The Simplest Things…

It doesn’t matter if you’re interviewing for CEO position or showing up for a catering job, attention to detail is the key to success.
We’re not talking about some high level skill or job-related task. The most important thing you bring to an interview or to a job is not your training or experience. Obviously they are important, but there is something far more important to your success.
The most important thing you take with you into your future is you! How do you present yourself to others? What do others sense when they meet you?
All the cliches apply here. Your book will be judged by its cover. First impressions do count, and sadly too often they are the only thing that matters.
What kind of preparation do you give yourself for your interview? Obviously you won’t know all the questions you might be asked. Very often people worry more about what might happen rather than what is happening.
You certainly won’t be able to control what your interviewer will say or do, but you have all the control over what he or she will experience when they meet you. Devote at least as much time preparing your appearance as you do thinking about the interview. One is something you can control, the other is all theory until you get there. You can bet that things will be much smoother at the interview if the first impression you give is favorable.
Are you dressed appropriately?  Is your hair presentable?  We developed some grooming tips that are designed for caterers, but what works for pleasing guests at high end events are worth sharing with all job seekers.  See item #3.”Grooming” in this article.
Most people acquire most of their information visually. Assume that your dress and grooming will register unconsciously with your prospective employer if you give a favorable impression. On the other hand anything that attracts conscious attention will likely be a problem for you. An example could be provocative dress for a woman, or a stained shirt on a man. You want to fit yourself to the positive picture an employer has in mind for the new employee. In other words you want to show up looking like the person the employer wants to hire. Invariably that is someone well groomed and  properly dressed.
While most people take in their information visually, the most powerful sense we possess is smell. Think skunk; when you do, can you think of anything else? Strong scents tend to overpower all the other senses.  The point?  No perfume, after shave or any other strong smelling personal care products. What’s true for what we present visually is ten times more important here: we do not want any odor to draw conscious attention.
Smokers are at a distinct disadvantage these days.  When everyone smoked, everyone smelled the same.  No more.  Smokers are an unprotected minority, and they are so easily identifiable that it’s no problem smelling a smoker as they drive past on the street.  This is not news to non-smokers, but it does appear to surprise some smokers. So in case there’s any doubt:  once you’ve showered in preparation, do not light up until you return home from the interview or event.
For people working catering events, be sure you follow these guidelines. For those scheduled for interviews, if you have any doubts about your appearance, call us. We can help you.  Usually we are personally familiar with the client’s workplace. You can also stop by our office on your way to the interview just to be sure you’re good to go.
That little bit of confirmation just might give you the confidence to wow your next employer!

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