First impressions aren’t always accurate, but they can still be hard to forget, so it’s always preferable to start off on the right foot rather than to make up ground later.
You might think the only secret is to simply, “be yourself”, but here are a few tricks that will help you put your best foot forward from the start:
It seems simple and painfully obvious, but when you’re nervous sometimes smiling doesn’t happen naturally. If you want to appear upbeat and positive, a genuine smile can go a long way. Consider about what makes you immediately like someone when you’re meeting for the first time and aim to be like that. After all, saying “nice to meet you” with a scowl on your face might be memorable, but not in a good way.
Let’s face it: people love talking about themselves. Even in a situation where you’re supposed to be the center of attention, like at a job interview for example, it’s not a bad idea to ask questions to take a little pressure off yourself. When you ask questions, you send the message that you’re genuinely interested in what the other person has to say, and you don’t expect them to do all the talking. How else do you get a conversation flowing if you don’t do a little digging to find out what you might have in common?
Be aware of your body language
Actions say even more than words sometimes and that goes double for a first impression. If you want to be memorable, make sure to make eye contact and keep your body language open and inviting. That means good posture and paying attention to the direction you’re angling your body (towards the person you’re speaking to). Usually just being conscious of your body will help you break bad habits like nervous fidgeting and crossing your arms. You want to appear confident and approachable—that way people will want to talk to you, not be looking for the first opportunity to get away.
Realize that your outfit matters
No one should be judged solely on their fashion sense—or lack thereof. But that doesn’t mean the clothes you choose to wear don’t make a difference in how people see you. That’s why you dress up for a job interview. You want to appear professional, mature, and responsible.
Remember first impressions count.