Projecting a Professional Image

Career & WorkplaceInterviewingJob Search

Projecting a Professional Image
By now everyone has heard about people being hired and then either dismissed during the probationary period or shunned to the back room because of tattoos and/or piercings. Because these displays of individuality are becoming more common, you might not give it a second thought when you arrive at your interview with a nose ring. The truth is: you should be giving your appearance a second thought when looking for employment.
As part of your job search/interview prep, you need to determine the climate of the place where you are applying. Some companies have no problem with body art or multiple piercings. However, other work environments consider them to be detrimental to the company image. While it’s rare that a stellar candidate would be automatically excluded based on this alone, in a tough job market where there are several great candidates vying for every position, it could be problematic.
New graduates need to remember that it’s rare that others of their immediate generation will be the ones hiring. You will generally be interviewed by someone who has been in the workforce for a number of years, so their standards are the ones you need to be mindful of when deciding whether or not to wear your piercings to job interviews or on the job.
On the other hand, some companies may simply not care at all.
Common sense advice: research the company prior to applying for the job. Of course the reality is that often people apply to every place with an opening. Either way, add to your list of things to look into the personal grooming policies of the company regarding tattoos and piercings.
You want to project a professional image that is inline with others at the company. Abiding by the dress code in the environment you’re applying to will save you from entering into an awkward situation with the hiring manager, and, could even be the difference in getting the job or politely being shown the door.

Interview Follow up for Maximum Success

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You have a killer resume and you feel like you aced the interview. If you want to maximize the positive impression that you leave following an interview, be sure to send a thank you note to the interviewer.
Keep the interviewer thinking about you
With so many people applying for every job, you need to set yourself apart from the crowd even after the interview is finished. This is often even more important than the initial impression because the interviewer is looking to actually hire or do second interviews at this point. You need them to think about you in positive terms for this to happen, and when they receive your thank you letter after the interview, you are showing them that you were grateful for the opportunity to talk with them, as well as are serious about the job.
Exhibit class and ambition
Face it, the competition is steep, but as every company is now finding out, it’s not all about the skills. Many people with matching skills are going to apply for the same jobs. Just because they have the skills to do the actual job doesn’t necessarily make them a good fit for working well with a team in a corporate setting. A simple thank you note for the interviewer’s time and consideration shows that you are not only ambitious, but that you also have the class to recognize social protocols. This attribute can be invaluable in a business setting and is not something that even the best resume communicates.
Show courtesy
Courtesy is very often lacking in the workplace. Always remember that while you are applying for a job in a company, the person doing the hiring is is also human. Showing them courtesy is a great way to generate a positive attitude on the part of that person. More importantly, if you flubbed part of the interview, it also gives the interviewer a reason to overlook the mistake and give you a chance.  If you are courteous before being hired, then chances are you will be a pleasant person to work with. Remember…being polite never hurt anyone!

Good Interview Etiquette

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Good Interview Etiquette
Job interviews are unlike any other social interaction. An interview is one of the few places where you go into it knowing that you are going to be judged and that how you perform in front of those judging you will have a direct impact on your professional future. Job interviews will also have their own expected manners and behaviors that you should follow in order to make the best impression you can. If you do that, then you can relax after your interview knowing that you did the best you could and no matter what happens, you can move on without too much disappointment.

  • Dress Your Best: Wear an outfit appropriate for the interview. Make sure it is not too tight or revealing. While you need to be comfortable during the interview, you also want the interviewer to be comfortable, and not distracted by your attire.
  • Smile: This is imperative. It seems simple, but a smile will put your interviewer at ease and will help you appear more confident.
  • Do not interrupt: This also seems simple and obvious, but you would be amazed at how many people do not understand or follow this rule of etiquette. In other social interactions you may be able to get away with interrupting someone, but you can’t get away with it in an interview and also get the job. Wait until you are sure your interviewer has finished speaking before answering questions or giving your input.
  • Look interested: Even if you are not interested, make the effort to look like you are. Make eye contact with the interviewer and others in the room who may be speaking to you regarding the job. If your interviewer feels you are not interested in them and what they are saying, they will be turned off and will return the favor by not being interested in what you have to say.

Following these common sense tips will help to ensure you are putting your best foot forward during your interview. They don’t take extra effort, you just have to think about what is happening and what you are doing in order to make sure you are following good interview etiquette and ultimately leaving the interviewer with a great impression of what you can offer in the workplace.