5 Ways To Prevent First Impression Disasters
By: Kratika Mon, 19 July 2021 4:17 PM
Whether it is meeting your best friend’s girlfriend for the first time or trying to score a highly coveted position at a Fortune 500 company, first impressions count. We have made good impressions and we have made bad impressions. We have been impressed by some and repulsed by others. No matter which way you look at it, you cannot deny the importance of impressing someone the first time you meet them.
In a world where social media often takes precedence over real life, we tend to forget that people still judge books by their covers. From the way you smell to the type of shoes you wear, nothing evades the scrutiny of a person trying to form an opinion about you.
# Be on time
Don’t underestimate the power of punctuality. Being tardy not only showcases your complete lack of respect for the other person’s time, it also shows them how bad you are at time management.
If you can’t manage your time well enough to make it to an important meeting at the assigned time, how are you supposed to be productive in a new company? Is this the type of attitude you’d show to big clients? How can anyone count on you if you’re not there when they need you? These are the thoughts that will be going through people’s heads when you waltz into a meeting late.
Whenever you have a big meeting, make sure you consider possible hindrances to you getting there on time. Make allowances for traffic, a late bus or a long line at the train ticket booth. You’re better off being too early than being a little late.
# Dress to impress
How you look is extremely important when making a positive first impression. Remember to always dress for the occasion. Never show too much skin unless you are interviewing for a position as a pole dancer. You will be surprised at how many points you will chalk up by putting some effort into the way you look.
Ensure that there are no loose threads hanging off your sleeves, press your suit the night before, iron out all wrinkles from your collar, check for rips in your stockings, shine your shoes and so on. If you’re not sure about what to wear, ask someone if there’s a dress code that needs to be followed.
# Practice personal hygiene
Donning a perfectly pressed suit is not going to do you any good if you smell like an alley cat, have dirt under your nails or look like you’ve never been acquainted with a comb. Personal hygiene plays a very important role in ensuring that you impress the person you are meeting for the first time.
Take a good shower and groom yourself beforehand. Boys, make sure that you trim your nails, brush your hair, put on deodorant, don clean socks and tuck in your shirt. Ladies, you should know the drill by now but as an extra tip, remember not to go overboard with the makeup, jewelry and perfume.
# Proper handshake
Besides the way you look, your handshake is also one of the very first forms of self promotion that you can offer to people. According to a piece published on Everyday Psychology, your handshake actually reflects certain personality characteristics. Those with firm grips are assumed to be more open and outgoing whereas those with limp handshakes are assumed to be shy and anxious, a negative impression.
The article also states that, “completeness of grip, temperature, dryness, strength, duration, vigor, texture and eye contact” all come into play when people judge a person’s handshake. The article concludes that a weak handshake tends to generate less favorable impressions, so work on your handshake if you want to make a good first impression.
# Appropriate small talk
Whether you are meeting your girlfriend’s folks for the first time or trying to ace a job interview, small talk will definitely come into play. This is a way for both parties to break the ice. What you talk about will set the stage for what is to come next.