It has been said that you only have one chance to make a first impression. Research has shown that most people form their first impression of a person within 7 seconds after meeting them. Does that concern you? Well, it shouldn’t. You have control over the first impression that you make!
Let’s apply this to an interview situation. Here are some tips to maximize your chances of making a solid first impression when you meet someone:
• Research your audience
It is wise to learn what you can about people you are about to meet. Review the company’s website. LinkedIn and Google are other helpful tools. Use your network to gather information, too. It may be effective to prepare some customized questions in advance of meeting your interviewers. Be prepared. It can help you be more comfortable and natural.
• Emote confidence
Make direct eye contact with the people you meet. Speak calmly and articulate clearly. Control your breathing by taking slow, deep breaths.
• Show your listening skills
Focus on the person speaking. Nod, and don’t interrupt. A good conversation is two-way. Give the other person ample time to contribute and respond.
• Dress for success
Be aware of the norm in your field of work. Whether it’s business attire, or business casual, it is more important to be clean, neat and well-tailored. It is best to avoid extremes.
• Be aware of your non-verbal signals
Posture and stance send an important signal. Be aware of your shoulders and back positioning. Your chin should be lifted and not lowered. Use eye contact.
It can be empowering to set positive intentions around important first meetings. Positiveness can relax and release tension and help you focus your energy. A positive mindset can make your first impression a memorable one.
• Perfect your handshake. (See my September blog article)
• Put a pleasant and interested expression on your face. Make sure your smile is sincere.
• Breathe deeply to make your voice warm and supported.
• Prioritize cleanliness and good hygiene.
• Repeat names. It helps you remember them!
Now go out there and make your impression on the world!