“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
When you first meet someone, whether in business, or in your personal life, it is the nonverbal clues, rather than verbal, that will influence the other person’s opinion of you.
Your appearance is judged in less than a second, As soon as we see another person, an impression is formed, and research has shown that what we see can sometimes dominate what we know. So even if your application or CV speaks well of you, if your body attitude doesn’t back that up, a poor impression will be formed.
So it is not what you say, it is how you use your body, how you stand, how you hold yourself, whether you look nervous, lazy or agitated or bored. How you are dressed.
So to make the best first impression you can, you need to make sure your body says what you want it to say.
So suppose you are going to an interview, or a new job, or on work experience -How can you ensure you make the best first impression you can?
First of all, you need to have confidence in your physical appearance. Make sure you are clean, your hair is washed, and you are freshly shaved.
Then consider what you will wear. The key is to dress appropriately. So if you are going for a position in a bank or a formal, professional office, you would wear a suit, with a shirt and tie if you are male, or a smart blouse if you are female.
If you are going for a position as a DJ or children’s entertainer, then you would not choose a suit, but would select something more casual, but not outlandish or indecent in any way.
If you can afford to, it is lovely to buy something new that will help you to feel smarter and more confident in yourself. If not, choose the most appropriate outfit in which you feel most confident.
Then do your research about the company you are interviewing with or working for. Arm yourself with as much information as you can, to build your confidence.
Check out the location. Where is the meeting/interview? Are you travelling by car- if so where will you park? If you are using public transport check the route and timings.
All this preparation should mean you arrive at the right place, without running late, or being flustered. You will be cool, calm, collected and confident on arrival.
Then you need to focus on your body attitude. Make sure you are standing up straight, looking confident, focused, interested and pleased to be there.
And all of this this is before you open your mouth to speak!
Make and maintain eye contact, particularly when you are introducing yourself or speaking. This gives an air of confidence and assertiveness and ensures your audience focus on you.
Making a First Impression, Quick Facts:
First impressions are so powerful they can override the information people already have about you. A first impression is formed in less than a second.
To make the best first impression you can ;-
- Ensure you are well presented, clean and tidy
- Dress appropriately
- Plan your journey to arrive in time and unflustered
- Focus on your body attitude. Stand up, don’t slouch or fidget
- Look confident, interested and focused
- Make and maintain eye contact