Your first impression can make or break your chance of being hired. Whether you work in a startup or not, it’s important to have a good first encounter. Psychological research shows that the first impression we have of someone go on to form the way we continue to see them. A lot of the things that we do in our day-to-day lives involve creating impressions. Whether it’s at work or socially, we must make good first good ones to get ahead.
It’s important to make eye contact and smile at your new potential business colleague (or your new boss). People tend to have trust in others when there is eye contact. Keep your hands out of your pockets, keep them visible and make sure to speak clearly and loudly enough so people can hear you. Making eye contact, moving as if you have purpose and keeping your posture strong with open body language can help you project a professional image.
2. Be neat
Neatness (cleanliness) matters more than you can imagine, especially nowadays. Needless to say, the standards for cleanliness are much higher than they used to be, which is why businesses strive even harder towards creating a clean, safe, and healthy environment for their employees. However, you have to do your part too, when it comes to looking ‘clean’ and professional. In other words, don’t show up in your gym clothes; it is essential that you dress well and look the part.
You can wear smart clothes or formal business suits, but you should never wear anything that is too casual or messy. It can damage your image in front of others and may even cause embarrassment. Business meetings can be intimidating and people need to make sure they are coming across professionally. Neatness, cleanliness of dress, and good grooming have always been linked with business success. Dress like you look like you belong to the company.
3. Have a firm handshake
Experts say that a firm handshake is the key to creating a good first impression and can even set off a chain reaction with other people. This is especially important for those who have high-pressure, high-stakes positions, such as CEOs and executives. Note that you should have a firm but friendly handshake. No one likes a hand crusher.
4. Make a good impression on online meetings
Online meetings are hugely increasing in popularity and can be more informal than traditional face-to-face meetings. People who are successful at making a good impression on online meetings show their personality through their voice and body language rather than merely talking about themselves. There are certain cues to look for that will help you tell how someone is feeling during an online meeting like eye contact, hand gestures, intensity in voice, and facial expression.
Business meetings are a crucial part of the work day for many employees. The first impression is important and many people will decide to hire someone based on that one meeting. Good first impressions can be made by wearing business casual clothes and making eye contact. It also helps to arrive early and – above all – remember to smile.