Right now, there is a good chance you are making a first impression on someone without even knowing it. First impressions are made for us, without us having to be in the room or even on the phone.  Often, we get our first impressions from a Google search.

Prospective employers do search for you on LinkedIn and Facebook and Instagram, and they may even know someone that you know.  Maybe not Aunt June, but maybe that dude you road-tripped with in college…

In the age of avatars, your reputation precedes you.  So, the job interview is your opportunity to make your first “live” impression.  Depending on your online presence, you may be competing against the image that has already been formed in the interviewer’s mind.

I once met with a small business owner that was looking for someone he could train into a career in his shop.  He told me that he would search Facebook for their names, and that he would pay close attention to their photos.  Yeah, he was actually going to browse through pages of family pictures and vacation memories in order to determine what kind of person they were. By the way, this was in 2009.

He even gave me an example of hiring someone before conducting his social media vetting process. He regretted it because the candidate told him in the interview what a “good” life she led helping others and volunteering, especially through her church. Shortly after he hired her, the new employee began having difficulty working with others on the team, which resulted in multiple conflicts and morale-crushing displays of histrionics. Only after releasing her, did the guy check out her Facebook page.

“All I saw was pictures of her drinking and smoking at bars,” he said. That’s all he saw. In his mind, he could have saved himself a lot of trouble had he checked out her Facebook page first. I thought, “How would one address this with a potential candidate?”

“You interviewed well, but after seeing your social media posts, we’re not interested.”

This is probably a statement you will never hear.  However, I can tell you from experience with hiring managers that it is spoken more than you might think.

Is this fair?  Maybe not.  But it is real, and therefore worth considering.

Let us help you make the best first impression in your next job interview. Connect with Snelling Talent Partners today! 

Tony Caramatti

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