Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Help for the unemployed - top tips for interviews

Top tips for turning interviews into job offers
Today’s employment statistics (http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/lms/labour-market-statistics/june-2012/index.html) reveal an improvement, but employment opportunities in the UK remain limited. The owner of a Warwickshire image consultancy is offering advice on making sure you turn an interview into a job offer.

Established in 1984, First Impressions is a leading international image consultancy that advises people on how to manage their appearance so that it’s appropriate for every situation – whether this is socially or in a business context. It is also the leading provider of image skills training for those wishing to pursue a career in the industry and has four licensed training providers around the world; Geneva, Moscow, Singapore and most recently added China in November 2011.

Lyn Bromley, managing director of First Impressions Training Ltd, says: “Of course, it should go without saying that you need to prepare your responses to likely questions in advance of an interview, but it is also crucial to pay attention to your image. Research has shown that managers make up their minds on a subconscious level long before they make the formal hiring decision and this impression is all based upon our appearance, behaviour and the way we communicate.”

So, assuming that a positive first impression is more likely to lead to a job offer, how do you make sure you have the right impact?

Lyn says: “The advice I always give is to dress for the job you want, rather than the job you have. Spend time and effort in ensuring that you look the part for an interview. Do some research to discover what the dress code and culture of the company is so you can dress in a way that is appropriate for the role you are applying for.
“Don’t underestimate the power of wearing an outfit that makes you feel good. Often young people or the long term unemployed suffer from a lack of confidence which can easily be interpreted negatively by an interviewer. When we look good on the outside it helps you feel good on the inside.”
Lyn’s top tips for interview success are:

· Find out as much about the organisation as possible – read and absorb information sent to you and visit their website and premises to check it out
· Spend time looking at existing employees and how they dress
· Dress for the job you want, not necessarily the job you are applying for
· Wear the right colours to reinforce your message from a colour psychology perspective
· Ensure the quality and fit of clothes is correct
· Good grooming, with attention to detail
· Use positive body language
· Make sure your handshake is of the right strength - matching the person you are shaking hands with - but definitely no ‘wet lettuce’ or bear-grip handshakes!
· Carry a good quality leather briefcase or smart portfolio-style handbag and a have a good quality pen with you
· Don’t wear anything distracting such as a cartoon tie, dangly earrings, fussy scarves or anything brightly patterned
· Check your reflection in a full length mirror before you leave for the interview – remember the back view too!

Lyn concludes: “We all have a personal brand, whether we are aware of it or not, so it is much better to consciously communicate a brand image that is congruent with who we are, rather than taking a haphazard approach to it.”
For further details about workshops run at First Impressions Training, please contact enquiries@firstimpressions.uk.com

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