Do you know that you speak volumes before you even open your mouth? When you meet someone for the first time, it simply takes them one quick observation to decide what type of person you are. This is never truer than when interviewing for a job. Regardless of who you are, your interviewer will judge you with a quick glance. This is why first impression is important!
Why Is First Impression So Important?
I remember my first job interview. I was a fresh graduate applying for a job at a telecom company called Singtel. However, I wasn’t sure if I had the experience needed for the job. So I masked my nervous energy with a power pose. I strode into the interview room in a white blouse and a pair of black slacks. I did my best to answer all the interviewer’s questions.
Thankfully, I managed to land that job, but it still seemed like a miracle to me. I was sure I didn’t have the experience needed but I was glad I made a good first impression.
This is why first impression is crucial. Especially during these hard times of an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, where job opportunities are fewer than the number of applicants. As appealing your résumé may be, you need to command your potential employer’s attention. One effective way is by making a good first impression!
So, How Does One Make A Good First Impression?
It takes only a quick glance, within a tenth of a second, for someone to evaluate you when you meet for the first time. In this short time, the other person forms an opinion about you from your appearance, your body language, your demeanour, your mannerism, and how you are dressed.
Here are a few tips to help you make sure the opinion they arrive at from your appearance is a good one.
1. Personal Grooming Shows That You Respect Yourself
Daily grooming is important! Especially at your place of work. Your health, as well as the health of others, depend on your personal hygiene and grooming. This doesn’t mean an over-the-top make-up and use of fancy accessories. It simply means to neatly comb your hair and making sure your nails are clean. Simple gestures like these show your potential employer that you respect yourself enough to keep yourself well-groomed.
Other things you should make sure of before attending an interview are:
a. Make sure your shoes are polished and in good condition.
b. Your nails are very important. Always make sure they are clean, trimmed and neatly manicured.
c. Fragrance can be helpful. A pleasant-smelling candidate can leave a lasting impression. However make sure not to wear too much that it could give your interviewer a headache. Use very little or not at all.
d. Untrimmed facial hair is a no-no. Consider clean-shaven or trim it neatly before interviews.
2. Manners Maketh Man!
It goes without saying that good manners and courtesy help to make a good first impression. In fact, anything less can ruin the one chance you have at creating that first impression. But, what does it mean to be polite in this day day and age?
Manners Maketh ManWilliam Horman, a headmaster at Eton and Winchester College in the early Tudor period of English history
It is important to set aside modern day distractions. For instance, turn off your mobile phone and pay full attention to your interviewer. Do not get sidetracked by others around you. After all, what type of first impression would you create if you are more interested in talking to someone else?
Always ask yourself if your roles were reversed, and you were interviewing someone who presented the behaviour you just did, would you hire yourself?
3. Oh, Look At That Body Language!
You might not realise it, but I am sure you read body language every day too. If you were to see your mum slouching as she did her daily chores, that would suggest that maybe your mum is tired.
Same goes for your potential employers and interviewers. They have been doing this for a long time and some of them even go to specific courses to learn to read your body language!
So, watch your movements. Remember to walk briskly with an easy stride. Another tip is to avoid fidgeting. Why? Excessive movements may signal nervousness and jitteriness. Confident people are more controlled with their movements.
Of course, all these are meaningless if you don’t smile! Smiling shows you enjoy being with others. Your smile must be sincere. Many people think they are smiling when they are grimacing or sneering.
4. Dress For Success!
Clothes make a strong visual statement about how you see yourself. Comfort may aid productivity but don’t wear sandals, t-shirts and jeans. You might think you are expressing your individuality, but you could also be sending the message that you’re not a serious professional.
There’s a reason why a business suit is called that – a BUSINESS suit. A suit has the power all on its own to imbue a sense of confidence and prominence in anyone who wears it. Hence, the reason suits are considered an unofficial corporate uniform.
An Upgrade To Your Style Can Help Improve Your First Impression
Most of us are taught how to dress in college. My lecturers constantly reminded me that one white blouse and a pair of black slacks are what you need to create a good impression. But, is that enough?
Maybe. There is nothing wrong with buying a business suit from H&M or Zara but most fast-fashion retailers cater to high volume sale by mass production. That limits size to S/M/L/XL. Every individual’s body measurements are unique and these sizes don’t snugly fit most of us.
That’s why getting a well-fitted outfit that is unique to our body is advantageous. A properly fitted suit will not only fit comfortably, but also give you the confidence you need to make you look like a professional.
Common Fashion Issues We All Face
Of course, tailored business attire isn’t cheap. However, allow me to reiterate that you don’t need dozens of tailored suit. You simply need one especially if you’re only starting out. Unlike fast-fashion, you don’t have to settle for suits that don’t even fit you well and resulting in poor fit, hence projecting a poor body language.
You only need one good suit. Anything more than one is a bonus. Spend what’s left of your limited budget on cheaper shirts/blouses, slacks/skirts, ties/scarves and shoes that you can mix and match with, and still appear business appropriate.
Of course when you become more financially stable, you can slowly upgrade your wardrobe, and start adding in more pieces to your collection. But so far, buy interchangeable pieces that you know can match that one suit.
If you don’t know where to start, perhaps you could take a look at Pinky Tailor Malaysia.
A Tailor Who Understands The Needs And Limitations Of Young Executives
Guruvinder Singh, affectionately known as Guru, founded Pinky Tailor Malaysia as a branch of the famed Pinky Tailor Bangkok. Pinky Tailor Malaysia embraces the same quality craftsmanship and uses top quality fabric as its predecessor. But in addition to that, Pinky Tailor has an advantage in that Guru actually started his career in the banking industry. This gives him the unique advantage of understanding the corporate culture, and the limitations faced by the young executives trying to fit into the corporate culture.
Every tailor worth their salt are fully capable of tailoring top quality business suits, using the finest fabrics. But what sets Pinky Tailor apart is that Guru is also able to cater to younger customers with limited budgets. Lower budget doesn’t necessarily mean generic tailoring, using inferior fabrics. Guru is able to guide his customers through the luxurious world of bespoke tailoring, to arrive at a comfortable middle ground. Middle ground because business suits are investment pieces, and can make or break one’s climb up the corporate ladder. It makes sense to spend a little bit more to invest in quality, but not get duped into spending unnecessarily.
Establishing The Right First Impression Is Easy
Now that you have gone through all the tips, are you more confident that you’re going to ace that interview? I hope you are. Remember, your potential employers and interviewers are going to judge you based on that quick glance of you.
Rest assured that if you’ve done your homework, and know how to put your best foot forward, you are already better than most of your peers out there. Practise some power poses and wear your best outfit. Also, if you are ready to get a well-fitted tailored suit, check out Pinky Tailor Malaysia. You are now ready to make the proper first impression! And don’t forget that smile.