Survey: Job-Hunting? You Have 10 Minutes

If you're hunting for a new job, you've only got 10 minutes to make your best impression, according to a survey from Robert Half Finance and Accounting, one of the world's best-known recruiting firms. IDN looks at the survey and reveals the top 5 questions asked in the first 10 minutes.

Tags: Interview, Survey, Response, Messmer, Robert, Hunting, Success,

Hiring managers polled said it takes them just 10 minutes to form an opinion of job seekers, even though interviews can often last an hour or more. The survey was developed by Half, but was conducted by an independent research firm. The survey is based on responses from 150 senior executives with the nation's 1,000 largest companies.

In the survey, hiring execs were asked:

  • "How long does it typically take you to form either a positive or negative opinion of a job candidate during an initial interview?" (The mean response was 10 minutes).
  • "How many minutes, on average, do you spend meeting with a staff-level candidate during a job interview?" (The mean response was 55 minutes.)
  • "How many minutes, on average, do you spend meeting with a management-level candidate during a job interview?" (The mean response was 86 minutes.)

    The Lesson is Simple, So Do Your Homework

    The lesson is simple: "The interview begins the moment job seekers arrive, so applicants need to project enthusiasm and confidence from the start. "The opening minutes of the conversation often set the tone for the rest of the discussion, making it wise to prepare especially well for the first few interview questions."" said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. Messmer is also the author of Job Hunting For Dummies (John Wiley & Sons).

    Here is some valuable "job-hunting homework" from Messmer : The 5 most-frequently-asked questions in the first 10 minutes of an interview:

    1. Can you tell me a little about yourself? -- Concisely discuss your professional goals and interests as they relate to the job opportunity. Your answer should provide insight into why you are the right fit for the position and the company.

    2. What do you know about our firm? -- Research the business beforehand and be prepared to describe how your skill set and experience will help you contribute to its success.

    3. Why do you want to work here? -- Whether it's the company's values, history of success or reputation in the industry that attracted you, respond in a way that shows you understand the organization's priorities and business objectives.

    4. Why are you looking to leave your current position? -- Keep your answer focused on the opportunity -- for example, a chance to advance your career. Remain positive and avoid disparaging other employers.

    5. What is your most significant professional accomplishment? -- Cite an achievement that demonstrates your abilities and shows you value results.