Body Language, Business Etiquette, Confidence, First Impressions, Interview Tips

34 Crucial Interview Tips

In this info graphic by College Atlas, they share 34 crucial interview tips.  In their research, speaking to employers, they feedback the job-interview-tipskey points they noticed, or those that put them off a prospective employee.  In our experience and research, we have found the same.   Here are the common mistakes made:-

  • 67% fail to make eye contact
  • 47% have little knowledge about the company they are applying for
  • 38% don’t smile
  • 33% have poor posture
  • 33% fidget too much
  • 26% have a weak handshake – a personal dislike of mine!
  • 21% play with hair or touch their face
  • 21% cross their arms
  • 9% use too many hand gestures

More than 2000 managers claimed to know whether they would hire someone within 90 seconds

Most Common Mistakes

  1. Over explaining why you lost your last job
  2. Conveying that you are not over losing your last job
  3. Lacking humour, warmth or personality
  4. Not showing enough enthusiasm
  5. Inadequate research about the prospective employer
  6. Concentrating too much on what you want
  7. Trying to be all things to all people
  8. “Winging” the interview
  9. Failing to set yourself apart from other candidates
  10. Failing to ask for the job

Lyn Bromley MFIPI, ACMA –  Managing Director, First Impressions  Lyn Bromley is Managing Director of First Impressions Training Ltd and a Master of The Federation of Image Professionals International. (FIPI)  She is also Director of Regional Events at FIPI and a leader of Achiever’s Academy for Women. Please contact us if you would like to know more about our programmes, bespoke image training or one-to-one coaching.  First Impressions have a network of over 150 consultants working across the UK – to find one in your area visit the website and take a look at the consultant map. Telephone: +44 (0)1926 623038 Email: enquiries@firstimpressions.uk.com Website: www.firstimpressions.uk.com

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#hellomynameis, Business Etiquette, Manners, NHS

Etiquette: ‘hello, my name is’

This story caught my attention on the news this morning – 31 year old Dr Kate Granger started a campaign for ‘hello, my name is‘ while sheDr Kate Granger was in hospital herself being treated for cancer.  She observed that many Doctors didn’t introduce themselves or make eye contact.   In my opinion this is just plain bad manners.  I have worked with many NHS departments and I know that they are all busy and stretched – we all are.  In post recession Britain, we are all doing more for less and as my parents frequently intoned ‘manners do not cost anything!’

She reported that the Dr who gave her the news that her cancer had spread neither introduced himself or looked her in the eye.  She told Radio 4’s Today Programme “The lack of introductions really made me feel like just a diseased body and not a real person”.

When someone did introduce themselves, she said, “it really did make a difference to how comfortable I was and less lonely I was in hospital”.

It has now become a national campaign and has the backing of over 400,000 NHS staff.  It has also caught the attention of high profile celebrities and politicians.  Well done Dr Kate for bringing this to the attention of the masses and taking action.  Very sadly she is terminally ill with cancer, but her legacy will go on.

Many forward thinking NHS Trusts are really on-board with this idea and are ensuring that all staff are informed of the importance of creating rapport with their patients.  I spoke earlier in the year at a Nursing Conference and have since worked with other areas relating to public health.  The clinical skills are of course vital and the bedside manner is also and important part of being an effective clinician.

Lyn Bromley MFIPI, ACMA –  Managing Director, First Impressions  Lyn Bromley is Managing Director of First Impressions Training Ltd and a Master of The Federation of Image Professionals International. (FIPI)  She is also Director of Regional Events at FIPI and a leader of Achiever’s Academy for Women. Please contact us if you would like to know more about our programmes, bespoke training and workshops or one-to-one coaching.  First Impressions have a network of over 150 consultants working across the UK and in 20 countries around the world– to find one in your area visit the website and take a look at the consultant map. Telephone: +44 (0)1926 623038 Email: enquiries@firstimpressions.uk.com Website: www.firstimpressions.uk.com

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Business Etiquette, First Impressions, handshake, Lyn Bromley

Etiquette – The Handshake in Saudi

This post is inspired by the news today that Michelle Obama shook hands with the new Saudi King; King Salman bin Abdulaziz.  They were there to pay their respects to the late King and to meet the new leader.   During the receiving line, Michelle shook hands with the new King.  Better than150127130348-michelle-obama-saudi-arabia-0127-super-169 hugging him, as she did with our Queen Elizabeth!

