Posts Tagged ‘professional attire’

The Job That Should Have Been Yours

Monday, March 8th, 2010

After 11 years and over a thousand interviews with candidates for searches I’ve worked on, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met someone that should have been great for a position, but either didn’t get presented to the client by me, or didn’t get the job once they interviewed. Has this ever been you?

If it has, you might have committed one of the job killer crimes. OK, so I just came up with that term, but to me it does seem like a crime when a great candidate comes up short because of a trait, a comment, a demeanor, or something else that doesn’t serve them well in the interview. I’ll share a few real-world examples I’ve experienced with candidates over the years that doomed their chances:

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The Lost Art of Mastering a Great First Impression – Part II: To Dress or Not to Dress, That is the Question

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Many companies have gone casual dress these days and it’s difficult to know just how to dress for an interview. I just had lunch with a former public company CEO who visited the senior management team of a company he’s recently interviewed with for a CEO spot, and found everyone to be business casual. He was dressed to the nines with his best suit, great shirt, and great power tie (remember that line?). Immediately he felt over dressed and said to the assembled masses, “If you all don’t mind, I’d like to shed the tie and get comfortable with everyone,” at which they all said please do and he was one of the team. The point though, is that he knows how to dress and I’m sure they felt confident he can do the part in representing them to investors and analysts. And, while he dressed down by losing the tie, he still looked like a million bucks. This is a simple thing to do if you don’t know what a company hiring manager expects of your dress in your first interview. While I know I’ll probably hear a few comments about this, my feeling has always been to overdress with a company interview, and you can always say something about it so they know you can don the khakis and golf shirts just like everyone else. I have heard from hiring execs that even though their company is casual, they were put off by the candidate coming in for an interview dressed casually, at least for the first interview.

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The Lost Art of Mastering a Great First Impression – Part I: Introduction

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010



I’ve probably interviewed over a thousand people in the last 11 years and prior as a hiring manager, before getting into executive recruiting. (That’s less than 2 a week and many weeks, I might average over 5 so I think it’s a safe guess for this story.) It never ceases to amaze me how seemingly great candidates who are very smart, and have reached the executive level, or at least the senior part of middle management (that’s pretty concise) make a poor first impression when the interview starts. And, without trying to be sexist, men, the women have us beat here. They invariably know how to dress and how to position themselves properly in the chair or on our couch. They do however, join the men in missing on other points, which I’ll mention later.

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