Is image important in the workplace?
I ask this because once again we have been interviewing several people for the role of client relationship manager.
Some, I know, like to undertake telephone interviews initially, so they can quickly determine if they should progress further with the candidate – and it saves time.
Personally, I like to see the ‘whites of their eyes’ and have that initial impact.
Yes, I am aware that you cannot always tell what someone is like just based on the way they dress and look, but it starts to give an indication of the sort of person they are.
Those who have no idea of the image they create, clearly are not that aware of themselves, and if they are, do they intentionally set out to give that impression?
Now I may be sounding judgemental, but I will give you a couple of examples. One lady turned up in a rather good outfit, but it was about four sizes too small for her, so that from the back you could see the outline of all her underwear and some ample flesh.
Her eyelashes – and I do not exaggerate here – were at least 3 inches long, and I became mesmerised by them to the extent that I almost stopped listening to what she was saying. Yet she answered all the questions well. She came across as friendly, confident and personable.
From her replies, qualifications and CV she was clearly competent, yet I just kept imagining how my clients would respond to her and their reaction on first meeting.
So, she didn’t get the job and you might argue it could be an opportunity lost, but I do not think so. We must have the complete package.
On the other hand, another candidate came suitably dressed had good experience, far less flamboyant, but hardly smiled and lacked personality, even allowing for nervousness.
We wanted someone who was friendly, with a bright personality who would give our clients a warm feeling when they spoke to them.
Our search continues, but I feel strongly that a good personal image will ensure positive, lasting first impressions and can lead to many benefits, including a better job.
Marlene Outrim is managing director of Uniq Family Wealth