We all know the saying “first impressions count” but do they, really? Well, apparently so. We teamed up with You Image Consultancy to discuss how you can make the right impact at that all-important job interview.
Dress to impress
The first thing people see when they first view someone is what they wear. While we are all told that ‘you should never judge a book by its cover’, our immediate visual response is something quite different.
For our natural human instinct kicks in, which is based on a prehistoric need to identify threats to our safety. Ultimately, we have little control over it. This means people make judgements based on what they see. We are visually dominant. And fundamentally, we believe what we see first over what we are told.
7 second countdown
Research shows that face to face, it takes just 7 seconds to make an impression on someone. Within these few seconds we all make profound judgments about age, background, education, health, wealth and experience, before you have even got the opportunity to say anything.
If you do not dress for success at an interview, the panel will have made all those judgements about you right from the start. They may even decide not to give the job to you even before you have had the chance to tell them how great you are.
Get a head start
You need to make an immediate positive impact. Your non-verbal communication has a much more profound affect than what you subsequently tell the interview panel.
Some research has shown that recruiters make their minds up within the first 15 seconds of interviews. The rest of the interview is then used for backing-up their initial feelings about the candidate.
Clearly you must follow a good first impression with the know-how, it is no good just looking the part. But dressing and grooming in the right and appropriate way will give you a huge head start.
Making the best first impression that you can, means that they will already think you can do a good job for them. They are more likely to give you the opportunity to fully explain your suitability for the job.
Maximise your personal image
Unfortunately, the negative effect we make on people is often more profound than the positive. Trying to convince an employer to change their mind if their first impression of you is a poor one is very difficult.
Your personal image is one of your most powerful interview tools to project your skills talents and values. Of course, there is never any substitute for knowledge, skills and expertise but for interview, you should show this first, in your appearance.