Getting back to appearance, over the years I’ve had the opportunity to interview literally hundreds of people seeking employment. The first impression is critical – this is where that previously noted saying really applies; “Clothes don’t make the man, (or woman), but they sure do leave a lasting impression.” Here are a few of the things everyone seeking employment should always do, no matter if the candidate is seeking a factory job or interviewing for the CEO position at Eli Lilly.
Dress for the job. If it’s a factory job, wear clean, freshly pressed work clothes. For salaried jobs, a suit and tie, a fresh shave and haircut, clean hands, shined shoes, looking the interviewer in the eye, and a firm handshake are essential. Why? Anything less than that conveys the impression that the candidate isn’t all that interested in the job. If the candidate doesn’t care enough to go to the trouble to make a good appearance, so the thinking goes, he or she probably isn’t going to care all that much about doing a good job. What’s the result of not looking the part? Probably not being offered the job. The same is true for females. Freshly done hair and makeup are important. So are an appropriate dress or business suit, eye contact, and a firm handshake.
Of course, appearance isn’t all there is to it. That’s why the ability to articulate thoughtful answers to questions is so important. If the candidate doesn’t have the ability to express him or herself in an intelligent and concise manner, again, the chances of being hired go down.
Careers begin or never get started based on the job interview. That’s why being prepared for one is truly a critical moment in any young person’s life. It begins with personal appearance and ends with poise and the ability not only to think on one’s feet, but also to express oneself with confidence and clarity. The preparation needed to do all that begins in high school.
That’s -30- for this week.