Interview And Style: Queen Boadicea Need Not Apply

Boadicea Queen of the Iceni ; program cover City of St. Albans pagent 1907

We have been discussing personal image for a couple of weeks. We continue with a dive into the subject of projecting the best image through physical presentation including personal style.  As has been said before, it takes more than brilliance to succeed  in these “revolving door” job times. We speak without a word with physical presentation–“packaging”. How an applicant presents physically can project an image that will draw a negative response or a positive response from a potential employer.

But, why in 2011 is the “first impression” thing so important? …because it is a vital part of professional image. Projecting confidence, competence and integrity puts an applicant on a firm footing to engender all-important trust based on truthfulness.

One more time with feeling: the present society pays lip service to the proverb, “never judge a book by its cover”. Prospective employers make judgements within seconds of meeting an applicant on the battlefield of the interview. The interview can be viewed as a battle as well as a game, you know. Image matters; appearance counts; this is a highly visual society; make the most of the outer, physical package to mollify any negative features/challenges.

How much does “packaging” count? Let us put it this way: If Queen Boadicea applied for a job today she would scare the dickens out of her interviewer. She was a fierce, natural leader distinguished for her mane of red hair. So was this lady spoken of in a blog by professional image expert Diana Pemberton-Sikes. This obviously highly competent, intelligent woman had some of the same queenly physical characteristics Boadicea did and had the very same effect on people attending her presentations.

b&w rendering of Queen Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I "the virgin queen"

Powerful women throughout history were not dismissive of the effect of physical presentation and some of them even traded on it.  My sisters, we are all queens in our own realms. Appropriate to the position, we are obligated to act accordingly and dress the part.

Here is the doggy bag to take home from this feast:

  • Master the parts of your professional image in your direct control and make them your vassals
  • Listen to Merlin (your image consultant/best friend who cares about your success) and your other “queen’s chamber advisors”–your “kitchen cabinet”  while you prepare to present in an interview.

For your a bit of diversion, I found this  movie clip depicting Boadicea’s most decisive battle against the Roman army.  I will not tell you who  won. History buffs will, of course, research to find out.  Music backing the silent flick is a hauntingly beautiful composition by Enya called “Boadicea”.

Here we will end of both Celtic heritage month and our talk about “packaging” and image for women.