Impression Formation: It Doesn’t Stop After the Interview
Posted on June 6, 2012 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)
Think about how we all typically prepare for a formal job interview. We wear our best business suit to “dress the part.” We arrive with a padfolio in hand looking very sharp and professional. While it is very important to have the first impression with a recruiter be very strong, we tend to forget that the process does not end after an interview.
You just got out of a job interview and you are feeling very confident and that you just knocked that interview out of the ballpark. You get the call the following day with the news you were hoping for; you have been offered the job. The night before your first day and you are feeling on top of the world. You wake up the next day, grab some clothes that have been in your laundry basket for a few days and head off to work. On your way to work, you realize you forgot how long it really took to get to the company and you end up late to your first day.
Believe it or not, these mistakes happen more than we think. In speaking with various human resource professionals, I have been surprised by the stories I have heard. Sometimes it appears that job candidates put on a really good show for an interview and then slack when they actually get the job. This sends a message to the new employer and it is certainly not a positive message.
We have all been taught that first impressions are very important and can be powerful as well. While showing up to an interview “looking the part” is a good idea, it is not a good idea to then let yourself be too comfortable. It is true that we only get one time at a first impression. But, it is more harmful when our first impression is not truly a reflection of ourselves. Arriving on your first day late ruins the credibility that you worked so hard to build up with the first impression. In turn, not showing care in how you appear sends a dangerous message to your new employer.
Think of making new friends. The first time you meet a new friend they demonstrate to you that they are trustworthy and honest. However, after confiding in them you find out they have been spreading all your confidential information around. Are you really going to trust this friend again? Of course not! The same can apply to an employee that acts a certain way in job interviews and turns out to be very different once on the job.
The bottom line: show your true self in an interview so there is no question what you will be like on the job. You should have to or want to change your entire being just to get a job.