Ace That First Impression

Written by on June 24, 2013 in Lifestyle - No comments | Print this page


journalist interviewsYou don’t get a second chance at a first impression.

That’s why it’s so important to get it right. In some situations, it’s more important than others. You can, for instance, get away with making a bit of a fool of yourself when going to a new gym for the first time.

Messing things up in an interview, on the other hand, can have dire consequences. Here’s how to make a lasting impression during this and four other day-to-day situations.

…In an interview

When you go for an interview, half the battle is won if you’ve shown up on time. That, if you’re wondering, is about 15 minutes before the interview.

Then, when you meet the interviewer, look them in the eye, give a firm handshake and smile. Make it a genuine one – a warm smile is worth gold. Other than that, stand up straight to appear confident (even if you’re not).

Poor body language, as well as a limp handshake, sends out bad signals. Whether they hold any truth – you’re insecure, scared or weak – will be irrelevant, because perception is unfortunately reality.

…When meeting your partner’s parents

Very few people like ‘meeting the parents’. And for good reason – it’s nerve wrecking! But instead of calming your nerves with a drink (very bad idea!), just go prepared.

One thing that’ll win over just about anyone is a small gift to say thank you for having you over. A bunch of flowers or a favourite box of chocolates will be enough.

If you’re too showy, you run the risk of coming across as being flashy or trying too hard. If you’re going out for dinner, offer to pay for the wine or the taxi to the restaurant.

Other than that, pay attention to how you dress and, as with the interview, go armed with a big smile.

…On a date

The biggest mistake you can make on a first date is talking about yourself non-stop. This comes up as the biggest irritant for most people when surveyed about dates.

Rather listen and be interested in your date. By all means, take part in the conversation, but don’t dominate it.

Treat the waiter well, tip fairly (perhaps even generously), relax and laugh – they’ll all help you land a second date.

…Talking to your new boss for the first time

It’s the first day of your new job and you’re grabbing a drink of water from the water dispensers at the same time as your new boss.

The worst thing you can do is just stand there or walk away without saying a word. Break the ice by asking a question about the company or commenting on your industry.

Both will show that you’re interested and informed. Your boss is sure to be impressed and to remember you in a favourable way.

…At a party

Knowing only the host at a party can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Introduce yourself to one or two other people, ask them a question or two about themselves and offer to get everyone drinks.

Also be sure to have one or two conversation starters handy, in case conversation is slow. This could be anything from events in the news to interesting facts. Don’t forget to have a good attitude – others will warm to you instantly.

Now that you have all the necessary ammunition to be unforgettable, you have no reason not to make a stellar first impression in future.

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Terrence is a long-time writer, reader and researcher. 


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