First Impressions

I've been thinking about leaving my job recently which means the inevitable interview process.

I hate interviews, I don't think anyone really enjoys them on either side of the table. The problem being you only have a tiny amount of time to sell yourself. Cos that's really what your doing - selling and hopefully the people your talking to are buying. Its even more horrid if you have to do a second interview, as you've got tougher competition and you might have used up all your tricks.

The thing that bugs me is this - first impressions count. Never more so then in an interview.

I think I'm one of those odd people who might grow on you given time but really don't think I make the best first impression. I get nervous and start babbling about nothing or it goes the other way and I end up silent and seeming rude. I had one interview when my answer to everything was "teamwork", I realised afterward I must have sounded very stupid.

So these days I do my best to hide my inner freak at interviews and social occasion, I also have to practice looking comfortable in a shirt, thank goodness I'm not a boy and don't have to deal with a tie!

I just read that the Prime Minister here is offering to pay for unemployed people to get hair cuts before an interview. I think this is a great idea but it does reinforce the whole appearance is everything idea.

Its just the idea that you could miss some of the best things in your life just because it or they didn't make a great first impression...I just wonder about it, there are some people I am really good friends who I never would have guessed I'd become so close to. There are other times when I haven't liked someone and tired for the sake of other people to get along with but its all ended up blowing up - you end up wishing you'd trusted your instincts.

So the question is do we trust our instincts or don't we and how well can you really know someone in 30 mins?


  1. I absolutely hate having to talk in front of a person or group of people, this would include an interview. The key, I think is to take a small pause before answering any question, 1. this appears that you are thinking about the question and shows them you don't jump right at it, 2. it actually gives you a moment to find the best answer. Good luck if you choose this endeavor.

  2. I always ask people about how my interview was. I'm always surprised that they didn't see all my awkward nervousness.

  3. I really enjoy interviewing people. It can be very monotonous but then you find someone who not only has the qualifications, they are articulate and fun to talk to. They have vision and drive. They are someone you want to be around. When I am coaching people on Interviews, I always tell them one thing. You wouldn't be there if you aren't qualified. What they are trying o figure out is if you are someone who can bring in new ideas and, more importantly, if you are someone they want to have around every day. Image is important, we have clothing here for our clients who can't afford suits. Then again, you can dress anyone up. What is inside really counts. Sorry I know this is long but interviewing s a huge part of my job and I get carried away.

  4. Interviews can be fun. Just imagine the people interviewing in their underwear and you'll be fine. :-)

    First impressions in a social situation are a different thing. I think such situations are more intimidating.

  5. I've done my share of interviewing and have been on my share of interviews...When I interview people I like to see them open up and try to come up with some new ideas and at least "appear" to be comfortable with themselves.
    Good luck in whatever you decide.
    (and btw, I'm stealing your Monkey pic for one of my future "Monkey Monday" posts..hehe)

  6. I feel fairly confident in making a decision on personality in 30 minutes. I totally understand abt hiding the inner freak! OMIgod! I waay understand that! There are all these regulations that say looks aren't suppose to matter, but guess what? They do. And if they don't like the way you look then they will find another reason not to hire you.
    All I can say is GOOD LUCK!
    oh, and thank you for passing by my place :)

  7. If the prime minister is willing to pay for a hair cut, what will he give me if I offer to shower. It's been a long time. I've held out hoping someone would pay for hygiene. Be still my heart.

    Hey, if you can't find a job, let me know. I'll hire you. I can't pay you and there are no benefits. So I'm like the perfect employer.

  8. I've never been one to make a good first impression; especially if it's a panel interview. Good luck with the job hunt though.

  9. Ppl shouldnt stress about interviews, I mean, what is so scary, sitting opposite you, is a human being, such as yourself... there is no harm that can be inflicted on you.... but still, knowing this all of us still normally sh!t our pants when we have interviews! Just go there, be as friendly and vibey as you can be, and instead of saying "teamwork" alot, mention "ass kisser" whahahahaha...

  10. Oh Ms. Shawdowfalcon, I have the least experience when it comes to job interview whereas my D is so good at it as he changes a few job over more than 20 years.

    I do agree that there is an element of being bais by interviewer and first impression definitely counts.

    I'll say, be yourself and sincere and even if you don't get that job, you gain the experience :D

    Good luck pal!

  11. Trust your instinct is rarely wrong...and never judge a book by its cover, thats just asking for trouble:)
    But interviews are jukky:)
    keep well, shadow:)

  12. I definately hate interviews and I am completely not good with first impressions either! I grow on people.. good luck with jobs and interviews!

  13. Very interesting question.
    Instinct is sometimes all a person has to go on, it is almost like a sixth sense.
    I believe instinct is ones unconscious thinking process which is not affected by outside influences the conscious thinking would be prone to, such as duty, ideal answers, what others want to hear, etc.
    In dangerous situations where one does not have time to analyse the situation, it is all they have to go on.
    When it comes to multiple choice questions in things like relationship/IQ tests, one is asked to use their instinct more than their head and it would often give the right answer, odd I know
    I am not saying that your instinct is always right because it isn’t, but a large amount of the time it is. I rely on it a lot when it comes to First Impression (yes I am getting back to the subject). I am personally a shallow person that judges one by their appearance, yes I know a bad habit and I have been proven wrong on more than one occasion.

