Executive Recruiter, Author, Radio Personality and Professional Speaker
Jim had a 1:00 appointment to meet Mr. O’Connor. He came in a sharp blue suit with shoes that needed to be polished. He had an attitude that was rude. He was talking down to the receptionist when he came into the lobby. He said, “I am here to see Mr. O’Connor, tell him I am here” He walked away. He never said hi, he had interrupted the call that she was on.
It could be as simple as the receptionist doesn’t like the way you look or the way you talk. And guess what? If she doesn’t like you, chances are good that you won’t get the job!
Think about it. What were you wearing to the interview? Were the colors too loud? Was your suit wrinkled? Did you wear too much cologne or perfume? From the very first person to the very last person that you meet, each of them will decide whether or not they like you - within 30 seconds of seeing you!
Consider these points: Were you friendly when you walked in? Did you interrupt the receptionist while she was on the phone? Did you express impatience while waiting for the interviewer, either in words or by your body language? Were you rude or did you talk down to anyone you met on the premises?
The other day Steve went on an interview. While he was waiting in the lobby, a woman walked by. She wore wrinkled clothes and her hair was a mess. Assuming that she was an employee who did not care about her appearance, Steve ignored her. Imagine his surprise when he was escorted into the interview room and found that this unkempt woman was the employer with whom he was to meet. Recognizing Steve as the man with the haughty attitude, she gave him a 10 minute exit interview instead of an employment interview. It was a shame, because Steve had the right qualifications and he really wanted that job.
When does an interview start? When you are getting dressed for it! You should be properly attired to look your very best. What you wear is one of the most critical factors in determining the outcome of the interview.
The most common question is, “Do I have to wear a suit?” The answer is YES! What if your interview is on Friday and you are told to dress casually? Men: Wear a jacket and casual pants - not jeans! Women: Wear either a dress or a jacket with a pair of pants. Never wear open-toed shoes to an interview.
If you are not told to dress casually, ALWAYS WEAR A SUIT. Women should wear a conservative solid-color suit with a blouse that isn’t too low cut. How about accessories? Never wear lots of jewelry, big jewelry, or body piercing that can be seen. You want the employer’s attention to be focused on you and what you’re saying, not on your jewelry.
Men should where a dark conservative suit, a crisp dress shirt and conservative tie with dark socks and professional shoes. No “real” jewelry should be worn at an interview, and no cologne should be used.
Remember: You want to make the best First Impression on the person who makes the employment decision. Your Attitude and your Apparel can make or break a deal.
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Cindy Cannon, principal of Growth Management Group, provides career assessment and advancement advice and assistance derived from 25 years of recruitment experience in over 2,000 hires. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or
© 2010- Cindy Cannon – All rights reserved.
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