There are strong Islamic rules about men meeting women other than family members in private and they must not touch any part of a woman’s body, if they are not related to them.  The rule though is generally overlooked for visiting diplomats.  Many female diplomats have visited Saudi in the past and they have all shaken hands with the King; Hilary Clinton, Angela Merkel and Madeleine Albright to name a few.

It is important when travelling on business to understand the cultural norms in the country you are visiting.  It is so easy to offend if you have not done your research.  In our ‘Business Etiquette’ training we have covered all the do’s and don’t for the countries that are often visited on business and there are some surprising facts that we uncovered.  It is real a mark of respect to observe the cultural norms and is seen very favourably.  When we went to deliver training in Hong Kong and Shanghai it is customary to take a proffered business card with both hands and then really study it – a little different to how we behave in the UK.  I personally like that tradition, it feels very respectful.

In meeting the Saudi dignitaries, Michelle waited to see how the man reacted.  If they offered their hand she shook it and smiled and if they didn’t she just smiled and nodded her head.  She was therefore respectful of their culture and played it just right.

Lyn Bromley MFIPI, ACMA –  Managing Director, First Impressions  Lyn Bromley is Managing Director of First Impressions Training Ltd and a Master of The Federation of Image Professionals International. (FIPI)  She is also Director of Regional Events at FIPI and a leader of Achiever’s Academy for Women. Please contact us if you would like to know more about our programmes, bespoke training and workshops or one-to-one coaching.  First Impressions have a network of over 150 consultants working across the UK and in 20 countries around the world– to find one in your area visit the website and take a look at the consultant map. Telephone: +44 (0)1926 623038 Email: enquiries@firstimpressions.uk.com Website: www.firstimpressions.uk.com

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Body Language, Business Etiquette, Confidence, First Impressions, Image consultancy, Lyn Bromley

Top 7 Mistakes That Ruin Your First Impression

GroomingGrooming

      1. Poor grooming
      2. Not paying attention to the required dress code
      3. Poor body language
      4. Wearing clothes that do not suit your body shape
      5. Wearing unflattering shades of clothes
      6. Too much, or too little make up (or unkempt facial hair for men)
      7. Unpolished shoes

Poor Grooming

The key issues I see and hear about from employers are dishevelled or crumpled clothes, unwashed or unkempt hair, dandruff and unpleasant smells – a shower or wash every day and showing your clothes an iron is a must!

Dress Codes

It’s important to observe dress codes, it is all part of respect for the person you are meeting.  Is there a company policy on dress code?  If so, observe that, if not take a look at what you peers are wearing and ‘model’ someone who is getting it right.

Body Language

My favourites of the body language misdemeanours are the limp fish handshake, or the bone crusher handshake – both of which are very unpleasant!  A smile, good eye contact and good posture are key to making a good impression, along with a firm handshake of course!

Clothes

Clothes that are too big, too small or that do not suit your bodyshape are unflattering.  They also call into question your judgement.  If you can’t dress yourself properly, what hope is there for you delivering on your targets or meeting your objectives?!

Colour

Some colours can give you a glow, make you look well and healthy and others can make you look out of focus, grey or just plain ill – it’s important to know which shades suit you best.  Everything you wear should be flattering to you and working in your favour, not against you.

Facial Grooming

For women wearing too much or too little make up are key mistakes that I see.  Too much says nightclub (which is fine if you work in one, but not for in the office) and too little says ‘I’ve not bothered’.  A little goes a long way and improves your credibility.  For men facial hair is fine, so long as it is well groomed and not too long.

Unpolished Shoes

Shoes should always be clean and of the best quality you can afford.  Shabby shoes says shabby person.

If you would like to know more on how to make a good First Impression, please check out some of my earlier blogs.

Have a great day,

Lyn

Lyn Bromley MFIPI, ACMA –  Managing Director, First Impressions

 Lyn Bromley is Managing Director of First Impressions Training Ltd and a Master of The Federation of Image Professionals International. (FIPI)  She is also Membership Director of FIPI and a leader of Achiever’s Academy for Women.

