How long must you know a person before you feel you can trust him or her to do what they say they will? Do you meet certain people and sense immediately that it is evident they are professional and are good at what they do?
How can you know when a person is a mover and a shaker and gets things done? What clues do you look for?
• Are they dressed well, for example?
• Are they well mannered and well groomed?
• Do they have a confident demeanor?
Chances are, you answered “yes” to the above questions.
Social psychologists tell us that we often take shortcuts when making decisions about people. These shortcuts are considered tried and true, because they work consistently. Shortcuts save us a lot of time and frustration. When it comes to hiring a new employee, it can also save money.
When you buy a car, you test drive it. But what about when you hire a new employee? It’s expensive to test-drive an employee for a week or two. Think about all the time wasted training a person who ultimately doesn’t work out.
Is there a shortcut that can help you make a more efficient and reliable hiring decision? After all, we’ve all noticed that a person’s resume can be misleading. Sometimes it turns out that the new hire is better at resume writing than anything else.
Some people read a person’s face. According to most studies, women are better at reading faces than men. Women pick up on telltale expressions of the eyes, the tilt of the brows, etc. Face reading isn’t enough, however. There are simpler and more powerful visual clues that can easily be noted.
Here are powerful visual clues to look for:
• Good Manners - They go hand in hand with a good education
• Good Grooming - A disheveled appearance suggests sloppy work
• Dressed to Impress - As opposed to dressing for personal comfort, which can imply arrogance
• Confident Handshake - A sign of self assurance
• Confident Demeanor - Suggests leadership qualities
• Good Eye Contact - Suggests honesty and confidence
• Communicates Clearly and Distinctly - A person who mumbles lacks confidence in what he or she is saying
Body language does not lie. A person with hunched shoulders, a weak handshake and poor eye contact may have astounding credentials, but it isn’t likely he or she will become a good manager. A manager must inspire his team, and a weak persona makes that difficult.
The way you look and dress announces powerful things about you. It suggests the outcome we can expect. Casual attire suggests a casual attitude. Professional attire announces that you are proud of who you are and what you do.
Two job candidates with equal qualifications may yield entirely different results on the job. A proud demeanor and a polished appearance inspire far more confidence than hunched shoulders and casual attire.
When it comes to appearance, there’s much more to consider than whether or not the person is wearing a suit. In fact, a suit isn’t enough to inspire confidence when it is ill-fitting or in a dreadful color. Here are a few things to consider about color and garments:
• Pastels suggest passivity or low authority; this includes tie color as well as suit color.
• Dark colors convey high authority.
• Food colors such as lime, lemon, orange and tomato red are less classy than jewel tones such as amethyst, ruby, sapphire and emerald. Navy blue and dark grey convey far more authority than brown or olive green. Earth tones like brown and olive green suggest country weekend.
The way you look announces how you feel about yourself, and that’s a very good clue when it comes to hiring a new employee. When a person’s appearance is polished and professional, it is likely that they are professional and good at what they do. Visual clues are powerful shorts for decision making.
Sandy Dumont is a certified image consultant with 30 years experience advising Fortune 500 companies. She offers online coachings via Skype or FaceTime, as well as individual and corporate group workshops for staff. Contact her at www.theimagearchitect.com.