Make a Good First Impression at Work
- Before you go into your first meeting with someone, think about what you want to learn from them and what you
want them to learn about you. This will help you to get clearer about your own thoughts and feelings, and
cut down on the possibility of a dull moment in the conversation.
- For a job interview, research the company ahead of time. If your questions are about specific aspects of the business, it will show you are a serious candidate who has really considered what it would be like to work for them.
- If you are meeting someone whose work you admire, take the time to find out more about them so you can ask relevant questions and dig deeper than the average fan.
- How you look really matters when meeting people. You'll want to choose your outfit based on the context of the
meeting, so how you dress for a job interview will be different for how you dress for a party.
- Dress to either stand out or blend in. Great first impressions can be made both ways, and your answer to this question will depend on what your intentions are and your own comfort level. Either way, pay attention to the details of your outfit.
- Pay attention to your mood. You could be dressed to the nines, but if you are having a terrible day, it will probably show. If it’s possible, avoid having to make first impressions when you are really feeling low.
In many business situations, a handshake is important, but there are different customs for greeting in different cultures. If you're unsure about how formally you should greet someone, err on the side of formality. It’s better to appear overly polite and professional than to assume a higher comfort level than the other person is ready to allow.
Smiles can have a remarkable effect on people, even to the point of allowing them to overcome their own racial and gender biases. They also decrease your own stress levels - even if they feel "forced" at first
- Whether you're aware of it or not, your body language is communicates tells things about us to others. You want
to appear confident, comfortable in your own skin, and like someone will at ease around.
- Make appropriate eye contact.
- Be aware of any nervous habits you have and work on breaking them.
Active listening is a skill for really engaging with what others are saying, allowing them to feel like their thoughts are heard, understood, and respected. If you are planning what you are going to say next while another is talking, you probably aren't listening very closely. Focus on what they are saying and ask questions that will allow them to elaborate on their thoughts.