Please contact us if you would like to know more about our programmes, bespoke image training or one-to-one coaching. 

First Impressions have a network of over 150 consultants working across the UK – to find one in your area visit the website and take a look at the consultant map.

Telephone: +44 (0)1926 623038

Email: enquiries@firstimpressions.uk.com

Website: www.firstimpressions.uk.com

 

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Body Language, Business Etiquette, Confidence, First Impressions, Image consultancy, Leadership, Lyn Bromley, Men in Business, Women in business

Mind Your Manners!

Business Etiquette

Image courtesy of Felixco, Inc. at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What does business etiquette mean to you?  The word etiquette is, of course, a French word and we use it to describe the manners and courtesy that are deemed desirable in both social and business life.  Interestingly, the French don’t use the word etiquette to mean the same thing – they use ‘savoir vivre’ – ‘to know how to live’.  Equally interesting, I think, is that the French use of the word etiquette translates as ‘label’.  Surely nothing ‘labels’ us so effectively in the eyes and minds of our friends, acquaintances and business associates as the way we conduct ourselves – the manners and courtesy we display in our daily lives.

There is no doubt that non-verbal communication plays a very significant role in inter-personal relationships and, as communication experts, we are constantly dealing with the visual aspects including both appearance and body language.  In the last couple of years, however, clients have increasingly asked us to tackle other aspects of behaviour in the workplace, focussing on the many and varied topics that fall within the term ‘business etiquette’.

Popular television shows, both fact and fiction, show just how profoundly powerful this aspect of an individual’s professional conduct can be.  You might remember David Brent of ‘The Office’ committing just about every business etiquette crime there is, or you may have squirmed with discomfort as one of the ‘Dragon’s Den’ supplicants reached the top of the stairs and launched into their ‘pitch’ without a handshake or introduction.  You’ll remember the relief you felt when, at last, one of them actually walked up to the ‘Dragons’, shook hands, made eye contact and introduced themselves in a friendly and assertive way.  The  BBC show is still popular now, so watch how all the non-verbal signals persuade or dissuade the ‘Dragons’ to part with their thousands – or not, as the case may be.  Equally, ‘The Apprentice’ was a fascinating insight into how people conduct themselves and how it affects their success, or lack of it, in the workplace.

Business Etiquette is a vast subject covering everything from dining to e-mails; meetings to greetings; gestures to chewing gum and, to some extent, it’s what we should know anyway.  But in an increasingly casual 21st century Britain, we don’t.  A whole generation is entering the workforce (and moving up through it) with gaps in their knowledge of what constitutes acceptable or appropriate behaviour.  Whilst today’s emphasis on free expression and creativity in an individual’s early years is doubtless a positive thing, this doesn’t have to mean losing sight of the value of respect in human relationships.

The basic rule of etiquette is to show consideration for the other party.  Whether it’s thinking about what’s appropriate to wear to a meeting – the etiquette of appearance – so that you show respect to whoever you’re meeting; conducting yourself properly and positively in a meeting or at a corporate hospitality event; or following simple rules for business e-mails and letters, etiquette is fundamentally about showing respect for others.  If you stop and think how the other person is likely to receive your communication or respond to your behaviour, you will go a long way towards preventing misunderstandings and not giving offence.  You will also go a long way towards building rapport and strong personal relationships.  It’s these personal relationships, within the workplace environment, that are so vital to an individual’s and an organisation’s success.

Most managers are agreed that manners, common courtesy and an understanding of how to ‘do the right thing’ in any situation are all attributes that differentiate great from good when it comes to staff.  As ‘soft skills’ are widely recognised to be more vital to an individual’s personal employability than technical skills these days, companies are increasingly asking First Impressions to include Business Etiquette within a range of topics relating to professional profile development.  If an individual is going to be able to adapt to the ever-changing needs of the workplace as they work their way up the career ladder, it’s even more important that they understand that how they operate – their ‘professional profile’ – plays a key role in building credibility and is a vital part of their career toolkit.

