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Tough questions is biggest job interview fear: Hays survey

The biggest fear for candidates at a job interview is being stumped by the employer’s questions, according to a new survey by recruiting experts Hays.

Updated: 19 Jan 2016

The biggest fear for candidates at a job interview is being stumped by the employer’s questions, according to a new survey by recruiting experts Hays.


Of the more than 320 candidates, who took part in a Hays online survey, 87 per cent say their biggest fear is not knowing the answers to questions an interviewer may ask. 7 per cent were also worried their nerves would show, while 6 per cent were concerned about how they would present themselves – their body language, appearance and even their handshake.


“It’s only natural for candidates to have some concerns about job interviews as they can sometimes be a high-pressure situation with high stakes involved,” says Simon Lance, Regional Director of Hays in China.


“However, the best advice we can offer candidates is to take some time to prepare for that all-important interview so that they can reduce their anxiety and increase their chances of success.”


Here are just a few things you can do to ensure your job interview goes well:


ü  Arrive early, at least 10 minutes early as interviewers are unimpressed by lateness and will rarely accept excuses from prospective employees. And to be on the safe side, bring a spare copy of your resume to the interview.

ü  Do some research into the organisation concerned. You could use resources such as the internet, professional bodies and your recruitment consultants who will have the appropriate background information. This will help you avoid being baffled by questions your interviewer may ask about their organisation.

ü  Anticipate their questions. You could also write down a list of questions you think you’ll be asked and in good time before your interview prepare your answers thoughtfully. There is really no right or wrong answers but remember that you always want to demonstrate your knowledge and what you can offer the employer in your replies. So use specific examples to highlight your point. And don’t be afraid to take your time to think about your response before speaking.

ü   Prepare a list of questions you want to ask about the organisation and the position. An interview is also a time for you to find out more about the role. Such questions might include:

·         Do you have a detailed job description?

·         Why is the position available?

·         What training and induction will be given?

·         What prospects are there for personal and professional development?

·         What are the company plans for the future?

·         What attributes would you hope that I would bring to the job?

·         When can I expect to hear from you?

ü  Look, act and dress professionally. Research has shown than an interviewer has made an impression within the first eight seconds of meeting the person. The remainder of the interview is spent confirming this opinion, or turning this opinion around. You’ll never have a second chance at making a good first impression. So dress conservatively rather than causally or radically and be prepared to get advice on how to look your best from an honest source.


Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.


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About Hays

Hays is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide.


Hays Specialist Recruitment (Shanghai) Co., Limited ("Hays China") operates across the public and private sector, dealing in permanent positions. Hays China’s eighteen specialisms span Accountancy & Finance, Banking, Architecture, Construction, Education, Engineering, Executive, Finance Technology, Human Resources, Hays Resource Management, Information Technology, Insurance, Life Sciences, Manufacturing & Operations, Oil & Gas, Property and Sales & Marketing.


Hays China operates four local offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Guangzhou. It is the local representative office for Hays plc, which is a global company with more than 7,800 staff operating from 245 offices across 33 countries.


Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA.


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