A survey of 1000 people by global recruitment company Michael Page revealed the most common way that potential recruits are hurting their chances of landing a potential opportunity. Despite the competitive job market, most people admit that they still aren’t adequately preparing for job interviews.

Only one in four (27 percent) of candidates surveyed said they spent time practising interview questions and preparing answers.

It turns out that 40 percent of candidates are so focused on making a good first impression, that they spend all of their preparation time worrying about their appearance and choosing what to wear. 26 percent of survey respondents said that they spend almost no time at all researching job interview advice.

Said Dean Ball, spokesperson for Michael Page, “First impressions are important, so definitely take time to think about your appearance. However, most interviews last for about an hour so you need to be prepared for the other 59 minutes as well.”

Other than first impressions, the second biggest concern of candidates is that they might be asked a ‘trick’ or off-the-wall question. “Why are manhole covers round instead of square?” or “How many ridges are there around a quarter?” That sort of thing.

Dean Ball noted: “It’s understandable that weird interview questions are unnerving for some candidates but they are becoming increasingly common in interview situations so it’s important that candidates are prepared for them.”

He advises, “Strange questions should be embraced by candidates as a chance to show their originality, creativity, how they apply logic and their sense of humour.” It isn’t important to know the actual answer to the question (if there even is one), it is important to show that you can think on your feet and stay cool when asked the unexpected.

Source: Job candidates failing to prepare beyond first impressions