Ten steps to make a strong first impression

Tuesday 6 August, 2013

Whether it's an interview for a part-time job, a networking event or even a first date, first impressions last. Most people can make sweeping observations and form ideas and opinions about others just from a three second glance. You don't have long to make a strong first impression so OneShift has gathered ten hints to help you out:

Image image source: empowernetwork.com
  1. Be on time. Everyone knows how annoying it is to be waiting for someone. If you're late, chances are the person whom you are meeting is already frustrated at you before you have even formally introduced yourself. Make a positive first impression by arriving on time (or even a few minutes early).
  2. Dress appropriately. Humans are visual people and we're particularly quick to form superficial opinions based on someone's dress. Whether you believe this is morally right or not should not stop you from playing the game and dressing appropriately for the meeting or event. Think about what the person who you are meeting is likely to be wearing and try to match his or her attire.
  3. Eye contact. Eye contact is most important in the first introduction. Look at the person you're meeting directly in the eye when introducing yourself to promote self-confidence and to appear genuine.
  4. Fit in but be individual. There are times when an individual needs to 'fit in' - the way they dress or the topic of conversation '“ however it's also important to be individual. Try to engage others by drawing new angles or using your own personal stories to a certain topic.
  5. Ask questions. People like to know that what they're saying is interesting and that you're listening and are engaged. Asking questions is a great way of ensuring that you're leaving a positive mark on someone.
  6. Be positive. It sounds so simple but people are attracted to positivity.
  7. Say thank you. Being courteous is a child-like instruction for leaving a great impression.
  8. Smile, but not too much. Of course, everyone is attracted to someone with an open, engaging smile but smile too much and you're at risk of being named the 'super happy' person or worse, the 'fake' person.
  9. Be yourself. Trying to be over-confident or an overt extrovert when you never have been can make you appear awkward. Be sociable and be confident but not to an extreme which is unnatural for you.
  10. Relax. First time encounters are stressful for most but the good thing is that they are 'first-times'. Each time you meet an individual becomes easier.

Let OneShift know what attributes make a lasting first impression.  

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