15) percent said an “engaging personality” and “enthusiasm” makes the most difference, and 10 percent similarly said “cultural fit.” Excellent verbal communication skills were key for 9 percent, and another 9 percent said they look for eye contact and “positive body language.”

Full results are below:

“When it comes to nailing the interview, it’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it,” said Bill Stoller, CEO of Express. “Attitude and interpersonal skills go a long way. Being mindful of that can dramatically improve your chances. After all, your interviewer isn’t looking for someone who can ace an exam; he or she wants to know whether you’re coworker material and someone who will make the company a better place.”

The survey of 2,169 business leaders and decision makers was conducted through the Express Refresh Leadership blog.

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