According to research, it takes less than one second for a person to develop a first impression.
Human instinct is such that we assess verbal and nonverbal cues quickly and use that information to determine if someone is likable, based on our past experiences.
First impressions are challenging to undo, which is why it’s so critical to make a positive one. In order to make a great first impression, you need to do away with a few bad habits that destroy even the best intentions.
Adopt Good Body Language
We have a tendency to judge a person’s looks first, particularly their body language. Poor posture and a “dead fish” handshake will indicate a lack of confidence on your part and can put a speedy end to encouraging introductions.
Invest time in learning various kinds of positive body language. Practice your handshake with someone you know. A simple rule to remember is to start and end all conversations with a smile and solid handshake. The way you end a meeting can be equally as essential as your greeting.
Spend Time on Your Appearance
Even if you are very accomplished in your field, showing up to a meeting with someone you’ve never met in a stained t-shirt and ripped jeans isn’t going to score you any points. Make an attempt to dress well, regardless of the occasion. Presenting yourself well and looking good makes you stand out in a good way and can even give you a boost of confidence.
Maintain Eye Contact
When you stay clear of or don’t sustain good eye contact, you prevent someone from making a personal connection with you. Your eyes can say a lot, so when you look down, your motives are hard to read. You might also come across as uneasy or insincere. Eye contact also enables you to get essential feedback and to convince someone of your sincerity.
While maintaining eye contact is a great way to make a good impression, don’t go too far and stare the other person down.
Keep It Positive
Nobody wants to be hit with a barrage of complaints or difficult issues, particularly when first meeting you. Complaining brings out negativity, and effective people don’t make room for negativity. Furthermore, passing judgment on others or talking bad about a former boss isn’t a good tone to start a professional conversation on.
Keep your comments positive and pay attention for opportunities to express compliments or gratitude.
Constantly interrupting someone is a highly effective way to turn people off. Interruptions can be frustrating, make conversation difficult and be a sign of someone who lets their ego run wild. If you have a bad habit of interrupting people, work on your self control and break the habit.
At Cornerstone, we assist job seekers with every part of the job search process, from filling out an application to following up after the interview has ended. If you could use a brush up on your interviewing skills, please contact our team to arrange for a consultation.