Does the Length of Your Interview Determine the Outcome?
Whether we acknowledge it or not, time is a ruling factor in life. As a result, time becomes a form of currency to spend as well as a measurement of success. Depending on your mindset, this may translate into believing things that happen quickly are good and slow things are negative. Evidence of this logic seems reasonable. Just think of the irritation felt when an email lags in sending or when one slow vehicle fuels the collective anger of everyone on the road. In these scenarios, lack of speed feels like the enemy, but is time always the best way to judge if something is good or bad?
Time is Relative
In the case of hiring, the time spent in an interview is relative and doesn’t indicate if the result was good or bad. Interview success depends on many other factors including who is interviewing, the experience of the interviewer, the needs of the position to fill and the quality of conversation and exchange between the candidate and the staffing specialist. Interview lengths will also vary according to the position, the need to fill out paperwork in advance, where the candidate is in the interview process and how well the exchange is going.
The one place where speed can play a role is the time it takes to make a first impression. On average, a first impression forms within seven seconds of meeting. Timeliness is critical and simple courtesies often make the difference between keeping the window of opportunity open or slamming it shut. Here, the little things are big things.
Timeliness – Showing up on time doesn’t mean arriving when the interview starts. Courteous candidates inquire about the best time to arrive. This timeframe is a delicate balance of being aware of the staffing recruiter’s schedule and providing enough time to fill out an application or other paperwork prior to the interview without feeling rushed. If you anticipate being even five minutes late due to traffic or some other unforeseeable conflict, call the recruiter as soon as possible to let them know.
Dress to Impress – Never underestimate the importance of looking your best. Showing up looking professional and groomed conveys respect for self and a desire to represent the business at your best. If in doubt of what’s appropriate to wear, ask the recruiter. This question is a simple way to demonstrate personal attention to detail, which is a quality that never goes out of fashion when it comes to hiring.
Demonstrate Talents – An interview is about more than supplying a list of skills. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate how an individual can benefit the role and the company at large. Understanding this is one of the best ways to articulate why you are the best candidate for the role.
Regardless of the length or quality of the interview, always end the meeting on a positive note. Ask questions about any next steps and thank the interviewer for their time. You never know when the right opportunity will materialize so look at each interview as a time to meet a new contact and take an important step in the right direction toward your goal finding an awesome opportunity.
This article is brought to you by Staffing Kansas City, a Kansas City employment agency that provides contract-to-hire programs and direct hire placements, in addition to contract employment services.