Think your first few days of work are just about getting your feet wet? Think again. According to a survey by education technology company Fullbridge Inc., new hires have less than two weeks to prove whether or not they will be successful on the job.

Fullbridge commissioned Harris Poll to conduct an online survey of 319 executives at companies with revenue of at least $1 billion in the summer of 2015 to gauge opinions about entry level employees. The survey found:

  • More than one in four (27%) executives think employers form an initial opinion as to whether an entry level employee will be successful in less than two weeks. Over three in four (78%) form an opinion in less than three months.
  • If they had to choose, executives are almost four times as likely to say they would prefer to hire a candidate with previous internship or training experience over a candidate with a high college grade point average. Over half (54%) would prefer to hire an entry level candidate with previous internship or training experience. One in three (32%) would prefer to hire an entry level candidate who graduated from a top college or university. And over one in ten (14%) would prefer to hire an entry level candidate who had a high college grade point average.

The survey also asked executives which quality they feel is most critical to being an engaged employee. The variance in responses shows that engaged employees are not defined by one single quality.

These include such things as an internal motivation to succeed (23%), ability to solve problems (21%), commitment to the company's success (17%) and a "can-do" attitude (17%).