Three Rules To Help You Make A Good First Impression
Making a great first impression isn’t always easy, but it’s well worth attempting as much as you possibly can. To help you make it happen more often, here are three simple rules you should always follow. While they are not the only great advice on making a good first impression, they are the things that will have the biggest impact – whether you get them right or wrong. I suggest you get them right 🙂
Rule #1 – Dress To Impress
Pay attention to what you’re wearing. This may seem very superficial, but that’s what first impressions are all about. They are a first, quick judgment based on things like appearance. Overdress just a little if it’s an important first meeting like going to a job interview or meeting the future in-laws for the first time.
At the very least make sure that what you’re wearing is neat and flattering. Don’t go crazy and when in doubt go for something somewhat conservative. You can always let your personality shine after you’ve made that great first impression. Make sure you wear something you have worn before and feel comfortable in so that you are not constantly tugging at your clothes. An employer does not want to watch you squirming in your chair as you try to adjust your clothing. Interviews have been lost because the candidate was constantly pulling on their jacket or sweater or skirt.
Rule #2 – Be On Time
Another very important thing to remember is to always be on time. It makes you look prepared and reliable. But there’s another important reason for this. The world is made up of two types of people. The first group is a stickler for time. Being late is one of their biggest pet peeves. The other group has a looser interpretation of being on time and doesn’t mind waiting for someone for a few minutes, or being late themselves.
The problem is that you never know which of these two types you are about to meet ahead of time. So be prepared and make sure you get there on time or even a little early. It will look good no matter how the person you’re meeting feels about time and it will definitely keep you from making a bad impression with a time stickler. It's always best to arrive about 10 minutes early for your appointment. If you plan for this, you will have a little extra time in case of traffic problems.
Rule #3 – Think Before You Speak
Last but not least, think before you speak. It’s easy to get nervous and just prattle on about anything and everything. It makes you look nervous and silly. Even worse, if you don’t think before you talk it’s very easy to put your foot in your mouth. It’s not a good feeling and definitely a quick and easy way to ruin that first impression. Take a deep breath and put a smile on your face when you walk in and say hello. In an interview, the interviewer will take charge and you just have to follow along. Just make sure you do some interview practice, know your strengths, have a weakness you can share that is not directly related to the job you are applying for and be confident.
One of the things I do with my clients is practice interviews using Zoom. It is a great way to see and hear how you look and sound before actually taking part in the interview. If you are interested in doing this, just send me a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject “Interview Practice”
Have a great week.
P.S. If you find that you need a little extra help with your confidence, enter your email address to get my free self-confidence report.