While the average interview lasts roughly 40 minutes, 33% of hiring managers admit they know within 90 seconds if you’re the person they want to hire.
To put that into perspective, it takes the average person 90 seconds to write a response to a text message.
So in the same amount of time that it takes you to respond to a text about happy hour plans, your job interviewer has decided whether or not you’re getting the job.
Of course, it’s possible that your responses during the next 30 minutes of the interview could sway the interviewer’s decision. But instead of having to make up for the bad impression you managed to leave right off the bat, let’s take a look at the factors that interviewers judge you on during that time frame.
Knowledge is power… am I right?
Out of the hiring managers who make their pick within the first 90 seconds of meeting a candidate, here’s what impacted their decisions:
That fresh interview outfit might actually be hurting you. A staggering 70% of hiring managers said they gave candidates the mental axe for being too trendy.
Of course, you don’t want to show up looking sloppy, but overdoing your apparel can come off as trying too hard. In fact, it can actually make you seem insecure — as if you need that fresh off the runway outfit to compensate for something.
…Your best bet?
Research the company culture before the interview, and take a look what their employees are wearing (social media makes this a breeze). Show up to your interview looking like you already work there. The more you can do to show your interviewer that you’d be a great fit for the company, the better.
2. Eye contact
There’s a lot to be said about the body language of someone who doesn’t make eye contact while speaking to you — and none of it is good. Anxiety, low self-esteem and insecurity are all linked to lack of eye contact.
Not surprisingly, 67% of the hiring managers surveyed counted out candidates that had issues making and keeping eye contact.
Find a friend who will help you do a practice interview and can point out instances when you break eye contact — whether it’s while you’re thinking up an answer or telling a story about a recent win. Breaking a habit takes time, so if you’re someone who often avoids eye contact, make it your business to work on fixing it before your big interview.
3. Company knowledge
One thing you should absolutely do during your interview is bring up any positive recent news that you’ve read about the company.
Why? 47% of hiring managers count it against candidates if they don’t show that they did some kind of company research.
It is so important to be well informed about company that you’re interviewing with. Have some key pieces of knowledge down before you walk through the door. Not only does it show that you’ve done your homework, but also that you have a genuine interest in the work that the company is doing.
38% of hiring managers counted people out of the running that didn’t smile or show any confidence. Which is interesting, since studies show that smiling can actually help raise your level of confidence.
If you’re feeling less confident during your interview, crack a smile. Many people confuse being professional and confident with being cool and aloof, but that’s not the case. The last thing interviewers want is a candidate that seems unapproachable and unsure. So flash those pearly whites when you introduce yourself to your interviewer, and don’t be afraid to do so throughout the interview.
Don’t let the non-verbal cues you’re giving off keep you from getting the job that you want. Walk into your next interview feeling confident, knowing that you studied up on the company, ready to make eye contact and dressed professionally.
Want to land the job in 90 seconds? It’s all in the details.
This article first appeared on Forbes.