You dash into the office 20 minutes late, you’ve split coffee down your shirt, your clothes are crumpled and you haven’t shaved nor brushed your teeth. You mumble an awkward apology before thrusting yourself into a chair in front of your potential employer. It is likely that you have cost yourself your potential job just by the manner you arrived in the office.
Making a good impression is essential, especially when attending a job interview. First impressions are influenced by cultural beliefs, values, personal experiences, and biases. Thus making a positive impression can be a difficult task but if you stick to the following guidelines you will likely succeed in creating a positive first impression.
1. Be on time. It’s rude to be late and suggests you don’t care. A message you don’t want to send when you desire a job. Keep in mind, your potential employer will have no problem giving your job to another person but you may suffer without it.
2. Dress appropriately. Scruffy clothing, too much exposed skin or clothing with offensive phrases, images or symbols on it sends negative messages. After all if you can’t dress yourself how can you be expected to be a productive employee?
3. Be aware of body odour. Make sure you are bathed and brushed. No one wants to work closely with someone who constantly smells of B. O. or overwhelming bad breath. Not to mention your employer may fear that your odour may cost him customers due to your odour.
4. Be polite. Do not swear, use slang and do not use words such as “like, ” “um” or “whatever. ” It is likely your employer will gather that if you speak to him in this manner, that you will address customers in the same way, which could affect business.
5. Be aware of your posture. Body language conveys more than our words ever do. If you are slouched down, have your arms crossed or keep tapping your pen on the desk; you could be sending the message that you are bored and uninterested in the job even though you may just be tired, cold or nervous. Your best bet is to sit upright and focus on what your employer is saying.
Of course there are other matters to consider such as removing any piercings & covering tattoos but the above is good start to making a positive first impression. The most important thing to do, which is probably the easiest as well is to simply smile. Smiling is a universal language and employers are more likely to hire you, as they will feel as though you will be a positive contribution to their business.
Dermot Fitzpatrick is the owner of Fitz Solutions Inc. a software development company that creates powerful easy to use software tools for the construction industry. These include estimating, project management and job costing. Custom software design services are also offered.