First Impressions

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First Impressions, Article by Tulsa staffing expert Cory Minter

Let me tell you a story that happened this morning:  I received an e-mail from one of our large clients and they asked for me to schedule an interview for a position that they were needing to fill immediately.  With their request, they made it very clear that they wanted someone who was well kept and had a professional appearance.  They then listed to me their dress code policies which included:  Brushed Hair.  Makeup to be professional (for women), no tattoos showing, clothes pressed neatly and only 1 earing per ear (for women).  They asked for me to arrange an interview with one of our applicants.

This applicant had come from work to interview with us and (being a Medical Assistant) she was wearing scrubs.  So, we really didn’t get a good view of how she would dress when asked to dress in professional attire.  So, I found it even more important to review with her their dress code policies and expressed the importance they had on these policies.  She said that she understood and would make sure and pay be well presented.  So anyway, she showed up to the interview the next morning in jeans, without combing her hair, her clothes were all very wrinkled and she had a tattoo showing on her foot.  As a result, I was contacted immediately from our client and they were NOT HAPPY as she had probably broken every dress code policy they had in her INTERVIEW!

The applicant called me and told me that the interview she thought went very well.  She said that it was short, but wanted to know what they thought.  I had to tell her what they had said.  I asked her; did she remember what I told her their policies were?  She told me that she did, but that she didn’t think they would be looking at her feet (referring to the tattoo on her foot).  She was just so obviously clueless as to why she was not hired.

I want to help every job seeker out there that thinks this way.  This person is a very nice person and is very capable to do the job.  However, she just does not see the importance of showing someone a good first impression.  As humans when we meet anyone, we immediately create perceptions in our mind.  We can’t help it.  It is very similar to dating.  When you met someone of the opposite sex, you immediately put them in categories of YES……NO…….or……MAYBE.  I want to remind you that all humans do this and interviewers of all industries will do the same.  It is imperative that you give a good first impression.

What is so sad is that this person is so very nice and expressed to our office that she really needs a job.  She also had some personal circumstances that made our office really want to see her succeed, but she just killed a great opportunity that she really needed.  In this economy, it is very difficult for many people who are out of work.  My encouragement to you is that you will not let your first impression (especially based on how you dress) to be the reason you are not considered.  I hope that your next interview is a great success!