First impression. Remember how your mom used to make you stand up straight, be polite and shake someone’s hand upon meeting them? Make eye contact and make a good first impression? It seemed very ‘old school’ but did you know that a first impression is made about you within the first 7 seconds of meeting someone new? Wow – think about that – 7 seconds!!
During an interview, you have 7 seconds to get the interviewer to want to know more. People decide if you are smart, trustworthy and successful within those few seconds. But how accurate is a first impression? Often it is pretty accurate, with a bit of misconception mixed in. People quickly evaluate your verbal and non-verbal cues to decide if you are a likable person or not. Once formed, it is sometimes difficult to change. First impressions matter but substance has the final word.
You’ve only got one shot to make a good first impression! What are ways to ensure that you make a good impression? Here are a few suggestions:
- Show confidence in your body language
- Be aware of the way you speak – be aware of the um’s and aw’s
- Put your phone away
- Dress to impress
- Don’t skimp on eye contact
- Most important of all — be on time!
Depending on the business you are representing, it might help dictate the level of professionalism, but the above list applies no matter whom you are meeting. Whether on a job interview, meeting a child’s teacher, or a casual meeting at a networking event, the above will help solidify a first impression of you.
So, what do you do if you bungle a first impression? Well, it’s never easy but not impossible. Try these tips:
- Decide whether it’s worth sweating
- Stop pretending
- Apologize . . . but don’t over apologize
- Don’t let your imagination run away with you
- Pivot – where you stumbled, try to balance
- Ask for advice
- Be persistent
- Consistent – overcoming a bad impression requires consistent future behavior be consistent with how you want to be perceived
Regardless of the result of your first impression – there will continue to be new meetings and interviewers in your future. Learn from your past, and practice making a good first impression. Can a business make a good/bad first impression? Absolutely!
CoreTech Revolution is an IT consulting firm that specializes in providing project services, strategy & operations support, and specialized knowledge within HIT and health information exchange. With a keen eye for healthcare operations and business processes, CoreTech Revolution is skilled in defining client requirements, creating, and implementing change management strategies and plans that maximize adoption, minimize resistance, and meet project and organizational objectives.
Our approach of CorePurpose CoreAssessment, and CoreTransformation brings organizations positive and efficient changes to their current structure leaving the staff with successful repeatable processes and sustainable IT foundations.