Job interviews leave UK’s job hunters lost for words according to new research from Hays, the leading recruiting expert. In a survey of over 400 Brits looking for a new role, just under two thirds (64%) said their biggest fear before a job interview was not knowing the answer to questions they might be asked. Half said job interviews made them the most nervous compared to public speaking (49%) or taking a driving test (42%).
The survey found that 42% spent up to an hour researching or practicing interview techniques with a conscientious 63% of women taking over an hour compared to 50% of men. Despite preparing for interviews, those surveyed still struggled with answering questions about their weaknesses.
Andy Robling, Director at Hays, comments “In a competitive and challenging jobs market employees feel they have to pull out all the stops to secure a new position. With this backdrop it’s important that people prepare for interviews thoroughly, including the finer detail. This not only means paying close attention to the job description but to their personal qualities too. Personality traits are often as important as the skills and experience employees can bring to a new role and is important to show how they are suited to the company culture. Our Hays Career Skills online training tool offers invaluable advice on interview tips, understanding body language and even how to answer those difficult questions.”
Interestingly, 30% of men said their biggest fear before a job interview was how they presented themselves (including appearance, body language and handshake) compared to only 18% of women. This may go some way to explaining why three quarters (74%) of men said they took up to an hour to get ready for an interview compared 46% of women.
Robling continues “First impressions are important so taking time with your appearance is key. However, appearance is not the deciding factor so thinking how you present your skills, experience and personality are all vital in securing your much wanted job.”