As we travel down our loss prevention career path, we learn that the road to professional success requires a wide spectrum of skills and experience far beyond those that we carried when we first entered the field. But in order to secure the best loss prevention jobs to fit our skills and abilities, it also demands the capability to effectively communicate our talents to the decision makers that hold the means to propel our careers to the next level. Without question this is an essential skill set that commands our understanding and attention regardless of whether we are exploring career options within our own company or seeking opportunities beyond our current employer.
Putting your best foot forward in the interview process is a critical aspect of a successful job search. But even more importantly, it can have a long-term impact on your loss prevention career in general. These impressions can have a lasting effect on how you are perceived as a professional as well as how you approach your career development plan. Whether the information serves as a reminder or a revelation, the most important objective should be to make a strong and lasting impression when exploring new career opportunities.
Appearance is More Than Just the Way That We Look
During the job interview process, the way that we present ourselves must be approached as a total package, not merely a fashion statement. Our image is based on many different factors that reflect who we are as individuals and how we are perceived as professionals. This should always be on our minds as we prepare for the job interview. This aspect of interview preparation helps give us additional confidence going into the conversation.
• Dress appropriately. Dress conservatively. Wear a clean suit/dress, pressed clothes, polished shoes, and a long-sleeved shirt or blouse. Minimal or no cologne/perfume should be worn. Check your appearance right before you walk into the interview to straighten ties, check makeup, or inspect other appearance issues. This also allows a moment to pause, relax, and focus. Look sharp, well groomed, and dressed to fit in. You want to look like you belong.
Keep in mind that occasionally interviews may not call for a suit or a dress depending on the work environment, and the interviewer may share that information prior to the interview. Never assume, and ask prior to the interview if you have questions. Regardless of the specific dress code, however, that should never imply that we shouldn’t dress well, look professional, and look crisp. Dress for success.
• Preparation includes having accurate directions and reliable transportation. Always know where you’re going and give yourself plenty of time to get there. Being late can be viewed as a reflection on your commitment, your organization skills, and your sense of urgency. It can also leave you flustered and uncomfortable during the interview.
• Shake hands, look them in the eye, and smile. No gum. No food. No smoking. No inappropriate language, comments, or jokes. Treat the interview and the interviewer with appropriate respect.
• Be genuine. Thinking through potential questions and answers prior to the interview can help you to prepare for the conversation. However, don’t give answers simply because it’s the response that you think the interviewer wants to hear. Show energy and enthusiasm, but be sincere. Don’t attempt to be someone or something that you’re not. The job search is about finding a match, and finding a home. This can only be accomplished when you provide a genuine image of who you are as a professional and as an individual.
A Winning Approach Starts with a Winning Attitude
A job interview provides a means to open a window into who we are—as a professional, as a leader, as a partner, and as a person. We are given precious minutes to summarize our value and our character; and make a positive and lasting impression on those having offered us the opportunity. This is a platform, and not a guarantee that others will see us for who we are. It is up to us to open the window and share the picture.
But an interview is also something more. It is a search for a match, and a chance to take our skills and abilities to another level. It is a means to build upon our career, and find a home that not only meets our needs, but helps reveal our future. Unfortunately, it is also a skill that many take for granted. It’s simply not enough to be good at what we do. We also have to be able to share that information with others, and offer the best possible picture of who we are so that we continue to move forward down a successful and rewarding loss prevention career path.
Visit www.lpjobs.com for more information about loss prevention careers.