We only have one chance at meeting someone for the first time, whether it be for a job interview or a social gathering. And most of the time, this initial introduction can dictate how we'll be perceived by these people in the long run.
In life, not everyone will go an extra mile to get to know you better and give you the chance to show what your personality has yet to offer. So here are some tips to make those first impressions count!
Take time in planning out your outfit
Always make sure you match your outfit to the occasion. The best way to go is to ask the host of the event upon receiving the invitation and confirm a couple of days before the event. For corporate interviews and meetings, blazers are always the saving grace in making an ensemble presentable.
Be on time
Being 'fashionably late' isn't cool in real life. Always make sure you take factors such as looking for a parking space or traffic in mind the night before your appointment. Plus, having 10 or 15 minutes to spare gives you enough time to freshen up before you set out to meet people.
Accessing your environment is the first step to nailing that first impression. You don't want to look too casual in a formal setting or look too stiff in a social gathering. Most likely you'll have an initial idea as to what the occasion is, so use that to your advantage to gauge the type of people you'll probably be introduced to.
Pay attention to body language
We understand that having your arms just hanging on your sides feels weird and awkward. But keeping your arms crossed over your chest can make you appear defensive and not open to conversations. A great option to have good use of your hands is to have them folded casually over each other. This gesture works for both standing and sitting down and it doesn't make you too closed off or too exposed.
Making hand gestures are also helpful to show more engagement in conversations. It comes by very naturally so just make sure you're not overdoing it by moving your hands too much to the point that it looks forced.
Keep things light and positive
Starting a conversation with an anecdote about the person who cut you in the parking lot or the neighbour that kept you up at night with their music tastes are best reserved for Facebook private messages with your BFFs. Asking about the other person's hobbies or pets can be a great way to keep the conversation engaging without making them think you're impinging on their privacy.
No matter how intimidating someone might look, a sincere smile upon introducing yourself is the best way to get them to warm up to you.
Relax and just be yourself
Since first impressions last, you wouldn't want people to get to know you as a totally different person. Don't let your nerves get to you and just breathe. As long as you're polite, you can definitely leave a lasting impression just by staying true to who you are.
Do you have any other tips in making great first impressions? We'd love to read all about them in the comments below.