What are the customs and taboos in your workplace?  Are you confident that your etiquette is always spot-on?  Do you sometimes wince when a colleague commits a faux pas at a business lunch or corporate hospitality event?  Business etiquette affects us all.  If your people are your biggest asset, are you confident that their business etiquette will help not hinder your organisation’s success?

Test your Business Etiquette know-how with our quick quiz:

Q1        Where do you put your napkin if you need to leave the dining table during a meal?

Q2        Where do you put your napkin when you leave the table at the end of the meal?

Q3        What are the five most common blunders that office workers admit to when greeting clients and colleagues?

Q4        Should you introduce a colleague to a client or a client to a colleague?

Q5        Is it appropriate to use your laptop, mobile or palm pilot at the table at a business lunch?

Q6        Can you toast yourself?  Is it acceptable to raise your glass and drink when you are the one being toasted?

Quiz Answers:

A1        On the back of your chair

A2        On the table

A3        The continental kiss; the bone crusher handshake; offering a handshake when the other person offers a cheek; misjudging a kiss and almost giving a smacker on the lips!; giving an overenthusiastic bear hug

A4        Always introduce a colleague to a client, regardless of the colleague’s age or rank – i.e. deference should be shown to the client.

A5        No – and nor should you spread papers out over the table at a business lunch.  It may be a business lunch but the basic rules of dining etiquette still apply.

A6        No – you can raise your glass to acknowledge a toast to you but you should not drink when you are the one being toasted.

 

Business Etiquette Top Tips

  • Practice what you preach

 

It’s easy to know what to do but much harder to do it.  Aim to avoid just paying lip service to business etiquette and ensure you do actually behave as you would like others to.  Remember that you’re a role model for other colleagues as well.

  • Listen, watch and learn

 

Think about times when you have experienced rudeness – you’ve been ignored at a corporate event; someone has kept you hanging on the phone for ages or you haven’t been introduced properly to someone.  Learn from your own mistakes and from others and think what you – or they – could have done differently that would have improved the experience.

  • Show respect

 

Respect others’ time – avoid interrupting your colleagues’ meetings, discussions and phone calls if at all possible but if it is unavoidable always apologise and make your point quickly so others can get back to their work.

  • Treat everyone with the same courtesy

Don’t differentiate people by their job role or position within the company but treat everyone with the same courtesy and politeness.  Treating everyone with the same courtesy will earn you respect and improve your credibility within an organisation.

  • Show appreciation

Be keen to pass on praise and compliments to your team and colleagues and everyone who made a contribution to a project or event.

  • Be honest

You will earn respect for delivering work on time and giving realistic deadlines.   You will get a reputation for unreliability for over-promising impossible schedules.

  • Avoid unintentional rudeness

 

Ignoring phone calls or neglecting to reply to correspondence or emails is just as bad as face-to-face rudeness.  Abruptness or an off-hand manner can cause offence in business environment and, even if you’re really busy, aim to deal with others politely and with courtesy.

  • Build good working relationships

 

The ability to get on with different types of people is an essential business skill.  Being able to develop good working relationships with your business associates and fellow team members will help you stand out in your organisation.

  • Working Internationally

Learn as much as possible about how business is conducted abroad.  Try and learn some elements of the language and basis courtesies if possible and familiarise yourself with the customs of the country you are visiting.

  • Differentiate yourself

Remember that good professional business etiquette helps build leadership skills, shows commitment to your company and helps differentiate you in a competitive environment.

First Impressions run a series of open Business Etiquette courses, for anyone who would like to learn more about this vital subject.  Courses are held at the First Impressions Training Centre in Warwick.  For more information, telephone 01926 623038 or e-mail enquiries@firstimpressions.uk.com.

Lyn Bromley MFIPI, ACMA –  Managing Director, First Impressions

 Lyn Bromley is Managing Director of First Impressions Training Ltd and a Master of The Federation of Image Professionals International. (FIPI)  She is also Membership Director of FIPI and a leader of Achiever’s Academy for Women.

Please contact us if you would like to know more about our programmes, bespoke image training or one-to-one coaching. 

First Impressions have a network of over 150 consultants working across the UK – to find one in your area visit the website and take a look at the consultant map.

Telephone: +44 (0)1926 623038

Email: enquiries@firstimpressions.uk.com

Website: www.firstimpressions.uk.com

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