Friday, July 16, 2010

First Impressions

There is one thing I must say I have learnt from Michael Jackson; that is of course beyond how to Moonwalk by spreading soapy water in the bathroom floor. No matter how many reasons and explanations you have for a certain actions, people often like to go ahead with first impressions.

At present, I feel am going through a phase where my spare time is aligned to one key word- Search. Well, someone in my college once made a sweeping statement saying ‘Google is God’, but sadly this god is yet to transform its search results into augmented reality for me.

The primary reason, my current array of search is more of the personal kind; one for a better job and one for what people officially recognize as getting settled in life. Though a new entrant in the latter, I have realized that one thing seems common across- split second decisions based on first impression. Let me explain how I came to this great theory.

During a recent interaction between me and an HR Consultant (Head hunters I guess was a term apt for medieval Dragon Slayers), I made a casual enquiry about anything I might need to carry or know in particular for the interview. The lady was kind enough to a link to a website with things to do and not to do for an interview, talking about the usual basic etiquette.

Now I have no intention of any arrogance, but I have so far been employed by decently recognized organizations and didn’t need that refresher course on how to sit, talk or dress for an interview. But I guess that lady need not be blamed; CV (if read) and interviews are more or less about first impressions.

I can safely say that CVs are mostly never read by the right people. At one place, I was asked how my CV went up to 4 pages without realizing it was the amount of breathing space and indentation was for them to make any notes or jot comments. A facility I had provided by making a 2 and half page document into 4 was seen more as bragging rather than its easy readability. But does it matter, after all they were more interested to see if I was fit enough (physically and professionally) to do sales for them.

Strangely, I have come across a similar pattern on matrimonial sites. Needless to say, people still believe that matches can be made on face value. We strangely still have a taste for physical aspects more than what we want in people on a psychological or temperamental level. The prime evidence to this lies in the open fact that sometimes I have found it difficult to distinguish a matrimonial site from an online shopping portal- critical pints and specifications(on shopping sites only) are hidden as more information.

Photographs play a huge role on a matrimonial profile and building that impactful first impression.

Baseless allegations you say- well gamma adjustment in Photo shop is a god sent gift for most wanting- to- be brides. This weapon is used to the maximum as pictures start to resemble albinos. I mean, the westerners crave for a tan, and we crave for appearing albino. I guess post the movie Satyam Shivam Sundaram, left and right profile pictures have become a mandatory requirement. Not to forget, pictures clicked abroad before a street market in KL or a camel and Sheiks in strange positions in the sands have a greater value. So what if the camel or a basket of bananas covers 70% of the photograph?

I know I have been called a pessimist with a tendency to go fault finding in everything around me. But I have something to say- If I should not judge a book by its cover, or understand that people have layers and it takes time before you know them well, how can we still take calls based on first impressions?