You never get a second chance to make a great first impression
First impression is the term used to describe the initial impression we have of another person when we meet them for the first time. There is a never ending debate about whether first impressions are always accurate but there is not debate about its influence on actions.
Evidently, first impressions influence hiring decisions. Most employers will judge you within the first second of meeting you and their opinion will most likely never though out the course of the interview change. Making a good first impression is incredibly important, because you only get one shot at it. People can make incredibly accurate snap judgments in a tenth of a second. Thus, it is imperative for you to ensure people are previewed to your best side and judging you positively.
You wouldn’t want to give people, more especially interviewers an unfavorable or worse a false impression. Many people can intuitively tell if someone is being fake instantly. Thus, any time you meet someone for the first time, you always want to start on the right foot.
Here are a few ways you can make sure people’s first impression of you is a good one.
- Set an intention
This is significant before any kind of big event where you would be meeting a lot of people especially conferences and public lectures. Contemplate over what kind of people you want to meet and what kind of impression you want to have.
- Think about your costume and adornments.
This is Africa. Your appearance has implications for their professional and social life. People’s first impressions are unconsciously influenced by your appearance, thus, it is fitting to consider jewelry, make-up, watches and shoes when putting together a favorably first impression. It is okay to request for the opinions of your friends if your appearance is fitting for the occasion.
- Be Conscious of Your Body Language
Body language is a crucial part of first impressions. Everything from your posture to handshakes and smiles must be carefully crafted. Often, simply being aware of your body language can result in immediate improvements.
- Avoid bad days
Evade patronizing networking events when having a streak of bad days. Chances you will continue to have a bad day. If you are in a depressed or anxious mood, others will pick up on this from your facial expressions, comments and body language. Stay home! Otherwise, find a way to snap yourself out of your bad mood. I watch funny YouTube videos.
- Be interested and interesting
We have all had the experience of meeting someone and knowing instantly that they were dragged here by a friend and are just waiting to get out the door and head home. If you are truly interested in meeting people and are open to learning about who they are, they will get this in a first impression.
Finally, when you are meeting people for the first time approach others with a genuine interest in who they are. This is often contagious and you will have better conversations and lasting connections when you are interested because they become interested.