• What’s the Key to a Successful Job Interview?

    TORONTO - April 11, 2018




    • Express Experts Emphasize Non-Verbal Communication, Personality

    • Survey Finds 21% of Employers Look for Candidates who "Actively Listen and Ask Questions"



    The job interview begins the moment a candidate walks in the door, long before the first question is asked-according to Chris Vandenbosch, an Express franchise owner in Ottawa, Ontario. The interviewers in his office play close attention to eye contact and body language. 

    "A candidate's eye contact and body language helps us understand how they interact with others, evaluate their listening and comprehension skills, their level of interest and even helps us determine whether they are better suited for an independent or team-oriented work environment," he said.

    Once they begin the interview, Vandenbosch says the details are important. 

    "We always look for candidates who are compliant throughout the process, who are pro-active and who pay close attention to detail. This usually speaks to their soft skills and how well they may integrate into a new position," he added. 

    For Colleen Gaudette, an Express owner in Windsor, Ontario, the stand-out interviews are with engaged and enthusiastic candidates, who showcase how their skill set and experience can help a potential new employer. 

    "If they have done their homework and can speak confidently about their background and experience - and can draw a dotted line between what they offer and how that fits to the employer's needs - that's who moves forward in the process," she said. "They need to put two and two together." 

    Gaudette adds that coaching and support are helpful, but the bulk of the persuasion is actually best done by the interviewee themselves. 

    "We can coach them on what to wear and how to prepare, but ultimately, it is the applicant who can speak to their fit and background. They tell their own story best," she said. 

    In a recent survey, Express asked business leaders and decision makers, "What most improves a candidate's chances during the job interview?"

    Twenty-one (21) per cent said actively listening and asking relevant questions, while 18 per cent said skills, experience and work history.

    Fifteen (15) per cent said an "engaging personality" and "enthusiasm" makes the most difference, and 10 per cent similarly said "cultural fit." Excellent verbal communication skills were key for 9 per cent, and another 9 per cent said they look for eye contact and "positive body language."

    Vandenbosch remembers one candidate who impressed him with his final question. 

    "He asked us for feedback on how he did during the interview and finished by asking, 'Would you hire me?'," he said. 

    Full results are below.




    "When it comes to nailing the interview, it's not just what you say, it's how you say it," said Bill Stoller, CEO of Express. "Attitude and interpersonal skills go a long way. Being mindful of that can dramatically improve your chances. After all, your interviewer isn't looking for someone who can ace an exam; he or she wants to know whether you're coworker material and someone who will make the company a better place."

    The survey of 2,169 business leaders and decision makers was conducted through the Express Refresh Leadership blog.


    If you would like to arrange for an interview to discuss this topic, please contact Kellie Major at (613) 222-7488 or email

    About Bill Stoller

    William H. "Bill" Stoller is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 800 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Since its inception, Express has put more than 6 million people to work worldwide

    About Express Employment Professionals

    Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.4 billion in sales and employed a record 540,000 people in 2017. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. For more information, visit