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The Daily

In Job Interviews, The First Five Minutes Matter

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jan 21, 2016
'Braun ABW41 (schwarz)' by Phrontis - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia CommonsIn a recent Career Builder survey of 2,500 hiring and human resource managers, it was found that half of them know within the first five minutes of the interview whether a candidate will be a good fit for the job. While these first five minutes may not seem very important, devoted more to pleasantries and small talk than the meat of the interview, it's still enough time to make any one of the mistakes that survey respondents said is an instant deal-breaker, such as being caught in a lie (69 percent), answering a phone call or text during the interview (68 percent) or appearing arrogant or entitled (60 percent). Even if a candidate avoids these pitfalls, there are still many other ways to make a faux pas during the interview, particularly with body language. Survey respondents said that things such as "failing to make eye contact" (67 percent), "failing to smile" (39 percent) or "playing with something on the table" (33 percent) can seriously harm a candidate's chances. 
Candidates have also messed up interviews in ways that can only be called bizarre: managers related experiences such as someone bringing a pet bird in their pocket, picking up a family photo from the table and putting it in her purse, and answering interview questions in song.