Perception is Reality

Perception is Reality in Interviews

Come on guys. I know you have heard this. If you dress professional, you act and feel professional. It’s so true!! Not only that, you leave a lasting impression on your interviewer. Not too long ago, a candidate arrived for an interview in jeans, a wrinkled dress shirt that had a stain. Yikes! Immediately, the impression was, “Who was this bum?” Interestingly enough, I met this candidate at a job fair. He had a resume in hand, suit, and tie. WOW! I was very impressed. Needless to say, the guy didn’t get the job. Was it only because of his interview ensemble? No, but it definetely started the interview out on a sour note.

Perception is Reality

When I interview for a job I am interested in, I arrive early and sit in my car for about 10 min. I do visualization. I envision myself qualified for the job and saying all the right things. I also think of positive words and qualifications I know I posess. It’s kind of like pumping yourself up before the big game. If you come into the interview not believing in yourself, how do you think you will be able to articulate your qualifications and skills in the interview? Not so much I’m imagining.

Arriving to your interview on time and looking your best is all part of your Marketing Plan I’ve talked so much about. It’s all about the packaging. You wouldn’t buy a car that was dirty, smelly, and covered in muck. So why present yourself for an interview like that?

Two days before the interview, run through your dress and try everything on. How you would dress for an interview depends on the position you are interviewing for as well as the company and its culture. How you would dress for a legal assistant in a conservative law firm is completely different from a graphic designer with a trendy, progressive company. Get a friend to give you their honest opinion and first impression. Take your clothes to the dry cleaners and get them pressed professionally. Be conservative with dress, makeup, and jewelry. Don’t wear over overpowering cologne or perfume. Good luck!!

Next time. . . Interviewing Technique for almost any interview question

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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