First Impressions Cut The Deepest
You might have heard it say, the first impression is the most important. While I absolutely believe you can come back from a bad first impression, that is not always the case and the way you present your ‘self’ is critical in a professional environment.
So these are the basics that you will need to cover to make an amazing first impression.
Eye Contact – Look someone in the eye and mean it.
Hand Position – Most people have a hard time trying to figure out what to do with their hands. If you’re sitting your hands should be on your lap, but feel free to use your hands as you speak if you need to express or emphasize things.
Hand Shake – Your handshake speak so much volume about you and you should really make an effort to practice this until you feel confident in your own handshake.
Chit-Chat Window – Throughout every business meeting or interview you have a ‘chit-chat’ window. This can either be fun or extremely excruciating. Many people believe they need to “fit” a particular role when they are chit-chatting in a professional environment and they forget that it’s ok to be themselves.
The fact is that if you don’t feel confident with your self, it will come out during this conversation.
Engagement – How engaged are you in the conversation and are you speaking the same language? Do you understand what the company is about? Do you understand the industry? And if you don’t fully understand the industry do you at least “get” the company? What you conversate about is critical for the interviewer to get a grasp on what you fully understand about the company and the job role.
Your Voice – The tone and sound of your voice can have some impact on how you are received. It’s critical that if you have issues in this department, you can quickly overcome this by your level of engagement in the conversation.
Which leads me to…
Understand the Company – Make sure you understand what they do and come ready with some questions. Many people are left blank when it comes to what questions to ask.
Here are some tips that may help as a guide;
Pretend you are a customer, ask every question you would need to fully understand how that product or service can help you. Your interviewer will appreciate the fact that you are interested in understanding’ what they do. This also allows you to position yourself to determine if this is a company that you want to work for.
Dress Appropriately – Dress for the part that you are interviewing’s manager.
Don’t complain or bad mouth – It’s critical that you don’t come to the meeting with bad energy. You can be the kindest person in the world, but if you are feeling negative in any way about any current circumstances in your life or even past work, you may unknowingly bring that energy with you.
Stay Positive – Know your worth. Know what you bring to the table. And know if you can add value. If you can, let that shine. Express it in your words, express it in your knowledge. And if you don’t, express your love for life. Sometimes people’s energy gets them the position, not their experience. So if you want to break into a new field, feel your mojo.
I often meet people who get nervous at interviews and I simplify it with this;
Believe in yourself, believe in your abilities to do the job, but know that you are the type of person that will research and learn to get better at your job, know the level of commitment that you bring to the company, know the level of passion you are bringing.
An interview goes 2 ways, you too must interview them to determine if they are worth the exchange of your time, your energy, and your heart. Know your skill sets and be confident about your value. Let that confidence humbly exude out of you and you will win every interview. Every position is not for you, your confidence will land you where you need to be.