Is Appearance The Most Important Factor When Preparing For An Interview?

6 years ago


We all know looking the part for an interview is important, but does grooming take precedent over company research?

According to a recent study by Marketing Minds, British graduates believe that spending more time in front of the mirror is more likely to ‘Dazzle and impress’ over time spent conducting research.

The study revealed the average university graduate spent 28 minutes in the shower, 13 minutes getting dressed and 19 minutes pampering their face. With all the time spent grooming, the average graduate admitted to spending only 38 minutes on company research.

Some university leavers also said their research took no more than a shocking 15 minutes! Which they chose to conduct in front of the TV or whilst they were relaxing instead of in a quiet focused area.

This is supported by the fact that those graduates who were invited to an interview did not receive a second offer due to the fact they were ill prepared when it came to questions on company history, culture and job descriptions.

Amy Hutcheson, Permanent Recruitment Consultant at Cummins Mellor gave her thoughts:

“You may only receive one opportunity to impress your interviewer and to stand out from the crowd in a highly competitive market place. Yes, first impressions count, from dressing the part to that all important firm handshake, strong eye contact and body language; but it is the relevance of your answers and the aptness of the questions you put to the interviewer which will create discussion, and make your impression a lasting one.”


So how ably equipped are you to ask and answer those questions with conviction?

If you have glanced over their website, you have possibly learnt the same amount as the other candidates going for the position. But look a little further, the web is incredibly useful with links about the people in command there and company achievements.

  • Have they grown?
  • What are their plans for development?
  • Has the company recently been recognised through an award?

All these things show you have a genuine interest in this company; this is what will set you apart from all of the other candidates.

A couple of hours’ research may pay dividends, and ultimately be the highest paid 2 hours work you have ever done if it results in an offer.

It will also ensure that you don’t ask an obvious question about their company which is highly documented across their website… making it all too apparent that you didn’t do your homework, and ensuring your interview memorable for all of the wrong reasons!”

Here are the stats…

  • After being offered an interview, 8% of graduates said they spend over an hour in preparation for the questioning
  • 4% said they wouldn’t do anything to prepare for the interview
  • But what is the cause of their lack of preparation?
  • 28% blamed their busy social calendar
  • Another 28% blamed work
  • 10% admitted to just being downright lazy
  • 32% said they wouldn’t be doing any research due to the fact they did not believe they would get the job anyway

At the other end of the spectrum, interviewers don’t always come up smelling of roses with recent findings from CV- Library highlighting;

  • 41% of interviewers showing up late
  • 37% haven’t read the applicant’s CV

And it’s not just tardiness letting the employers down as being unprofessional plays a big part;

  • 15% of job hunters being asked their age
  • 8.5% being questioned about future family plans

With it being reported that candidates are now facing high competition for vacancies, it seems both candidates and employers need to up their game when it comes to recruiting to secure the best outcome.

On the other hand, credit is due to graduates as they are becoming savvier than ever in a really tough market. Research shows they are experts at digesting high levels of information, especially when online which may indicate they need less time processing company information as they can retain it a lot quicker. 

At Cummins Mellor we always suggest to candidates that research is a key factor when preparing for an interview. We continually see a correlation with the candidates offered roles and the amount of research they do in preparation for the interview.

For more information on interview techniques, feel free to contact one of our consultants on 01254 239363.


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