I am a Managing Director of a large British based marketing Firm. Every week I interview people or read CVs or look at presentations from people trying to sell me their services. I know what it takes to get noticed, I know what it takes to look professional, and I know what it takes to get the job. Here I am going to give all you interviewees a few tips on how to land that job or get that contract.
The first thing I am going to tell you is that within 20 seconds of you waking into my office I will know whether or not you will walk out of it with what you want. How do I come to that decision? Presentation.
The obvious things first – wear a suit, wear good shoes, run a comb through your hair – present a positive image of yourself; straight back, firm hand shake and we are off to a good start.
The next phase of observation that you will undergo is your ‘peripherals’ – briefcase, laptop bag, maybe your car, your presentation folder or laptop, your business card, perhaps a customised clipboard. Individually these items are insignificant, like one of Monet’s Water Lilies; collectively they can paint a beautiful picture.
Think for a second. If you work for a company, or indeed own one, where is your logo? On a plastic badge? Take it off; I want to see professionalism – letterheads, presentation folders, business cards, custom folders – all things you can brand. The first 20 seconds are all about projecting your image.
It is infuriating for me when someone comes into my office and hasn’t taken the time to prepare themselves properly. It is the realm of the interview process that the interviewee has complete control over and it is one of the most important aspects of the interview, if you want to succeed – do not over-look it.
For those of you that are willing to go the extra mile – you will be rewarded, project yourself and your business as a positive, well organised machine and you will walk out of my office smiling. Don’t and you probably won’t.