First impressions can be everything in the business world. How you look and act when you interview for a position or how you dress and behave in the workplace can significantly impact your employment prospects. Failing to value good behavior and a professional appearance can impact how effective you are at work, and even whether you stay employed at all.
Appearance in a Job Interview
Your physical appearance can be an important factor during a job interview. While wearing a nice suit and professional clothing does not guarantee that you'll be hired, it can prevent you from being dismissed as a job candidate outright. Even if the job you're applying for doesn't require you to dress professionally for day-to-day work, do so for the interview. Dressing professionally, and conservatively, shows you take the interview seriously. Avoid fashion excesses, such as wearing a lot of jewelry or gaudy accessories.
Behavior in a Job Interview
Your behavior during an interview can also affect your employment prospects. Keep good posture during an interview and make eye contact with your interviewer. Keep a smile on your face and speak positively. Confidence is key; avoid being glum or expressing doubt about your abilities.
Appearance in the Workplace
While it is illegal for your company or manager to discriminate against you based on your appearance, valuing your appearance at work can have several advantages. In conservative workplaces that project a professional face, such as a bank, you may be required as part of your contract to adhere to a dress code. Dressing professionally, even at a job that doesn't require you to, can also make you feel more confident about your work and project that confidence to superiors, colleagues and clients.
Behavior in the Workplace
Unlike appearance, companies can, and do, fire employees for their behavior. Keeping a positive attitude about your work and your colleagues is essential to staying employed. Refusing to be a team player, constantly complaining and gossiping about co-workers or superiors is a sure way to draw negative attention from management. On the contrary, a great attitude and appropriate behavior can be a way to gain respect, rewards and maybe even a promotion.