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You always hear the term 'second chances' but for first impressions, it is one situation that you'll never get another shot. Experts say that you only have about a tenth of a second for people to form an opinion of you based on your appearance, body language and demeanour.
For the natural charismatics and charmers, this most likely isn't an issue but for the majority of us, here are some quick pointers to put your best foot forward to make a lasting first impression.
Be ahead of the game
Whether it's an interview or meeting a new client - you need to do your homework. Even if you do not have any prior experience, it is important to show that you are serious about your work and that you have taken the time to do some research to familiarize yourself. Also, think of what you'd like them to learn about you and vice versa. Prepare some questions and talking points to minimise the possibility of a dull moment during the conversation. By taking the time to prepare yourself, it reduces anxiety and helps you to appear more knowledgeable, engaging and interesting.
Apart from being knowledgeable and engaging, it is equally important to be punctual. In fact, it is crucial that you arrive on time or slightly ahead of time as it helps to send a message that you are responsible and respectful of other people's time. Schedule extra time to allow flexibility in the event of traffic delays, etc.
Look the part
We're not just talking about your dressing but body language can help to project appropriate confidence and self-assurance which is just as important as dressing the part. From your posture to the way you speak and tone of voice, it all helps to exhibit confidence and it puts you and the other person at ease. These nonverbal cues can make a powerful subconscious impact on others so always be in check of how your body is reacting. It is also important to ensure that your wardrobe consists of clothes that fit and flatter your body shape and to dress appropriately according to the event that you are going to.
Give a firm handshake
In this short amount of time, the littlest things matter. If you're seated and someone introduces themselves to you, make it a habit to stand before shaking their hands. It shows that you respect the other person no matter what their position is. Although it may sound weird, make eye contact while shaking hands so as to project sincerity and confidence. If the handshake is too weak or firm, it can have a negative impact so make sure your handshake is warm and friendly. If you have sweaty palms, it will be good to wipe your hands first to avoid uneasiness.
Leave them wanting more
Your job is not over until you recap the conversation with the other party. These small gestures will help prove that you're on the ball and that you are responsible for your work. You want to show that your conversation or meeting had an impact on you and that it meant something to you as well.
What other tips do you guys have to make a killer first impression? Leave them in the comment section below! :)