People base things on appearance. According to a study, employers are more likely to hire someone who appears more skilled than someone who can be more skilled but presents himself like a slob. If you’re meeting someone for the first time it’s always a good idea to introduce them to your best version. Unfortunately, we have all picked up bad habits that sabotage our chances of making a good first impression. When I don’t feel like buying from someone or hiring someone, I don’t do it no matter how superior their offer may be. The small things during the interaction will allow me to judge if it is worth moving forward in the relationship. Here are some tips about things that I’ve done differently that allowed me to get hired over someone that I felt was superior to me.
1. Arrive 40 minutes early.
Late is never acceptable. Traffic is not an excuse. We live in the Philippines. Makati is now two fucking hours away. Estimate the travel time. The preparation time. Add an extra thirty minutes of traffic even if you’re not expecting any. Arrive 40 minutes early because you want to be prepared for your interview. Not thinking about how you pushed an old lady to the street just to squeeze yourself in to the departing bus or train. Filipino time is your opportunity. If everyone is expected to be late, the person who arrives on time looks superior.
2. Freshen up.
Given all skill levels are the same, I’ll hire the person who looks better. It’s a fact of life. People will hire the better looking candidate. Deal with it. I never worry about my appearance. While I don’t look like John Lloyd Cruz despite some people arguing, I don’t worry about how I look. My face is perfect (if you believe in the Bible, we are created in God’s image) and I don’t worry about something I can’t do anything about. Plastic surgery to look like the actual John Lloyd Cruz is worth a lot of money. What I do worry about is showing up as my worst version. My hair is a mess. I’m all sweaty. My clothes are wrinkled. I have something in my teeth. Poor grooming is a sign of poor performance at work. It’s inefficiency. We are expected to look our best. Heck even James Bond looks good after a chase scene. You should too. The reason I ask you to arrive early is so you can fix your appearance.
3. Dress your best.
Part of fixing your appearance is dressing your best. If you’re not the CEO of a million dollar company, you can’t show up to a meeting dressed in (pambahay) sleep wear. You don’t need an expensive suit. Just make sure what you wear fits right, the color is appropriate. You’ve heard this before. Now go do it.
4. Multiple copies of your resume.
I’ve literally have dozens of interviews because someone random asked for my resume. On my way to a job application or home after an interview, I see an aunt or uncle who finds out I’m looking for work, asks for a copy of my resume because they are on their way to meet a friend who is hiring for a position in their company. There were opportunities in the past when the job is drool-worthy and I didn’t have a resume and they hired someone else the same day. Having spare copies of your resume enable you to tell yourself that if this interview doesn’t go well, I’m going to do a walk in application to the nearby call center and this interview will just be practice for that.
5. Put your story on paper.
I have the bad habit of telling the story twice in the same interview. Sometimes the sequence of my stories are messed up and confusing. Sometimes what I told the interviewer didn’t make any sense and while staying in the smoking area sulking because I didn’t get the job and encountering my interviewer again and them going Shit man I didn’t understand earlier that you had experience in so and so field. We actually had a position for that but we hired the other guy because we thought he was the only one who had the skill. Make sure your story makes sense. Write it down. Analyse it. Write it again. Look for errors. Think of a way to write it better.
6. Make sure your teeth, hair and nails are neat.
When we shook hands I saw the terror in her eyes as she saw my nails.
7. Do not smoke.
When I quit smoking. I hate how a smokers stink whenever I encounter them. Science has proven that smoking is bad for you. Smoking is stupid. Please don’t be stupid.
8. Have breakfast.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Food is fuel and to repair yourself. If you don’t have breakfast, you might run out of gas during an interview. If you feel you’re too smart to have breakfast that’s just stupid.
9. Get more than 8 hours of sleep.
The human body needs energy to accomplish tasks. Sleep enables your body to have enough for your interview.
10. Read your list of accomplishments.
At many points on your way to your interview your negative self talk might give you trouble and self doubt. Don’t let it. Use the list to remind you how awesome you are.
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