First impressions are everything. Make yours count
Did you know you can blow a business meeting before you’ve even opened your mouth? Here’s how to make your first impression a good one.Peter Iantorno December 29, 2014
Last month we told you 8 things that every woman instantly notices about a man, and showed you how to portray yourself in the best light in the eys of even the most perceptive of women.
There are very few situations in which first impressions matter more than with a potential partner, but one that certainly comes close is with a potential employer or client.
In the competitive world of business, where time is short and options are many, in most instances you only get one chance to show yourself off at your best.
Here's how to give a great first impression before you've even opened your mouth:
Ahead of any meeting or interview, it's absolutely vital to learn as much as possible about the person and the organisation they represent.
The very least you should be doing is a thorough read-through of the company's website to familiarise yourself with the business and history of the organisation. You should also make sure you're up to date with current goings-on in the industry so you don't seem out of touch and your knowledge can stand up under scrutiny.
If there's one thing we really can't stand, it's lateness. Not only does it inconvenience the person who you've made wait for you, but it also shows that you're poorly prepared, disorganised and probably not the kind of person who can be relied upon in a professional situation.
As a general rule, aim to arrive to an interview or important meeting at least 15 minutes early to allow for those unforeseen delays that so often seem to hold us up. Even if you do arrive early, it gives you time to compose yourself and do a bit of extra preparation.
Get the right look
Before you've even opened your mouth, the first impression you're going to make on somebody will be with your appearance. Some people are of the opinion that as long as you can do the job, it doesn't matter about appearance, however, you certainly can't count on that, so it's vital to make sure your look is appropriate for the situation.
First and foremost, being well-groomed is an absolute necessity, no matter who you're meeting or for what purpose. Beyond that, recommended attire varies according to the situation. If you're looking to impress in the business world, this handy guide is a good place to start. Perfect your handshake
It may seem like a small, insignificant moment that has little or no bearing on the success or failure of a meeting or interview, but for such a simple social interaction, you can tell an awful lot about a person from his handshake.
The perfect handshake is with dry, soft palms, a firm but not crushing grip and an approach from the side rather than above or below. It lasts for a comfortable amount of time and is accompanied by eye contact, a smile and appropriate conversation. Got it?
When under pressure, you'd be amazed by how easy it is to instantly forget a piece of information just seconds after you've been given it. Sometimes this won't matter too much, but if it's a person's name, it could land you in an extremely awkward situation.
A simple yet incredibly effective way of introducing yourself to someone is to ask for their name, and then immediately use it: "Nice to meet you, Alex", for example. Not only will this reinforce the name in your memory, but it'll also assert your authority on the situation.