There are a lot of things that we can talk about when it comes to employment, so I will start at the beginning and continue in parts from there. As you read this series of articles, keep in mind that I am writing from experience and from the manager’s point of view. I have seen a lot of applications, been in a lot of interviews, and ultimately made the decision to hire, fire, or broom somebody.
I think that the first and most important thing that any employee, or perspective employee can do is be conscious of their appearance. It is absolutely amazing how horrible your impression can be when you look like a slob. Especially if you are interviewing
dropping off an application, or resume, make sure that you are at least clean and neat. You don’t have to put on a tuxedo, I wouldn’t even recommend it, but you do have to appear as though you care and are capable of taking care of yourself.
Too many times I would have someone come in to talk to me about a job and they look like they just finished a 3 day binge and picked some clothes out of the Salvation Army Dumpster. Always make sure that your shirt is clean, put on the “good shoes” and slap a little gel in your hair. I promise you – it will go a long way. And if the only clean shirt you have is the one that says “I’m a Redneck and Proud,” I’m thinking you may want to invest $5 at wal mart for a new shirt.
No company wants to hire someone they feel they are going to have to follow behind making sure they pick up after themselves. If you can’t put minimal effort in to get the job, what are going to do after you’re hired? What is your bay going to look like? What are you going to look like? Are you going to start a rodent problem at the shop? How much will you cost the company in exterminators?
They also don’t want anyone that is going to scare away their customers. They don’t want you bringing up Ms. Watson’s vehicle with that chain hanging from your lip ring to your eyebrow ring. You need to make a decision about those kinds of things. Either you want a job that will pay your bills, or you want to sit in the unemployment office feeling good that you express yourself freely. It is your choice. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against whatever you want to do to your body, just not in the workplace.
Communication takes on a whole lot of forms: body language, written, verbal. You can make or break your entire career on this. We’re going to talk about it during the hiring process right now, the rest later.
When you go into an interview, make some freakin eye contact. Talk confidently and don’t be afraid to actually shake someone’s hand. The worst thing you can do is give the limp handshake…..you are branded for life at this point. Be clear on what you want and what you are looking for. No repair shop wants you to work for them if your answer is “I just need a job, I can’t find anything.” This screams that no one will even hire you! Instead do a little research. Find out what the company you are applying for has to offer. Everyone should be looking for a job that has the potential to grow, offers its employees long term employment, has a good working environment, etc. You should also want to be part of a team and be willing to learn and share your knowledge. Let your prospective employer know that you want a place to call home, and that you do not like moving around, you will be there for the long haul.
When you sit for an interview, make sure that you sit. Do not slouch. Don’t cover your face with your hands, and keep the hand gestures to a minimum. Every thing that you do equates to your evaluation, so don’t think about picking your nose, or looking around every time something happens. Concentrate on your interviewer and tell him or her about yourself. If you are serious – have a friend help you and do a mock interview. This process is done in training programs all the time. It might sound silly, but if you want to work for an upstanding company, then you need to be prepared.
Communication is everything you do from the second you enter that property – the way you park, how loud your blaring your music, what you look like, what you are doing while you wait for the manager, what you say to him and what you do in the interview. Do not take your career lightly. Being professional means just that.