How to Make a Great First Impression
By Tim Walker
Want to make a good first impression? Keep your mouth shut!
We humans are visual creatures. Our brains take in and process massive amounts of information, some of which we don’t even perceive. That’s part of the reason why several studies have shown that the visual aspect of making a good first impression is supremely important.
In fact, as I’ve written before, more than half of hiring managers make up their mind about a candidate during the first 5 minutes of an interview (that jumps to 90% after 15 minutes).
Once again, the biggest turnoffs are visual, including:
- Poor Eye Contact
- Failing to Smile
- Playing with Something on the Table
- Crossing arms
- Playing with hair or touching face
Now that we know what to look out for, let’s start forming some good habits!
A lot of times these bad habits are a result of nerves. Cut down on bad visual cues
like fidgeting, sweating and poor eye contact by preparing ahead of time! Read about the company, learn who will be at the meeting or interview and rehearse your questions/answers with a friend. Don’t forget to arrive a few minutes early either. This will give you time to just sit in your car and collect your thoughts.
Studies have shown
that body language is a MAJOR influencer. Start with good posture, eye contact and a firm handshake. Wiki How
both have really good lists of common body language cues. Check them out!
So, you’ve got the big points down. Time to get to the nitty-gritty! Let’s get this one out of the way first…TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONE! Electronic devices are ubiquitous today and so are their annoying rings and alarms. Nothing says “I don’t pay attention to detail” quite like to AC/DC or Brittany Spears going off in the middle of your interview.
Remember all of those little things your mother taught you too! Say please and thank you, listen and be positive!