Have you secured an interview? Are you having an important sales meeting? No matter the occasion, making a great first impression can be half the battle in being successful.
It often just takes a few moments for someone to unconsciously scan, evaluate and make a judgement about you when they are meeting you for the very first time. To avoid giving off a negative impression here are a few techniques you can employ.
Prepare, prepare, prepareWhen you’re prepared, you’ll feel confident. You’ll be less nervous, will give faster answers and will be able to fully concentrate on the person in front of you. Preparation is also one of the best ways to calm your pre-interview jitters. The confidence you display can make a big difference, be it with the interviewer or with a client. So, do your due diligence and prepare as best as you can. Here are a few ideas of what to be prepared for:
- Where is the meeting, how do you get there and what do you need?- Who are you talking to? What’s he/her position and goal?- What questions might they ask?- Can you answer all relevant questions about yourself, previous experience and goals?
Be on timeThis tip may seem obvious, but many interviewees still show up late or way too early. While being late is obviously a big faux pas, being too early might also give the wrong impression. It’s definitely a good idea to plan in some extra time, just in case you get lost, but only show up at the meeting at ten before at most. After all, you want to impress with your knowledge and skills, not by hanging around the reception area for half an hour.
Be open and confident The first thing someone will notice about you is your body language. This includes standing tall and straight, smiling, making eye contact and greeting the person with a good handshake. All this will not only make everyone feel more at ease but also project your confidence.
If you are feeling very shy, you can always start with some casual small talk to ease the tension. It’s a great way to get a friendly conversation started.
Be attentiveWhile good manners and polite behavior should be a given, you also need be as attentive as you can be. Don’t be distracted by small things and other people, as you don’t want to give the impression that you are easily distracted. Having said that, make sure your mobile phone is on silent. Do also balance talking and listening. If you feel that you are dominating the meeting, you should try to engage your conversation partner with questions.
If you want to read more about interview tips such as appropriate dress codes, oddball interview questions and more, click here.