25 Surprising Things That Affect Whether or Not You're Hired

Katie Sweeney

We’re taught that to land a job, you’ve got to have an interesting résumé and perform well during the interview. However, there are so many other things that can affect whether or not you get hired for the position. A recent Business Insider article points out that “there's more to it than just showing up and doing your best—there are dozens of small details that overtly or subconsciously affect the way you're perceived.” For example, you want to arrive to the interview on time or even a little bit early, but it’s not a good idea to get there too early.

The time of day of your interview also affects your chances of getting the position. If the interviewer is chatting with you at the end of her workday, there’s a good chance her attention will be on other things, like her dinner plans or what drink she's going to get at happy hour. What other small details affect your ability to get the job? Here, I’ve rounded up Business Insider’s list. 

  1. The weather on the day of your interview. If it’s a crappy day, you’re less likely to get the job.
  2. Whether your rival also interviews on the same day. Try to be the only person they interview on that day.
  3. Whether you feel powerful. If you have a likeability that influences others it will get you the job.
  4. What you do while waiting in the lobby. It’s a bad idea to talk on your cell phone.
  5. How you treat the receptionist or the driver.
  6. Your handshake.
  7. If you accept the offered coffee. Don’t accept it. When you do, your interviewer will have to go make it for you and might resent that time you’ve taken up.
  8. Whether you’re a little narcissistic. It’s good to be a narcissist. If you think you’re fantastic, the interviewer probably will too.
  9. The color of your clothing. Conservative colors like black, brown, gray, and blue are best. Avoid bright colors like orange.
  10. Whether you glance at your watch or cell phone. Put your cell phone away so you won’t be tempted to look at it.
  11. Sitting before you’re asked to. Wait for your interviewer to sit first, especially if you are a man; then sit.
  12. Tailoring your answers based on the interviewer’s age.
  13. The way you make eye contact in a panel interview. Make eye contact with different people at different times.
  14. Your posture. Slouching is never good.
  15. What you do with your hands.
  16. The questions you ask.
  17. Where you grew up.
  18. How competent you seem. Don’t be overly confident.
  19. The sound of your voice.
  20. Whether you’re smiling. Genuine smiles are key.  
  21. Your accent.
  22. Your weight.
  23. Whether you have piercings or tattoos.
  24. Your body language.
  25. How sweaty you are. 

Learn more about how to nail an interview by reading Interviewing by Jack Gray.

Do you hire people? What turns you off?

Opening Image:  20th Century Fox

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