A good first impression during an interview can result in landing a second interview. A bad first impression can take you out of the running even if your qualifications are impeccable.
In our professional lives, how we come off the first time we meet someone, whether it be in an interview situation, with a prospective client, or with a co-worker, can form a lasting image. Its an image that must be positive, says Joan Runnheim, president of Hudson-based Pathways Career Success Strategies (www.pathwayscareer.com).
"You are being evaluated within just a few seconds of meeting someone," says Runnheim. "If you don't make a good impression the first time, you may not have a second chance. Fair or not, in less than a minute, people often judge whether or not they would like you as a friend, employee or co-worker. Use common sense when trying to make a good first impression. Smile, be courteous and be thoughtful."
A good first impression during an interview can result in landing a second interview. A bad first impression can take you out of the running even if your qualifications are impeccable. People judge personality as much as skill. They judge your appearance, your handshake, how you present yourself and the aura you bring to the room. Its human nature.
Melanie Keveles, president of Aligned Advantage Business and Personal Coaching (www.onlinecoaching.com), says its important to think about the first time you met an influential figure in your life. What stood out about that person that impressed you? What traits and qualities seemed to shine through? Try and emulate those qualities, she says.
Keveles says it's important to acknowledge the other people you meet along the way at that first visit. For example, be polite and acknowledge the interviewer's receptionist or assistant. That person likely will be asked what he or she thought about you. Another often-overlooked "must" is to make sure your clothing is impeccably laundered and youre clean-cut. Take out the nose rings and facial piercings. Call it old-fashioned, but you have to abide by the rules of the world of work to improve your chances of moving ahead in your career. After all, you only get one chance to make a first impression.