For better or for worse, being qualified for a job isn’t always enough to get the job.
There have been several studies that examine the process of job interviews, identifying what works, what doesn’t and what flat-out sabotages. Spoiler alert: It’s not always fair.
Here are 10 things you should know before going into your next job interview, and some of these things will infuriate you. (Just make sure you don’t repeat any of these excruciatingly bad job interview horror stories.)
1. A new French study found that women who applied for jobs and included a photo of themselves in their applications that showed cleavage were 19 times more likely to get an interview.
We’re not suggesting you attach a revealing photo to your resume, we just want you to know that the game is a little bit rigged.
2. Women who wear make-up to work get paid more – and do better at job interviews.
The new research, from the University of Stirling in Scotland, found that men and women perceive women wearing makeup to be of a higher status. Ugh.
3. People tend to see faces that appear happy and have stereotypically feminine features as more trustworthy, while those with more masculine characteristics, like strong jawlines, are perceived as leaders.
These judgements are made in a matter of seconds – and it’s garbage.
4. Doing practice interviews or interview training can be a huge boost, even though it seems like a huge hassle.
A study by management researchers Todd Maurer and Jerry Solamon found that 91 percent of people who took an interview-training program felt like they did better in real interviews.
5. Visualizing yourself getting the job will help you get the job.
Applicants who envision getting the job before their interview were less stressed and got better evaluations, according to a 2003 study in the Journal of Managerial Psychology.
6. You should probably clean up your social media.
It’s estimated that 91 percent of employers search your social media – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram – for red flags. (There’s even an app called “Social Sweepster” that detects red solo cups and beer bottles!)
7. A 2012 study showed that taking the earliest interview slot on any given day works to your advantage.
The University of California study found that “when making quick choices, participants consistently preferred people (salespersons, teams, criminals on parole) or consumer goods presented first.”
8. ‘Power posing’ before an interview can actually, physiologically make you feel more confident.
What’s a power pose? Flexing your muscles and taking an open, expansive stance.
“Compared to low-power posers, high-power posers appeared to better maintain their composure, to project more confidence, and to present more captivating and enthusiastic speeches, which led to higher overall performance evaluations,” the 2012 study showed.
9. Your first impression is the most important part of any job interview.
Start the interview by framing the conversation. Hit home why you’re perfect for it. “If you start out with a few well-rehearsed sentences about why you are perfect for the job, this first impression can help set the tone for your interview and for what is taken away from the meeting.”
10. Handshakes matter!
A study at the University of Iowa found that a good, firm handshake in a job interview was “more important than agreeableness, conscientiousness, or emotional stability.”