You only get one chance to make a first impression, so it behooves you to do your best to make it count. Whether it’s a professional or social setting, be prepared for what will come next.
If you only had ONE word to make a great first impression, what would it be? Yes, with a single word you are being judged on your trustworthiness and credibility. If you want to make a great first impression, learn how to say “hello” with certainty and in a friendly tone.
1. Be on time: Some people think that arriving at the appointed time, or close to it is acceptable. It isn’t. Plan your route. Many variables can slow you down from weather, to accidents and traffic. You do not want to be rushed. Plan on arriving 10-minutes early. If you have more time, get a coffee or sit in the lobby and gather your thoughts.
2. Greeting: Be aware of your surroundings. From the front desk security person to the receptionist or anyone else who greets you upon arrival, smile warmly and say hello.
3. Attire: There is a wide range of what is appropriate. While you don’t wear a tuxedo to a typical interview, you don’t arrive in workout gear either. If you have questions, check with your recruiter/referrer to gage what the company norm is and even take it up a notch.
4. Make eye contact: Nervousness can make the best of us uncomfortable and fidgety. Looking over a shoulder or letting your eyes wander may be your fall back. Instead, look at the person in front of you. Try focusing on the spot between their eyes if you feel that you are staring.
5. Speak clearly and slowly: Many people speed up their speech when nervous. Make a conscious effort to focus on slowing your words down, listen and breath.
6. Don’t chew gum: Or suck on a mint or candy. If you have a chance to stop in a restroom, recheck your teeth and overall grooming. A breath mint may be timely and please finish it before you continue.
7. Handshake: No one likes a damp or limp handshake. Be sure that your hands are dry and make firm contact. It’s not a strength contest. This is a confident way of connecting and creating a very positive impression.
However comfortable you assumed you were with the interview process, it may morph into overwhelming anxiety that was never anticipated. Preparation is key and this is the ideal time to engage the support of a career coach with experience in helping professionals achieve better, faster, results. At KICKSTART Your Transition we offer a broad range of services to fit your needs