Have you ever judged someone within the first few seconds of meeting them? Judged them on their looks, clothes, voice tone and manner, how they carry themselves…and then created a pre-conceived image of who they are. I think the answer would be yes.
As humans, we do this ALL the time. We are hard-wired to formulate impressions each time we see something, hear something, read something and meet someone. This is no different when it comes to applying for jobs or recruiting someone for a job.
How so might you ask?
As an applicant, you’ve already made an impression even before speaking or meeting a recruiter or potential employer. It starts off with your resume. It’s already been critiqued and hopefully, been selected out of the hundreds of other applicants to progress to an interview. Therefore it is crucial to have a strong resume. For information about how to write and present one, the FlexCareers blog has some terrific tips.
We all appreciate interviews are tough, for candidates and recruiters alike. Interview skills and interviewing well are not things we’re educated on. They are skills that we have to develop later in life. It’s a bit of a trial an error at the best of times and it isn’t something everyone’s naturally good at.
In fact, it can be downright nerve-racking especially when you’re facing two or more people across a table whom you’ve never met before. And although the saying goes ‘ we learn from our mistakes’, it’s common practice to receive little to no feedback on why you haven’t been successful, leaving you to make the same mistakes again and again.
Having spent hundreds of hours interviewing people over my career, I’ve found there are 3 levels of engagement to perform a successful interview.
Proper attire is fundamental and one I think we can all attest too. Our eyes are the very first sense that we use. Based on the industry that you’re in, certain attire will be considered the norm. For example, if you are applying for a job in media, you may dress on trend and edgy or more conservatively if you are applying for a government role. Either way, you can still show your personality but it is adjusting it to fit the industry.
It is easy for most of us to communicate and most of us would say we are good at it. However, when applying for a job and during an interview, how you relay your message to the other person is considered an ‘art’. There are two important factors to consider.
- What you say – Using casual and colloquial words (as if you’re talking to a friend) can set the image you’re not professional. On the other hand, using constant technical jargon, with verbs thrown in, won’t work either. Using business communication with some punchy verbs in short concise sentences is what employers and recruiters are looking for.
- How you say it – Talking too fast, too slow, too loudly or too quietly has a huge effect on how you’re being perceived. The tone of your voice is crucial to how you’re being perceived. Saying what you need to say with purpose and confidence will set you apart from other candidates.
I use this to describe the Personal Image/Brand component. It is often the area in which people struggle the most. Yes, appearance and finding your own individual style and conveying that is part of it. But verbalising your personal image/brand is a bigger part. Now, we’ve all heard the saying ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’, but when being interviewed it is the opposite.
You need to create a picture with your words. That means talking about your achievements (including what you’ve achieved during career breaks), what you’ve worked on and who with as well as talking up the value you have added to your organisation, department, team, manager and so on. This needs to be conveyed through stories and examples, making it easier for the other person/people to imagine and picture who you are – your personal brand.
If you break it down, personal branding is made up of thoughts, ideas, perception and opinions. Since it is made up of these, you have the power to influence the other person’s thoughts. In turn, they paint the picture of you you want them to see.
Thai is an entrepreneur, coach and speaker. With 10 years corporate recruitment experience, he’s learnt to take the recruitment blueprint and break it down to its core structure. Providing clarity on career paths across every industry and deep insights on the hiring psyche of employers, recruiters and people through his business Careerists.
Over the course of his career, he has interviewed hundreds of people in his career and provided operational and strategic recruitment expertise across industries such as Finance, IT, Telecommunications, Government, Utilities, Education and Mining. Thai’s coaching has helped individuals gain employment in corporate companies by providing clarity on career paths as well as arming them with insider-recruitment techniques to succeed.
You can connect with Thai for a FREE 30min chemistry session to discuss your coaching needs here.