First Impressions Make Lasting Ones

I am always left a little taken aback when I read articles about Interviewing Do’s and Don’ts. This morning a candidate came to our office for an interview with pants dragging on the ground and soaking wet hair. She was a lovely woman but her presentation put her at the end of the line for potential job interviews. After spending over twenty-five years in the staffing industry, I am amazed that people still don’t pay attention to the details that they can control and improve upon. My philosophy is to always control what you can! There are so many variables when job hunting that you can’t control why not at least control the few things that you can?

Although the economy is in a much better place than it was last year and the unemployment rate is on the decline instead of incline, the job competition is still fierce. It’s time to take stock of your entire image and take personal accountability. Here is a check list of essentials when preparing for an interview or when networking to find a job:

  • Wear a classic style business suit – classics never die! Knee length skirt or plain pantsuit, and not trendy
  • Always wear closed- toe shoes, nothing strappy or stiletto-like and always wear pantyhose
  • Keep make-up light with no heavy eyeliner, colorful shadows, or bright a lipstick. Stick to neutrals
  • Do NOT chew gum, bring a food or drink to the interview, or eat at any time during the entire interview process
  • Leave your cell phone in the car! A text message or phone call can wait until you return
  • Limit what you bring to your interview. You will need multiple copies of your resume, a portfolio (with questions from the research you did prior to your meeting) and a pen. The more you bring with you, the more likely something will either fall or spill, or you will leave an item or two behind
  • If you are a smoker: DO NOT smoke before your interview. Everyone can smell it
  • Do not wear heavy cologne or perfume, remove any multiple piercings and cover up any tattoos

These recommendations are for professional corporate job opportunities; all companies are not alike. I am speaking from experience and specific to making a good first impression only! Once you land your dream job you will have plenty of time to distinguish yourself and show your individuality and personality. Best of luck with your career search!

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