    As for would I trust my instinct otherwise, when I am lost I would. The unfortunate situation is I am also a very forgetful person and would not always be able to remember how I felt and by that time I would have over thought the situation (yes another bad habit)

    As for how well you can know a person in 30 minutes, not very well.
    For example. I have known Shadowfalcon for almost 9 years now, I still do not completely know what the girl likes or not like. On some occasions I find that the longer you know a person, the less you know about them.
    When it comes to an interview, people are set to impress or impose; sometimes it is all just acting for the occasion or saying what you know they want to hear. Lets face it they do not care if you are the right person for the job or if you would get along with others in the team. Their way of saying if they care if the guidelines that they have (job description) which could be interpreted differently by different people and at different times of the day. Eg. when they have heard the answer 10 times previously they would be bored or at the end of the day they are desperate to go home and do not really listen to what you say, etc

    If you have no idea of what I have just written, no worries, I generally waffle and talk bs anyway

  14. interviews are evil, i know, i've been going through them like no-one's business
    and i still can't get a job
    last week was the worst one though...they gave me feedback in that i would be pretty much perfect for the position, but i didn't tick enough of the boxes for them...dammit!

  15. Sam-girl seems to have the right attitude, as most of our nerves are self-doubt related, and what's the point of that. So many people in life want to trip you up, so knowing that - blow wind at your caution!

    I will tomorrow: have a job interview for a cushy part-time slot...

    Good luck Falcon-San in your job search.

  16. Hello!
    This text is very good, thank you
    Good week for you

  17. I always over-do the interview. My problem is just relaxing enough not to look like some spastic idiot. The need-to-please is definitely my problem in these situation.

    Be glad you're not me.

  18. Appearance matters in that it says something about how you approach your (future) job, but you're not likely to make a different/better impression if you wear a white shirt as opposed to a dark top, or a grey suit as opposed to a blue one IYSWIM.
    I once interviewed a lady for a key position in a conservative and male dominated industry. She arrived dressed in a red mini-skirt suit, plunging neckline, fishnet tights and stiletto heels. When I went out to meet her, she looked bored and didn't even bother to smile and stand up when we shook hands (limp handshake too). Had I made up my mind that she was unsuitable before I even lead her into the interview room? You bet I had. As it happened, she was awful at interview so there was no question of considering her, but if she'd done OK and dress/presence/sensible appearance had come into it, she'd have lost out.
    The moral of the story is, don't worry about showing them your true self and whether you're likeable or not at first sight, just concentrate on looking tidy and professional (i.e. dress appropriately for the industry and position you're going for, if in doubt dress more formally), stand up when you meet your interviewer, make eye contact, smile and shake their hand. That's first impressions over and done with. You can now concentrate on selling your skills and experience :-)

  19. Good luck with the interviews, too!

  20. Oy, interviews always make me nervous. My husband and I did a wedding montage with a "love story" where we were interviewed about why we love each other so much. And the whole time, I kept lookign up and to the right as if the answers were hiddin in the ceiling. You'd think I'd ace this interview, I mean I married the guy!

  21. First impressions are important, but unfortunately, I am usually asked to speak, which makes it hard for me to impress (by that I mean not offend) anyone ;-)

  22. Um, OK - how did I not see the gorilla in the tennis-wear the first time? How did I miss that?!

  23. I have an interview for college next year, which I am not all that much looking forward to!
    I am, however, normally quite a good judge of people's character, but I do sometimes get it wrong.
    And when the Prime Minister leaves this year, who will pay for all the haircuts?

  24. What a PM you have: The solution for the unemployed: Vote for me and get a free haircut when going to a job-interview. My godness, if that's the standard, I would rather leave the country and lit off the light behind me.

    Job interview: It is also paramont for you to be sure if you really want to work for that particular company. Do they have a culture where you'll feel well?
    Be yourself, if you not, you will be revealed at once. It's much better to say you are nervous 'cause this assignment looks so great.

    Ooops. 3 am. Good Luck:))

  25. Ugh....after working from home for so long...I don't evvenknow where I keep my pants!

  26. mmm... last interview was about 5 years ago.

  27. I don't think we can know anyone well in 30 minutes. Some of the best friends I have are folks that took months to develop friendships with.

    I guess the 30 minute interview is good for assessing skills, but not necessarily character. The company is always taking a chance -- that's why they usually also ask for references.

  28. I just got a new job and have been in training all week. I hate interviews too. I'm always so nervous. What do I wear? Make sure it's cute but professional, things like that. I stress over what I'm going to say even if it's just the simplest of answers. You know what sucks even more than the interview? Training... you have to learn all the things to do at your new job, all the people working their, how things are run, and you are all of a sudden the NEWBIE at the bottom rung of the ladder.

  29. Shadow F, re: comment below - I got my job, part-time though it was. Went in relaxed as I hypnotised myself into thinking they would be foolish not to hire me. It worked!

    But also: I got questions in early and helped 'shape' the discourse - I think that's part of the key.

    More good luck's from a bad looker who had muchos luck this week

  30. I meant of course: re - comment above!

  31. I am very glad some of the people who I have interviewed with in the past were not wearing their underwear...although our current HR department has a lot of very attractive individuals, I can hardly wait for my performance review ;)

  32. I look at interviews as a chance for both parties to suss each other out. Also, I'm willing to trust the interviewer's judgement if they think I'm not suitable for a job - I'd rather that then get a job and then hate it.

  33. I find interviews hellish...and i'm different every time i do it...

    So the PM is paying for people's haircuts...huh - is it a good stylist! ;-)


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