Thursday, April 24, 2014

Appearance Counts!

I recently attended a meeting with contractors and instructors. We are looking for a way to help local contractors hire, develop and retain the technicians they need. More than one contractor said that lack of technicians was hindering their company’s growth potential. Contractors were looking for a way to pump more lifeblood into our industry. The instructors in the meeting were trying to find out what  we could do to more effectively meet their needs. This involved trying to identify the most crucial aspects that seem to be missing from much of today’s prospective talent. The first thing mentioned was personal appearance. As one contractor put it “if I can’t send you to my grandmother’s house, I can’t hire you!” They discussed job applicants with body piercings, tattoos, even applicants wearing spiky dog collars! It may be narrow minded and prejudicial to assume someone wearing a spiky dog collar is not trustworthy, but I believe much of the general public would feel uneasy about letting someone into their house who was wearing a spiky dog collar. Service Techs ARE the company as far as the customer is concerned. The impression they make has a lot to do with the trust the customer places in them. If the customer does not trust them, they will be hard pressed to do their job – the customer will be suspicious of anything they say or do. If you want to pursue a career dealing with the public, you need to carefully consider the impact any body art may have on people who meet you. Often, body art almost seems to scream “I WANT TO SHOCK YOU!” Even companies that are desperate for help don’t want that association with their company. Here is a short list of things that will improve your chances of getting past the first interview.

  • Before going to the interview cover up any tattoos you can and remove any extraneous metal objects from your body that might be seen during the interview. 
  • Don’t wear a T-shirt with an obnoxious logo – wear a shirt with a collar. 
  • Turn your phone off before going in.  
  • Don’t drop the F bomb in every sentence – in fact, don’t curse at all. If you are used to throwing one or two expletives in every sentence you had better practice talking at home for a while. Speech becomes habit. Try going the whole day without cursing the day before the interview.
  • Look the interviewer in the eyes when you talk – don’t look at the floor or up at the ceiling.
  • Smile –nobody wants to work around a grouch.
  • Before the interview you should study HVACR so you know how to talk intelligently about the field you are pursuing.

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