Do you look good? Do you fit the profile?
Recently, an experienced counterpart of mine, explained to me in great detail how quickly she was able to tell the difference between a good and a bad salesman.
She says: “the candidate turns up on time, I’m of course there, but it’s my tactic to have him wait in the corridor, after my assistant has indicated my door to him (closed, needless to say). I will wait until he finds the time so long that he will come and knock on my door (my assistant will let me know later on whether he asked her for help or not, or how he behaved). Then, I can tell many things from the way he knocks (gently / timidly, hard / self-confidently, several times or not…) and, above all, from the way he opens the door: sneaking in the door ajar, door wide open, standing up straight (here is someone assertive, maybe a bit pushy?).
First thing I would do is take a look at his socks. For, you can be sure, if they are white sports socks, he won’t stay any longer than 10 minutes in my office! Bad taste is just unforgivable.
Is that just a cliché?
Such a hasty method demonstrates how employment discriminations still need to be fought against. However, I must admit there are indeed signs defining personality (cf Neuro Linguistic Programming and morphopsychology). Appearance matters, especially for commercial functions. Social codes are acknowledged to enable smooth integration, image being one of them.
But let’s be careful and not criticize practices we admit sharing. Clearly, who could pretend to have never been sensitive to attractiveness, to have never jumped to conclusions?
First impressions (look, voice, language…) are crucial. We, as recruiters, are well aware of it. Don’t say you weren’t warned!
Cf : « Beauty is talent-Task evaluation as a function of the Performer’s physical attractiveness», in which Siggal and D. Landy, two American psychotherapists, explain how pictures attached to student tests do influence their marks.